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How Should the Church Address Mother’s Day?

For many Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to once again take the time to show their love and appreciation for the woman who loves them more than they will ever know.  However, for many others this day is a reminder of a painful loss or a reminder of  a painful reality.  This presents a challenge to churches everywhere.  How do we celebrate Godly mothers and yet comfort the suffering?  Here is how my church has decided to tackle this issue:

First of all, Mother’s Day is a very special day for many women in our church. We like it that way. It’s a great family day and there are many women who will be pampered by their loving families. At least, I hope that families one way or another take advantage of this holiday to show appreciation for their mothers. Nonetheless, at Morning Star Church we are discreet about Mother’s Day because it is also a very rough day for many people.

Having been married to an infertile woman for ten years, I know that Mother’s Day was an especially difficult day and I began to dislike the fact that churches totally ignored the pain of the barren woman on that day. I started realizing that Mother’s Day is a sentimental holiday, but Sunday is the Lord’s Day for ALL of God’s people. Mother’s Day is often difficult for single women also, knowing that they will probably never have a chance to be a mother. Having been in ministry for twenty years I have witnessed how Mother’s Day also conjures up bad memories of bad mothers for many dear Christian people or how it becomes an especially painful time for people who have lost their mother recently. In fact, my cousin will be taking his seven children from ages 14 down to 3 to the graveside of their mother this Sunday; the first Mother’s Day since she’s gone to heaven. Interestingly enough, we have found over the years that some women get offended if we do not hand out flowers or make a big deal on Mother’s Day so I thought that it would be a good thing to remind our core people (the ones that actually read this letter!) that we are thoughtful about the day and believe that we are most Christlike if we make Sunday primarily about the Lord and His Church where no one feels disenfranchised or inadequate or unloved.

Honoring mother is a commandment; one of the Ten. We should do it all the time. Therefore, we do encourage families to make a day of it. We do honor motherhood and we do want you to spoil that dear lady grandly. We have pared down our normal Sunday schedule to make that possible for you and we hope you take advantage of it.

For all the brothers and sisters that are not made happy by Mother’s Day, please know that our greatest joy is a shared joy: it’s Jesus Christ and Sunday is your day as much as it is anyone else’s.

- Pastor Bob Bixby

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