Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some
Presenting a list of links about how Mother’s Day can be hurtful or irritating to some people and how Christians need to wake up and start showing more sensitivity in this area:
- Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don’t even know it. This is true even in congregations that don’t focus the entire service around the event as if it were a feast day on the church’s liturgical calendar. Infertile women, and often their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows.
- It is good and right to honor mothers. The Bible calls us to do so. Jesus does so with his own mother. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good.
- ….What if pastors and church leaders were to set aside a day for prayer for children for the infertile?
- ….In too many churches ministry to infertile couples is relegated to support groups that meet in the church basement during the week, under cover of darkness. Now it’s true that infertile couples need each other. The time of prayer and counsel with people in similar circumstances can be helfpul.
- But this alone can contribute to the sense of isolation and even shame experienced by those hurting in this way.
There were aspects of this page I did not agree with:
(Link): Is Mother’s Day Insensitive? (from a 2010 blog post)
-But the author was quite correct when he said:
- Perhaps the church could tone down the celebration, encouraging private family celebrations, while at the same time inviting those without mothers or women without children to partake in those celebrations. After all, we are (supposedly) a family.
- Last Mother’s Day I made it a point not to take the whole “Mother’s Day” Phenom inn the church not too far. I talked about how insensitive we can be on Mother’s Day. I talked about barrenness, horrible mom’s, etc. After the service a young woman that recently started attending came and spoke with me. She thanked me. She said for years Mother’s day had been so awkward for her. She felt guilty. She felt less than other women because she was barren. She said that she had never been to a church that made her feel comfortable on Mother’s Day. That really humbled me. It inspired me to be careful on Mother’s day.
- I certainly hope no one takes this post the wrong way. I have nothing against women. My mom is a woman. I married a woman. My daughter is on her way to womanhood. So please, bear with me. I just want to vent a little bit. If we are not careful as a church we can go a little overboard on Mother’s Day. In fact, as far as our worship service goes, it can become “Smothers Day”. Rather than focusing on Christ our focus can easily shift to people. I am aware that God has lots to say about moms. And I also believe that mothers are under appreciated and overlooked in our society. We could write volumes on those two truths. However, I want to use this space to steer our churches in the right direction this Mother’s Day.
1) Don’t say “Being a mother is the greatest privilege in the world.” Here are a few reasons why we shouldn’t say that:
* It isn’t true. Being a child of the King is the greatest privilege in the world.
* It is hurtful. It implies that if you are a father or a barren/childless mom you can’t enjoy the greatest privilege in the world.
* It is disingenuous. Honest people listening to us know that statement isn’t true. It can cause folks to tune us out for the rest of the service.
2) Don’t plan the worship service around moms. We do not go to church to celebrate anyone except Jesus.
4) Don’t deify moms. I’m convinced that some people want to go to heaven simply because their mother is there. I will guarantee you that there is not a mother in heaven that wants to be the center of attention. Everyone in heaven has their eternal attention on the Lamb of God. And please don’t portray mom’s as the greatest gift ever given to us! I think John 3:16 lays that one out for us pretty plain.
7) Do comfort those that are barren or single or have lost children.
((Link): Click here to read the rest of the post)
- Like a lot of doting children, I loved Mother’s Day growing up. The holiday usually involved eating out at a fancy restaurant (not the norm for our family), where we gave my mom carefully composed cards and handpicked gifts. Even into adulthood, Mother’s Day never caused problems for me.
- And then I miscarried. Last Mother’s Day was the first one where I felt deep down that I was supposed to be celebrating that day, yet my arms were empty. I should have had a one month old, not a spare bedroom filled with books and supplies we never used.
- Like many women, I dreaded the day, wishing I could sleep through it and wake up on Monday. And here I am, one year later, arms still empty due to infertility, still trying to make sense of this holiday. As Wendy Horger Alsup so helpfully said at Her.meneutics last year, Mother’s Day can be a painful holiday for many women.
- These mothers, having exposed their unborn babies to dangerous substances, may spend the day reflecting on the fact they may have destroyed their children’s chances for a normal life. Or they may wonder where their children are, not knowing who adopted them or even if they were adopted. Or, worst of all, they will be reminded of the untimely deaths of their infants, undeserving victims of the direct or indirect ravages of substance abuse.
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