A Note from Chris Adams: Today, we wanted to share with you an article we believe bears repeating for Mother’s Day. I’ve shared before my own experience with Mother’s Day during my years of infertility. It was a difficult day in many ways, even though I celebrated my own mom. In this article by Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA, we gain insight into how to bless women on this special day for Moms while still being sensitive to all women. (For more thoughts on this topic, we encourage you to read a great article by Selma Wilson called, “3 Ways the Church Can Honor Mothers Without Hurting Others.”)
Who is Mother’s Day for?
- Women struggling with infertility
- Single women
- Moms who have lost a child
- Women who have lost their moms
- Women who live far away from their moms
- Moms who have dysfunctional relationships with their children
- Women who have dysfunctional relationships with their moms
- Moms who have had an abortion
- Moms who are waiting for adoption
- Moms who have given up their children for adoption
- Moms who have lost their children to the child protective services
- Moms of children with special needs or facing health issues
- Moms with children who are with their stepmom for the weekend
- Stepmoms who are struggling with finding balance in the midst of a blended family
It’s a long list—a list of moms and women who struggle with Mother’s Day. When flowers are given out for the youngest mom, the oldest mom, and the mom with the most children, it’s like daggers in the heart of a hurting woman. They dread Mother’s Day as the worst, most hurtful day of the year.
At most churches, we celebrate the day. We honor moms as if they are a breed of unique, angelic aliens. But how are the moms who have suffered or are currently experiencing great motherhood trauma responding? Are we inflicting unnecessary pain?
I have been on this list. Mother’s Day is not my favorite day. Trust me, I love getting a gift and a celebration, but walking into a worship service where every other woman gets a rose as they enter because they are moms leaves a life-long ache. And sitting in a worship service celebrating motherhood when the doctors have said the outrageously expensive treatments are not working is painful. After my mom’s death, Mother’s Day became a time of aching deep in my heart as I missed her.
Eventually, I learned to celebrate what I did have. God did bless me with two children and now grandchildren. I still miss my mom, but I focus on the sweet memories I have with her.
As your church plans to celebrate Mother’s Day, ponder and pray. Here’s how the day can be made special, rather than hurtful:
- If you are giving gifts to moms, give them to all women. A single rose is sweet; a plaque about motherhood is not. A discount on an upcoming event would be greatly appreciated.
- Be sensitive when choosing categories to award. Better yet, stay away from awarding categories of motherhood.
- Give moms a break! Offer donuts, coffee, soft drinks, juices, and milk for breakfast for everyone before church services.
- Consider producing a montage video of women sharing what Mother’s Day means to them. Or it could be a slide show of pictures of women with other women who have played a mother role in their lives.
- Include a prayer time for women and moms facing challenges.
Mother’s Day is challenging. Turning it from a day of pain and hurt into a day of sweet memories for everyone is possible with some prayer, pondering, and preparation.
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.