(originally published on July 4, 2009)
That’s what I’ve been accused of at our church. I’ve been told, for multiple years now, that I hate Mother’s Day.
The truth is, I am not a fan of Father’s Day or Mother’s Day.
Don’t get me wrong – I love both of my parents, and I really enjoyed the coffee mug my son gave me a couple weeks ago….
But, I struggle with how we, as the church, have let Hallmark dominate our church calendar for these two weekends out of the year without regard for the families and singles in the world who ache on these days.
There are couples in our sanctuaries and auditoriums who have struggled with infertility for years. Mother’s Day is another reminder for them that they do not yet have a little one to call their own.
And, because of that, every rose that you hand out to mothers and grandmothers during your worship service is a dagger in their heart.
We are called to care for widows and orphans… I don’t think that includes spending a Sunday reminding them of how important having a father is in the life of a child. Yet, that’s often the sermon you hear preached on Father’s day.
Trust me, the widows in your church know how important a father is – your reminding them will only make the hurt go deeper.
As “The Church” I think we’ve struggled with equipping and embracing the single parent home. The church has historically made a hard stand against divorce and, because of this, I think many have been wary to reach out to homes that some might label incomplete. Some of us offer parenting small groups that often split husbands and wives into separate discussion groups for role specific conversations and equipping. When we do this, we single out moms and dads who are faced with raising their kids without a spouse. Have you ever thought of that?
Some friends of mine who serve in churches across the country got together a few months ago to talk through what our faith communities do for Mother’s Day.
You can find the audio of that conversation at the 30 minutes mark of this podcast found over at CMEdge.
So, how do you balance celebrating parents while still respecting those in your church who find themselves hurting on these two days of the year?
I challenge you to try something new next year when these two holidays roll around.
Maybe you can cancel your monthly men’s breakfast ministry and instead enlist those men to mentor kids who do not have father’s in their home. You’ll turn your Father’s Day service into a push for caring for widows and orphans.
Maybe you’ll make a difference in the world around you by partnering with a project like this:
Maybe you’ll use Mother’s Day as a launching point to begin caring for orphans in your community and in the world. You’ll give your entire congregation the ability to be mothers and fathers to kids they’ve never met. Maybe you’ll make a difference in the world around you by partnering with a project like this:
Whatever it is that you do next year, try something new.
If you have suggestions, or other things that you’ve been a part of, share them in the comments section.
We want to hear your thoughts.