When the Truth (About Mom) Hurts

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Guest Post by Cecil May, III

Preachers approach Mother’s Day sermons with some trepidation these days. With the decline of the traditional family in recent times, and the suspicion that the “good ole days” were less good than we pretended at the time, some of my preacher friends have just dropped the Mother’s Day topic. It is often just too painful a subject for too many people.

Mothers pass away. I remember when people were careful to wear a red rose to church on Mother’s Day to honor living mothers and a white rose to honor mothers who were no longer living. A culture shift has people moving away from those kinds of noticeable distinctions. The happy Mother’s Day sermon can be challenging to sit through for those who are still grieving, though that grief may no longer be worn on our lapels.

Mother’s are absent. The cultural shift to a greater number of single-parent and two-income families means that children have limited accessibility to their hard-working moms. And then there are the mothers who leave, who are in jail, and who are zoned out through drug addiction. Not all of those situations result in resentment in children, but there are an increasing number of situations that make a Mother’s Day sermon tribute a painful thing to endure.

Mothers fail. The reality is that many children were not blessed with parents who had good parenting skills. In the worse case scenarios, mothers abuse children or fail to protect their children from abuse. For those who came out of these situations, Mother’s Day at church is at best their least favorite Sunday of the year. In the worst cases, a glowing Mother’s Day tribute is offensive.

What do we do, now?

*We face the truth. Be honest about our failings and about those who failed us, as a step toward healing (James 5:17).

*We give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7).

*We forgive, as God in Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).

*We help bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

*We rejoice in the Lord and find strength in Christ for all circumstances (Philippians 4:4, 13).

*We love. And hope. And keep the faith (1 Corinthians 13:13).
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Today’s Guest Post by By Cecil May III, minister for the Parkway Church of Christ in Fulton, Kentucky.

 

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