For the April edition of CM Edge, one of the topics we talked about was Mothers’ Day. Between the conversation on that episode and what I had read prior to recording the podcast, I was surprised to find out that a number of churches choose not to do anything for Mother’s Day.
The reasons for not celebrating/recognizing Mothers’ Day at church mostly revolved around sensitivity: sensitivity to those who aren’t mothers, sensitivity to those who can’t have children, sensitivity to those whose mothers have died, sensitivity to those whose mothers abandoned them, sensitivity to those who don’t fit the “typical” mother stereotype…
While I understand the need for sensitivity, I think we may have swung the pendulum too far. Maybe it’s just me, but I think celebrating is a good thing. Celebrating motherhood (and fatherhood for that matter) is a good thing. Being a mom is a hard job, and I think moms deserve to be celebrated.
Now, I can hear the objections. Mothers’ Day in churches have been known to be hokey and very narrow-minded and thus hurtful to those who don’t fit the picture-perfect model of a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids. Does this mean, though, that the alternative is to do nothing? I think we owe it to ALL mothers and would-be mothers and will-be mothers to use our God-given creativity to come up with a way to honor them without being exclusive.
The past two years, I had been in charge of the services on Mothers’ Day weekend. For both years, we put together production-like services as a gift to the mothers. We also took the time to help deconstruct the stereotypical mom and reconstruct a view that motherhood has a lot of faces. We helped people see that there are working moms, single moms, grandmothers as moms of their grandchildren, adoptive moms, moms who lose their temper, moms who are overprotective, moms who are lonely, and moms who don’t have it all together. We also took the time to recognize that Mothers’ Day is a painful day for some because of abandonment, loss and unfulfillment.
I challenge the thought that the best alternative to a hokey Mothers’ Day at church that casues pain or boredom on some is to simply forego any kind of celebration. We need to be more creative than that. We need to celebrate motherhood while helping expand people’s understanding of motherhood and reaching out to those who experience pain when thinking about motherhood. It can be done. It just takes effort. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be something.
Is your church doing something for Mothers’ Day? If so, what do you do? If not, why?
What are your thoughts on the challenge that foregoing Mothers’ Day at churches to avoid people getting hurt or feeling left out is a lack of creativity?