The scene repeats itself at churches across the land. It’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and the service revolves around this parent. Certainly we do well to honor or celebrate mothers and fathers but let’s be sensitive.
Sitting among your congregation will be men and women who:
never had children
can’t have children and ache because of it
lost a child to death
hope to yet have children
Sitting among your congregation will be people, young and old, who grieve or struggle because they:
lost their mother or father to death, some even recently
never knew their mother or father
were abused or neglected by a mother or father
are estranged from a mother or father
I know of many people who stay home on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because of the way the church handles this holiday. It’s too painful. It isn’t relevant. — How sad that they don’t feel like they’ll get anything out of gathering with the Body that day. How sad that they don’t trust us to be sensitive enough to their situations. How sad that they don’t seek comfort on this hurtful day among the Body of Christ but rather feel the need to retreat.
How to be Sensitive on Mother’s and Father’s Day
We can start by thinking through:
- how much emphasis is placed on it
- how things are worded
- how we single out people … careful not to make one look superior to the other
- how gifts are distributed
- how obvious we make it that some in your midst are not mothers or fathers
We need to be careful at the same time that we are not being fake in our representation or obvious in our inclusion of people in these different situations.
The way to avoid that is to have a year-round environment …
where people in all statuses and situations of life feel accepted and like they belong.
where individuals’ life stages are acknowledged and needs are met but yet they are not segregated from the whole.
It’s called body life … unity … true fellowship … where we can meet with all of our differences and be better because of it.
In this kind of environment you will have more of a tendency to simply be sensitive and not have to guard yourself on holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day. You will come across genuine because you are. If this kind of environment isn’t built throughout the year, special emphasis on certain segments can make others feel like they aren’t important or that their pain will be ignored.