Christian Motherhood Doesn’t Always Take The Form
Of A Visible Family
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There’s another side of motherhood that’s important for the church to recognize during Mother’s Day services. What about the women who have wanted children, but have not been blessed in that way?
How can we make that day painless and a blessing for them too? The answer is in God’s Word. We’re to love God first and love all others as ourselves.
By loving God first we’ll want to follow whatever He tells us to do. That includes following Mark 12:31 that tells us how we’re to love others. By loving God first we’ll desire to love others first because we want to please Him and follow His ways. This is how we share God’s love.
Mark 12:30-31 (ESV) 30 “‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Christian Motherhood Lost?
Some women may have lost a child; they may be unmarried and with little prospects of a future marriage. Others may be infertile and may not have had enough money for adoption or fertility treatments. They may have prayed for children for years, but they didn’t understand how to have faith for healing and have remained childless. Yet these women find ways to share motherhood with others who have children in various ways such as loving the children of others, taking care of children without parents or relatives, and the list continues.
Motherhood isn’t always lost on women who love God and desire to be a part of children’s lives in one way or another. These women should be honored just as much as mothers who have given birth.
The Choice To Not Become A Mother
There are women who didn’t feel inclined to become mothers, yet they nurture others and readily respond to those who are without mothers or don’t have the benefit of a loving parent of their own. These women deserve honor as well on Mother’s Day and as we recognize this spiritual truth, we can be more thoughtful to women without children on that day.
Whatever the reasons, there are women in your church you know who deserve a sensitive acknowledgement for their part in making the children around them better because of their love and kindness. Make this Mother’s Day special by remembering those women who may not have children of their own, but are nurturing to those around them with the same motherly care and love they would have given to their own children.
Sensitive Christian Motherhood Church Communication
It’s a sad truth that many churches don’t recognize this other side of motherhood during this special day of honoring our mother’s. One church I attended, for example, asked women as they entered, “Are you a mother?” If the answer was “no,” they were informed the flowers were for mothers ONLY.
In some churches only Moms are clapped for, receive a free brunch, acknowledged as significant or given other public affirmations. It is publicly obvious and on display if a woman is not a mother. If a woman has spent many private hours crying over her inability to have children, imagine her feelings at that time.
Again, these reminders are not meant as a suggestion not to honor mothers, but honor can be done sensitively and with the feelings of the childless women in mind. One suggestion you can make to your church leaders would be to focus, perhaps briefly, on the joy of physical children but then to shift into a challenge for spiritual parenting.
You cannot take away the pain of childlessness, but that pain can be transformed into a vision for ministry if, in addition to special actions done for moms, the pastor actively presents some creative ideas that would be a blessing to all, including the church.
Mother’s Day Church Service Suggestions:
Remind all of the women in the church that the option to be a spiritual parent is one that is open to all women, as the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah. Christian motherhood is a spiritual as well as a physical role.
Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.
Two More Thoughts About Christian Motherhood:
- Remind childless women that although they may not have physical children, nothing can prevent the birthing and raising of many spiritual children.
- Remind the childless women that to be childless does not mean they do not have God’s favor. Jesus never had an earthly child, yet he favoured children and loved to be around them.
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