I don’t envy pastors trying to prepare messages for Mother’s Day that celebrate, honor, and encourage moms while being sensitive to those for whom Mother’s day might be painful.
On one hand, it’s good to honor mothers. The Bible does. Motherhood has taken a beating by society over the last several years. Moms have a heavy load, often unseen and unappreciated. They need all the encouragement and support they can get.
On the other hand, some dearly want to be mothers, yet God has not granted that request. Mother’s Day only adds to their pain. I appreciate Wendy Alsup’s thought that “God uses both the presence and the absence of children in the lives of His daughters as a primary tool of conforming us to Christ.”
Some moms downplay the hoopla. They would rather have their family appreciate them year-round, not just on a certain designated day. And, true, it doesn’t make sense to disrespect someone every other day and then buy them flowers and a card on Mother’s day. But I always look at special days in the same vein as Thanksgiving. Yes, we’re supposed to be thankful every day, but Thanksgiving reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. Jesus’ resurrection impacts our lives every day, but it receives special focus at Easter. So Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or someone’s birthday are just opportunities to tell someone you love that you appreciate them. Some do have a lot of hoopla; others prefer low-key observances.
Some moms grieve that their families don’t acknowledge this day at all, and they feel more taken for granted than ever.
I am very blessed that my family goes to a lot of effort to make me feel special on Mother’s Day. But I try to keep in the forefront of my mind that Mother’s Day isn’t about expecting that honor, as much as I love and appreciate it. Mother’s Day was established to promote honor of our own mothers. I wrote a couple of years ago about honoring the moms in my life, women who have influenced me or nurtured me in some way. Still, I do admit it would hurt if no one in my family observed Mother’s Day at all. Erin has some good thoughts along this line.
For others, Mother’s Day is profoundly sad. Some grieve the death of their children, estranged children, mothers who are still here physically but far away mentally or emotionally, mothers who rarely, if ever, showed love, mothers who abandoned them, mothers who have died.
My beloved mother passed away nearly fourteen years ago. My husband’s mother just passed away in January. The lady who was like a second or spiritual mom to me is about to meet her Savior face to face any moment now. Even though I can’t “do” for these special ladies any more, I honor them in my heart, remember their examples, and hold on to the good memories.
For those whose families show their love this day, I wish you joy.
For those who feel like failures, may you be uplifted once again by His grace.
For those who feel abandoned or unloved by parents, may you truly know “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalm 27:10).
For those who sorrow, I pray for the peace that passes understanding. May His merciful kindness be for your comfort, according to His word unto you (Psalm 119:76).
- What do adults “owe” parents?
- “Despise not thy mother when she is old”
- Mother’s Day funnies.
- Mother’s Dictionary (funny).
- Mother’s Kisses (poem).
- Mother’s Day Poems.
- Mother’s Day Reading