Mother’s Day is a big holiday for many churches, and understandably so. We all typically want to honor our mothers and this is biblical. It’s important, however, to remember that for many, Mother’s Day can be (and often is) a painful day. If not handled thoughtfully, how we address Mother’s Day can increase the pain that some will experience and none of us want to do that. Here are five things to consider on Mother’s Day that can help you avoid this.
Consider Those Who Are Hurting on Mother’s Day
Making a quick list of those who might find Mother’s Day painful can help you avoid adding to their pain. There are women who, for any number of reasons, want to be mothers but aren’t and may never be. But the list extends beyond adults in our church. Children who do not live with their mothers may find Mother’s Day difficult and confusing. Kids who have lost their mothers through death often associate Mother’s Day with pain and sadness. Keep these kids in mind as you plan your lesson activities for the day.
Consider the Lesson
Children’s Bible teachers often feel obligated to acknowledge each and every holiday. It’s important to keep in mind that making a huge event out of every holiday is not the 11th Commandment! If you think developing an entire lesson around Mother’s Day would do more harm than good for certain children, then consider downplaying Mother’s Day Just a bit. One idea would be to plan a non-Mother’s Day lesson, and then hand out small gifts at the end of the lesson for children to give to their mothers or other female caregivers. Children who do not have a mother or female caregiver, could be given a special treat for themselves. You can place all of the gifts in identical bags so that no child feels left out or excluded.
Consider Their Participation
If you decide to go ahead with a Mother’s Day lesson, you should keep in mind that vulnerable children can still participate in Mother’s Day activities, especially if an effort is made to help the kids focus on other positive females in their lives. Other such women can include grandmothers, aunts, sisters, step mothers, foster mothers, etc. Help children understand that sometimes people may leave our lives, but God brings new people into our lives to help us and love us. Focusing on these blessings can help relieve some of the pain of loss. Explain how many people love someone who is “like a mother,” and this is an equally special relationship.
Consider Your Wording
If you are using crafts or printables that use mother-specific wording, you might want to consider also having a printable available with more general terms. Crafts that allow children to customize their work for different types of female caregivers are also helpful. Sometimes changing the wording is all that is needed.
Consider the Need for Special Attention
If you have children in your class whom you know are feeling sensitive about this holiday, plan a few extra minutes to minister to them privately if you think it will help. A special individual prayer time, or even an individual treat can go along way to helping comfort a little hurting heart during this time.
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.