The Joys and Pains of Mother’s Day

I don’t envy pastors trying to prepare messages for Mother’s Day that celebrate, honor, and encourage moms while being sensitive to those for whom Mother’s day might be painful.

On one hand, it’s good to honor mothers. The Bible does. Motherhood has taken a beating by society over the last several years. Moms have a heavy load, often unseen and unappreciated. They need all the encouragement and support they can get.

On the other hand, some dearly want to be mothers, yet God has not granted that request. Mother’s Day only adds to their pain. I appreciate Wendy Alsup’s thought that “God uses both the presence and the absence of children in the lives of His daughters as a primary tool of conforming us to Christ.”

Some moms downplay the hoopla. They would rather have their family appreciate them year-round, not just on a certain designated day. And, true, it doesn’t make sense to disrespect someone every other day and then buy them flowers and a card on Mother’s day. But I always look at special days in the same vein as Thanksgiving. Yes, we’re supposed to be thankful every day, but Thanksgiving reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. Jesus’ resurrection impacts our lives every day, but it receives special focus at Easter. So Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or someone’s birthday are just opportunities to tell someone you love that you appreciate them. Some do have a lot of hoopla; others prefer low-key observances.

Some moms grieve that their families don’t acknowledge this day at all, and they feel more taken for granted than ever.

I am very blessed that my family goes to a lot of effort to make me feel special on Mother’s Day. But I try to keep in the forefront of my mind that Mother’s Day isn’t about expecting that honor, as much as I love and appreciate it. Mother’s Day was established to promote honor of our own mothers. I wrote a couple of years ago about honoring the moms in my life, women who have influenced me or nurtured me in some way. Still, I do admit it would hurt if no one in my family observed Mother’s Day at all. Erin has some good thoughts along this line.

For others, Mother’s Day is profoundly sad. Some grieve the death of their children, estranged children, mothers who are still here physically but far away mentally or emotionally, mothers who rarely, if ever, showed love, mothers who abandoned them, mothers who have died.

My beloved mother passed away nearly fourteen years ago. My husband’s mother just passed away in January. The lady who was like a second or spiritual mom to me is about to meet her Savior face to face any moment now. Even though I can’t “do” for these special ladies any more, I honor them in my heart, remember their examples, and hold on to the good memories.

For those whose families show their love this day, I wish you joy.

For those who feel like failures, may you be uplifted once again by His grace.

For those who feel abandoned or unloved by parents, may you truly know “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalm 27:10).

For those who sorrow, I pray for the peace that passes understanding. May His merciful kindness be for your comfort, according to His word unto you (Psalm 119:76).

See also:

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday, Tell His Story, Let’s Have Coffee, Share a Link Wednesday, Wise Woman, Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire)

11 thoughts on “The Joys and Pains of Mother’s Day

  1. Beautiful heartfelt post for today! Unfortunately, I was raised by a narcissist mother so life was pretty challenging for me bc Narcissistic people do not love anyone but themselves and they hurt on purpose. I’m not bitter, it is what it is.
    My latest is a post to those types of moms. Please comment and follow me back!
    Here’s my latest:

    ❤️ Happy Mother’s Day
    (to your NARCISSISTIC Mom)

    “Mommy Dearest”

  2. I’m sorry that you’re about to lose your spiritual mother, Barbara. 😦 I pray she passes easily. Great article. Mother’s Day is both happy and sad and every point in between for so many.

  3. I have to agree that honoring our mothers throughout the year very important. Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) can be painful reminders of what was or isn’t going to be. I hope your Mother’s Day was very special.

  4. I enjoyed your thoughts here, as always. I too feel for pastors as they walk a fine line on days like this. I find social media difficult too, with everyone’s seemingly perfect and loving families on display. I did a FB strike yesterday and it was really freeing 🙂

  5. Such a beautifully written post, Barbara. I like your thought that being honored is something that we should “expect”. I was blessed in ways this Mother’s Day that I would never have expected. There were phone calls, gifts, and even two Mother’s Day greetings from two young Filipino missionary guys who have adopted Carroll and me as their American mom and dad. When God gives the honor it leaves behind such sweet memories.

  6. This was a wonderful post for me to read. My own mom is in heaven rejoicing with my daddy and Jesus. My own daughters do little things for me now that they are older because i told them i didn’t want stuff!!! I just wanted to be together for a quiet lunch, etc.
    our pastor never preaches a Mother’s Day type sermon, he does honor all the moms and prays, yesterday he basically just said today we honor and give thanks for all the moms out there and we pray for those who have lost a mother and are still waiting to be mothers or something like that. He actually continued preaching his sermon series on Knowing the Will of God. It’s an eight week series and so good!!
    I’m sorry you are about to lose your spiritual mom but it sounds like it will be heaven’s gain. Peace to you as she goes through this next step.

  7. A great post showing all aspects of Mother’s Day and reminding us all to be sensitive and aware of those around us!

  8. Great post. We all need to be sensitive to those around us. Oftentimes we are unaware of what others have been through. Even wishing someone a “Happy Mother’s Day” can cause pain to some. Thank you for so many good reminders!

  9. Pingback: End-of-May Musings | Stray Thoughts

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