Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family
I am not anti-mother or anti-motherhood. I had a mom, and I loved her very much.
Mother’s Day can be painful or highly annoying to different people for different reasons, but do most Christians realize this or care? No, they do not.
Mother’s Day can be a difficult reminder for those of us whose mothers are dead.
Some women want to get pregnant and have a baby, but cannot, because they or their husband are infertile. Some women keep having miscarriages.
Some people are estranged from their mothers, maybe because their mother was abusive to them as they were growing up. They didn’t have a close, loving relationship with their mothers for whatever reason.
All these groups find Mother’s Day difficult.
Churches compound this pain or difficulty by making an idol out of parenting and tossing reminders of motherhood and family into people’s faces.
Many churches try to honor mothers or motherhood on Mother’s Day. The pastor will usually say a few words about mothers during a church service, and hand out free carnations to each Mom in attendance. The mothers are asked to stand in recognition.
Does the church celebrate the never-married adults in its midst? How about the preacher saying, “For the never-married, we salute you! Please stand so that we may honor you and hand you a carnation.” Do preachers ever do this for the child-free or child less, or the divorced or the widowed? No. If such a local church exists, I’ve never heard of it.
It’s not just Mother’s Day holiday in America that get churches going on this parenting celebration.
The idolization of family and parenthood is a year round ordeal. One frequently hears from the pulpit or Christian blogs and television programs how important fathers are, how valuable “the family” (as in nuclear family) is. “The family” is supposedly the backbone of American society (singles don’t matter and are irrelevant apparently).
Why do churches and Christian organizations never discuss how important all members of the body of Christ are, whether divorced, never married, widowed, male, female?
“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (1 Corinthians 12).
Where does the Bible say that families or moms, dad, kids are more important than un-married adults or are a backbone, or play a more central role in church or society?
Jesus Christ emphasized His spiritual family, not flesh and blood ties, and He instructed believers to take the same stance.
I went to a church once, and even though it was summer and Mother’s Day was long past, the preacher took about 15 minutes out of a service, to ask all the mothers of new-born babies to step forward, so they all came to the front, some with their babies.
The preacher than lectured about motherhood for a while, and said words of blessings over the babies.
Sounds very charming and what all doesn’t it? But at my mid-30s at the time, and wanting a family of my own, his little ode to motherhood made me feel excluded and served as another reminder of what I did not have. I cried in my car on the drive home.
The thing that makes me even more infuriated, I think, than a Christian culture that keeps excluding those who don’t have a spouse and kids, are the Christians who show up on Christian blogs by well-known Christian publications, when a writer tells Christians to be more sensitive to infertile or childless women on Mother’s Day, to say “we should celebrate with those who are celebrating – so what if a few people in the church are offended, we shouldn’t stop making a big deal out of motherhood.”
It never, ever fails. Every time a Christian site publishes a “let’s all be more sensitive to the child-free or childless on Mother’s Day among us and maybe tone down the “Rah Rah Motherhood” stuff,” some idiot, some jerk (and it’s almost always a woman), will leave a post saying “no way, uh-uh, the childless and the infertiles can just suck it up and deal, because those with children should be recognized. Stop being selfish and demanding church your own way, women without children.”
The depth and breadth of their heartlessness is stunning.
These idiots frequently overlook the rest of the bible passage which says to “weep with those who are weeping.” Handing out free carnations to all the mothers in the audience, while those who can’t get married, who have miscarriages, or who are infertile or who cannot adopt, is the height of insensitivity.
That these idiots are willing to cause deep emotional pain to certain females in their congregation, and all so they can get a free flower and a shout out from the preacher on a Sunday morning, makes me ill. I want to punch them in their stupid faces.
You mean to tell me, you pushy mother (or hyper- pro-motherhood person), that to spare some people’s feelings and hearts from breaking again, you cannot live without a flower, or without a mention from the pulpit on Mother’s Day? You people (mothers) get the rest of the year too, as most churches frequently opine and romanticize motherhood and fatherhood, and marriage, year-round, too.
Nothing is stopping nuclear families from celebrating Mother’s Day at home, or in a restaurant after church services. It is not necessary for a church to put on a Mom’s Day service every year, but many do.
Motherhood is fine, but making people feel excluded or hurt by highlighting motherhood year round, and culminating on Mother’s Day in a big old big ado by a pastor on a Sunday morning service, is not.
The Bible itself holds the spiritual family up over and above motherhood and other fleshly family relations. It’s too bad most churches, which claim to be “biblical,” do not actually follow the Bible on this point.
(Link): Your Church’s Mother’s Day Carnation is Not Worth Any Woman’s Broken Heart – A Critique of ‘When Mother’s Day Feels Like a Minefield’ by L. L. Fields
(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother
(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs