Each day this week we're featuring a post from women in different stages of life in regards to Mother's Day. Our prayer is that you'll be encouraged by how each woman is trusting God with where He has her.
“If you’re a mom, would you please stand up so we can honor you today?” Almost every woman above the age of 25 stood up, and it felt quite evident that I was the only woman older than 30 who was not standing up. It was Mother’s Day at the church I went to in Michigan.
Mother’s Day. It’s the day we celebrate all moms for their endless love and care for their children, for the wounded knees and broken hearts they’ve tenderly mended, for the sleepless nights and countless meals they’ve made. Mother’s Day isn’t just another Hallmark holiday, it’s a wonderful day to honor our moms because they’ve sacrificed so much for us, their children. However, for some of us, Mother’s Day is hard.
As much as I love my mom and want to celebrate her, Mother’s Day has become the one Sunday I dread going to church every year. I dread this special day, as I anticipate sitting alone as an older single woman, surrounded by mothers with their pretty corsages standing to be applauded for the way they love their children. I do not have children to love. I try to hold back tears, feeling the sting of reality in my heart and the pain of empty arms. I tell myself to hold back the
It’s not always a pity party though. Aching hearts and silent grief on Mother’s Day are very real for many single women. The pain of childlessness isn’t just a married couple’s grief. So, what does it look like for single women to embrace the pain and beauty of Mother’s Day in a God-honoring way? Here are a few thoughts.
Dear single women who long to be called “mom,” first, let us remember that our identity must be found in Christ alone! Single, childless, married, divorced, short, tall, Asian, American, etc., are words used to describe us, but they do not define us. Adding “mom” to the list will not add value to who we already are in Christ: redeemed (Eph. 1:7); righteous (Rom. 3:21-26); His chosen ones, holy and beloved (Col. 3:12).
Second, though many of us long to have children of our own, God’s Word tells us that we can have spiritual children that outnumber any biological children we may have (Isaiah 54:1). God wants to fulfill our longing for children through discipleship. The call to discipleship is a command to all believers in (Matthew 28:19-20), and in Titus 2 women are specifically commanded to teach younger women.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Jill, that’s too much to ask. It hurts too much to be around other people’s children. The engagement, wedding, and baby announcements on Facebook are more than enough to bear.” I hear you in this, sister. I really do.
I grieve with you for the children you’ve not born, for the wedding you’ve not had, or for the broken marriage you’ve experienced. But, as John Piper instructs, let us, “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that he’s given you.”1
Sisters, today, let us grieve our losses and look for the opportunities God has given us to love our friends’ children, to hug the moms around us, to invest in the next generation and to trust our loving Father who is working all things together for our good.
And a note to the married women and mothers who may have a single friend, we need you. We need women to come along side us and teach us how to be women of the Word, not of the world. We need married friends to welcome us into their families, to share the joys and sorrows of life with you and your children. Sometimes, we even need a place to spend holidays because we live far away from our families.
So, those of you who will celebrate Mother’s Day this week as a mom, will you find the single friend who longs to be married and have children, put your arm around her, and pray with them that God will answer their desires? And then keep praying, even when this week is over?
Let us live together—married or single, mother or not—like redeemed, righteous, beloved children of God!