A Non-Mom’s Message to Pastors about Mother’s Day

For a long time women have been expressing their thoughts about the awkwardness and painfulness of Mother’s Day at church. Lots of us have felt it, for more reasons that you might think.

Pastors who have heard the stories are probably feeling pretty awkward too. There’s no easy way out.

A few years ago, I blogged on Jesus’ startling response when given the opportunity to pay a Mother’s Day tribute to his mother. See Happy Ezer Day!

This year, Amy in the Messy Middle came to everyone’s rescue when she blogged An Open Letter to Pastors {A Non-Mom Speaks About Mother’s Day}. 

I don’t think she forgot anyone.

So if you’re a pastor who plans to do the usual, please read Amy’s post. Or, if you’re a pastor who is dreading Mother’s Day too, searching for the right words to say, and not sure how to avoid hurting someone, please read Amy’s post.

Hopefully, this year a lot of women will be glad they didn’t skip church on Mother’s Day.

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7 Responses to A Non-Mom’s Message to Pastors about Mother’s Day

  1. I LOVE her “wide continuum of mothering” litany!

    I've been in churches that made too much of Mother's Day, and I agree we shouldn't treat it as if it were part of the church calendar. But I worry when people try to help the hurting by minimizing others. We honor and celebrate teachers, graduates, veterans, missionaries … why not mothers?

    I have a friend who skipped church whenever there was a baptism, because her unfulfilled desire for a child made it too painful for her, but the church can't — and shouldn't — do without or minimize the sacrament of baptism. One year I could barely tolerate Christmas — all that joyful singing about a baby boy's birth was more than I could take when my infant grandson's death was so fresh — but even then I wouldn't have wanted the church to minimize the joy of Christmas.

    We need more celebrations, not fewer! I think Amy's litany does a wonderful job of honoring motherhood in all its joys, sorrows, labors, and complications.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Carolyn a category of mothers were forgotten in her post and it's those who had to surrender their babies for whatever the reason. I wrote this: To those who had a child but chose to give your child to another family – we honor your courage and stand with you in your pain of choosing adoption. ~Faith


  3. Carolyn says:

    Faith, You are so right. I went back and re-read it, and birth mothers weren't included. Someone did comment, “The only thing I would change about your letter is to include birth mothers.”

    And Linda, your point is well taken—which is why I liked it when Mother's Day was about honoring my mother, instead of pointing to me. Better still to keep in mind—as Frank always reminds me—that Hallmark doesn't get to tell us when to express love and appreciation to one another. It's a sad thing if we hold back our love until Mother's Day.

    Even then the whole subject of mothers is still pretty complicated, as I learned when a friend of mine told me about how tough it was growing up and even as adult because of her mother's abuse.


  4. Pam Smith says:

    Add to the list of those I know who struggle with Mother’s Day activities at church: the father who lost his wife and young son in a horrific car accident who bravely shows up as young children who are the age of that young son when he died bring a flower to each woman, and the father of three whose wife lost her cancer battle who is aware of the men buying flowers with the difference being that his family will be delivering theirs to a grave. This broken world can still sting even with great faith in Christ.


  5. Carolyn says:

    So true, Pam. Which is why I'm dreading Father's Day for the first time this year. First one without my dad.


  6. Anonymous says:

    She also omitted those women who have CHOSEN not to become mothers. They are frequently looked down upon by others. So, I suggest this addition: To those of you who have chosen not to become mothers – we respect your choice and rejoice in your ability to reject peer pressure.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget the MEN on Father's day too, but I am sure your passion and concern go out to them too. For the pastors out there, whatever you guys or gals do will be criticized. If I was in charge we would not do any honoring of Moms, Dads, Grandparents etc. Too much fuss and fury over it all.


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