Mother's Day is one of those sticky, tricky holidays in church life. It is absolutely a day worth celebrating and acknowledging! Moms deserve to be lauded, applauded, encouraged and recognized.
"But encourage one another day after day while it is still called today" is the advice given to all of us by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 3:13. The family of God would be remiss not to give honor to the women in our midst who are raising the next generation of world-changing believers.
The second Sunday in May has historically been set aside to encourage those women who wear the badge of "Motherhood." And what a delight that is to honor these courageous gals for enduring sleepless nights, folding endless loads of laundry, wiping away tears on tiny cheeks and cheering little ones on to victory after victory!
However, as the body of Christ, we must also remember that not all women are mothers. Many women deal with the pain of infertility or are grieving children who have relocated to heaven. For this group of women, Mother's Day is the most dreaded holiday of the calendar year.
For single women, Mother's Day can be a difficult day to maneuver as well. These women have never held a baby in their arms, have never sent a child off to school, and have never received a Mother's Day card written in childhood penmanship.
Mother's Day is also painful for mothers whose children have turned their back on the faith or who are no longer in contact with their families. It is a dreaded day for women who have had abortions or who have given up a child for adoption.
What should the church do on the second Sunday in May? Should we ignore the celebration in order to be compassionate to those for whom this day is painful? Or should the body of Christ plan the annual celebration in spite of the pain of a few?
What is a church to do?
"Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep" is probably the wisest advice concerning the conundrum that Mother's Day presents. The book of Romans, in offering these 11 simple yet powerful words, shepherds us toward a reasonable solution in the observance of Mother's Day.
It is a wonderful choice to rejoice and to celebrate the women who are walking on the well-trodden road known as "motherhood." It is a vital part of church life to applaud these women's powerful attempts to train children in godliness and in wisdom. It is a commandment to pray for these saints as they continue to wipe noses, make lunches and hold fussy babies. Rejoice with those who are the mothers in your midst!
But also, remember to weep with those who weep. Pray for the women whose wombs are barren and whose hearts are empty. Comfort the women whose children have stepped into eternity. Put your arms around those who have given up children for adoption. Be compassionate toward the mothers whose children no longer desire to have a relationship with them.
Don't just give pink flowers to those who have given birth or who are raising children, but give pink flowers to every woman in your congregation.
Every woman in the body of Christ is a treasure to be valued and honored. Look beyond a woman's circumstances and view the treasure that exists in her heart. A woman is not defined by whether or not she is a mother, has been a mother or will ever be a mother! A woman's definition is derived from the love that she freely receives from the Father!
And so, this Mother's Day, as you walk into the house of God, please remember to encourage every woman in your midst. Thank every woman for serving Christ and for being a beacon of faith, regardless of her circumstances. Tell every woman in your congregation that she is honored, important and valued.
After all, the highest goal in life for a woman is not to be a mother ... the highest goal in life for every woman is to simply be like Jesus. And that, my friend, is something worth celebrating!
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