Before getting into what Mother’s Day is, we should look at what this holiday is not.
Mother’s Day is not in the Bible.
We can find verses where mothers are recognized. Proverbs 31 states that the children of a godly woman will “arise and call her blessed.” The Apostle Paul called attention to the contribution of Timothy’s mother & grandmother in his life (2 Tim. 1:5). And, we can find verses in the Bible about honoring our parents which goes beyond verbal recognition and certainly extends beyond what is done on one special day (Ex. 20:12; Matt. 15:4-6; Eph. 6:1-3). But, Scripture does not command us, or even suggest, that we set aside a special day to do so. Consequently, this is a holiday about which we must develop personal convictions for celebrating it and we must also respect others for their opinions about it. Let’s apply Romans 14:5-8 to Mother’s Day.
Now let’s consider what Mother’s Day is . . .
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate motherhood.
God created women as the ones to bear children. But, there is more that goes into being a parent than biology such as nurturing and teaching them. Consequently, on mother’s day we also celebrate those who have adopted, caring for and loving the child as one’s own. In celebrating motherhood we thereby honor God’s design. Let’s be sure to direct praise to Him, not just to the mothers among us.
Mother’s day is a time to make moms feel special.
Motherhood is an awesome responsibility that isn’t easy. Sometimes moms can use a reminder of how worthwhile it is to be a mom. Let’s get beyond the casual greetings to sharing how they have made a positive impact in our lives so “she who gave you birth be joyful!” (Prov. 23:25).
Mother’s Day is merely one day to honor our mothers.
The Ten Commandments include that we are to honor our mothers and fathers (Ex. 20:12), a command which Jesus reinforced (Matt. 15:4-6). Ephesians 6:1-3 instructs us to both honor and obey them. All of these commands fail to provide any time reference, meaning that we should honor them all of our days, not just on Mother’s Day. Let’s use Mother’s Day as a reminder for how we should treat them throughout the year.
Mother’s Day is hard for those whose mothers have not followed God’s design.
Not all mothers provide their children with the caring nurture and love God intends. Some mothers abandon, neglect, or abuse their children. Mother’s Day serves as a negative reminder for those who have suffered because of the mother they had. They are not able to “arise and call her blessed” (Prov. 31:28). As followers of Christ, we need to work through our past to get to the point where we can extend forgiveness, just as Jesus forgave those who put Him on the cross, but Mother’s Day will undoubtedly still be difficult. Remember that Proverbs 31 refers to the mothers of “noble character” (Prov. 31:10). Let’s not judge people who struggle on this day but instead be compassionate and understanding.
Mother’s Day is a day to remember mothers who are no longer with us.
Many will only have memories on this holiday. Especially for those with a recent loss, but even for those whose mother died years ago, this holiday can stir up grief all over again. Some might even feel guilty, regretting that they didn’t take the time to express their love and appreciation while their mother still lived. Let’s be aware of those around us who need some comfort.
Mother’s Day is a time to be sensitive.
As already noted, not everyone’s mother is still living. Not everyone has a good mother. Some want to be mothers and can’t. While we might want to use this holiday to celebrate motherhood in the church, let’s do it in a way that is respectful and encouraging to all.
Also See: Mother’s Day Resources