"Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her…"
If you happened to be reading over at The Gospel Coalition website recently, Mother's Day is a real downer! Here are two posts I happened to read last week: When Mother's Day Is Hard and 9 Things You Should Know About Mothers and Mother's Day. The comments on the latter post were so depressing! (see below)
May 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM
"I think maybe I hate this holiday the most out of them all. And I have eight kids.
We are supposed to honor parents every day. All it does is expose those that have to make up being neglectful. Those that are competitive with their siblings. The women that really do think they are supposed to be the center of the universe. A self-centeredness that will not let an invitation to an outside event interfere with "their day".
Then we have to have all the reminders for those that it might not be a good day for which just leaves me confused. Can we just skip it?"
May 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM
"I loathe Mother's Day…..my Hubby and I struggle most days to honor our mom's let alone set aside a "special" day for them. They are selfish and at times very cruel to all their children. No matter what we do, at any time of the year, to honor them or make them feel special, it won't be good enough. And we don't dare do anything extra special for the dads on Father's Day because that inevitably leads to mom-meltdowns. I know my words don't sound godly or remotely christian but it's the truth. Add to that pain the heartache of hubby and I have suffered many miscarriages with no earthly children…..well, it only intensifies the pain.
I know we are not the only people who feel this way. Just about everyone we know does not look forward to Mother's (or Father's) Day for many, many different reasons.
In light of how our Moms are, we still believe in the biblical mandate to honor our parents. And we believe in doing this on a daily basis. It is irritating and frustrating for us that this man-made holiday causes so much heartache not just for us but for many people we know."
Then over on The Resurgence website (Mars Hill Church/Mark Driscoll), I came across a post by Elyse Fitzpatrick regarding Mother's Day. Her post was introduced as follows:
"From Justin Holcomb:
I am really thankful for Elyse Fitzpatrick’s ministry, writing, and friendship. She has released nearly a dozen grace-filled books and has been writing for Resurgence for years. I asked her to write a post for Mother’s Day because she was the best person I could imagine for the topic. Her words are important for women and for church leaders in how to best approach this holiday with care and grace."
Here are some highlights from Fitzpatrick's post entitled Happy Daughter's Day:
"Well . . . here it comes again: Mother’s Day—or, as I like to call it, the Great Day of Guilt and Discontent. Ugh…
Mother’s Day is the Law—it breeds discontent and guilt…
Here’s what’s wrong with Mother’s Day (and every other celebration of our own goodness): Any time you seek satisfaction, honor, and glory in yourself you’re going to be dissatisfied—that applies to both women and men. Any time you look for someone to give you something that will make you feel like you’ve done a good job, or are finally a person of worth, you’re going to be disappointed. Men will be disappointed because their wives or moms don’t appreciate how much they tried to appreciate them. Women will be disappointed because no matter how hard our husband and children seek to lavish us with praise, flowers, and gifts, there is always someone you know who was given much more than you."
Where are these negative attitudes towards Mother's Day originating? Suddenly, I remembered a post I read the day after Mother's Day 2009 called On Second Thought: Why Mother's Day is a Bad Idea. The author was none other than Al Mohler. Here is an excerpt from that post:
"Mother’s Day is a bad idea because it subverts the reality of faithful mothering and robs faithful mothers of their true glory. Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God. Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers. Children, young and old, who ignore and dishonor their mothers by word and by life throughout the year, assuage their guilt by making a big deal of Mother’s Day.
So, Mother’s Day is a bad idea."
Dee and I had only been blogging for seven weeks when Mohler's post was published, and as moms we had to chime in. Here is Dee's rebuttal, which we republished last May: Al Mohler: Mother's Day Is a Bad Idea.
This year Mohler was silent on his website regarding Mother's Day, but he did send out this Tweet on Sunday, May 12, at 5:05 a.m.:
"But brothers, as you preach keep it on the Gospel. Hell will be filled with people who loved their mothers. Preach Jesus, and him crucified."
Looks like the Calvinista commander sent out instructions to his followers rather early on Mother's Day, and they wouldn't dare disappoint him!
Sorry, I just don't get it! Why the Bah, Humbug attitude toward that one special day of the year when we honor mothers?
Last Saturday I was in a small town in the northeastern part of our state (North Carolina), and after having read those two posts over at The Gospel Coalition, I ran some errands. Mother's Day seemed to be the talk of the town, and I was overjoyed! One middle-aged man wished his matronly friend a happy mother's day while a dad and his small son were shopping for a card and gift for a special mom. I never heard one negative word about Mother's Day.
I was grateful to spend yesterday afternoon with my mom and daughters, who are establishing a legacy of honoring the nurturers in their lives. I pray they will turn a deaf ear toward the naysayers that, for some reason, seem to be confined to the Calvinista camp. Hmmm…
Why are they so negative?
It will be interesting to see if there is a repeat performance when Father's Day rolls around…
Please know that my heart goes out to those who desire to be mothers but for whatever reason are not. Does that mean we should not have one day on the calendar to honor moms? How unfortunate that some Christians are attempting to sway public opinion against Mother's Day.
For the moms (and grandmas) out there, here's a beautiful song which Dee and I dedicate to you. Thanks for all you do for future generations!
Lydia's Corner: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23 John 13:31-14:14 Psalm 119:17-32 Proverbs 15:31-32