Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Many of you have special messages prepared to encourage and inspire the moms of your congregation. Your desire is to acknowledge the unique role that we moms play in the everyday lives of our families. You’re ready to challenge us to grow in our spiritual walks and to teach those lessons to our kids. As a mom, I appreciate the encouragement and the direction you offer. I love being challenged to become better at this calling of motherhood.
If your church is like most churches in America, you’ll probably even begin the service by asking all the moms to stand. You’ll want them to be recognized, to receive a round of applause for being moms. Many will stand and smile and soak in the collective pat on the back. But others will sit in the pews with their hearts quietly breaking.
How do I know? That was me not so many years ago. Mother’s Day 2004 was one of the worst days of my life. You see, I had lost our first baby to a miscarriage a few months before Mother’s Day. Though God had promised me that He had a plan and that there was hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), I was struggling that Sunday. I wanted to be a mom in the worst way. I wanted to be one of those standing, not remaining seated in the pew for another year. Anger and bitterness crept in through a simple gesture meant to encourage moms.
I know I wasn’t alone that Sunday. I know other women have been in those same uncomfortable shoes, being forced to stay seated when they would rather be standing, being recognized as a mom. I know because I’ve talked to them. I’ve heard their stories, their words laced with underlying pain. They don’t wish childlessness on other women. They’re simply longing for God to fill their homes with the love and laughter of children. They’re waiting to stand with the rest on Mother’s Day.
I know that you care deeply for your people, dear pastor. I know you would never knowingly inflict pain on the sweet ladies of your congregations. I’m guessing that none of the hurting have spoken up and explained how hard it is for those wishing to be moms to remain seated during the Mother’s Day recognition time.
Maybe this year you could try something a little different. Instead of just recognizing the moms, maybe you could recognize all of the ladies of your church. Many of them are spiritual moms, offering encouragement, mentoring, and godly counsel to other people’s children. They’re all beloved daughters of the King.
Pastors, thank you for your continued encouragement along this road of motherhood. Your Mother’s Day motives are right. You want to honor the moms of your congregation. Maybe this year that can happen while also encouraging the hearts of those longing to be moms one day.