Encourage a mother this Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day 2015.  My Mother’s Day sermon is ready and plans are made to honor our mothers here at Lakeside on Sunday. I am so very grateful for my own mother, Janice Corbin, who raised me to love the Lord and provided for me in countless ways. I am very grateful for my wife, Becky, who is a great mother to our two boys. So, Mother’s Day is a happy occasion at our house.  For some reason, this week I have thought about the fact that Mother’s Day is a hard day for many mothers – or those desperately desiring to be mothers.

So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept.” (Genesis 21:14–16, NASB95)

I won’t take the space to go into the details of this particular Old Testament passage, but suffice it to say that Hagar was caught in a very difficult family situation and she was left as a single mother who did not know how she would provide for her son. She wept. Unfortunately, there will be many ladies who are weeping on Mother’s Day.

Single mothers. Whatever the reasons, there will be many mothers in church on Mother’s Day who are single moms. For some, it could be their first Mother’s Day as a single mom.  Many single mothers have been through terribly hurtful situations and struggle financially. The overwhelming majority of single mothers never dreamed they would ever be single mothers, but they are and it is not easy.

Those who have lost their mother. I have known very faithful Christians who stay away from church on Mother’s Day because it is just too painful. Many others come on to church on Mother’s Day, but they fight through their own tears during the entire service.

Those who have lost children. No matter if it was an infant or a grown adult, the trauma of burying a child never goes away. Mother’s Day serves as yet another reminder of their loss.

Those who struggle to have children. The pain of infertility is very real. Mother’s Day is not a joyous day for those couples who want a child more than anything.

Broken relationships. Sometimes we forget that not every son or daughter goes to see or calls their mother on Mother’s Day.  These mothers live with the pain of broken family relationships every day.

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but these five scenarios came to mind as the most common reasons that many struggle on Mother’s Day. If your church has more than 50 people in attendance, I will near guarantee you that each of these five scenarios will be represented in the pews on Mother’s Day. Sometimes those of who who look forward to Mother’s Day don’t think about that fact.

So, this Mother’s Day make sure you honor your own mother, but why don’t you take it a step further. Encourage another mother who is hurting this weekend. It could be as simple as a good word of encouragement or it could mean blessing them financially or otherwise. Think about it. Pray about it. Then do something!

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