When I was about twelve, I was asked to help with a special assignment at our church on Mother’s Day. As each mother entered, I was told to hand them a pink carnation and say, “Happy Mother’s Day!” I distinctly remember my follow-up question: How will I know who is a mother?

These kinds of gestures are certainly thoughtful and meant to be celebratory, but, oh, how narrow-minded we can be on this holiday! As a believer in Jesus, be encouraged this Mother’s Day not for the reasons the world labels it as “happy,” but find joy in the precious words of Jesus that bless and exhort each who are uniquely touched by the emotions that accompany this particular day.

For Those Who Have Lost A Child

I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38)

You likely enter Mother’s Day with empty hands and a longing heart. Whether it’s because of a miscarriage, disease, or other tribulation, there are so many tender emotions tied to Mother’s Day because of layered grief. Dear woman, be encouraged by the depth and width of the love of Jesus. There is no hardship or suffering that is great enough or powerful enough to separate us from the love of Jesus. It’s because of this immeasurable love that we need not be consumed by grief or bitterness. It’s because of this immeasurable love that you put one foot in front of the other, still loving those whom God has put in your midst. You are embraced by the powerful love of Christ, and nothing can loosen His grip.

For Those Who Long for Children

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him” (Psalm 28:7)

Mother’s Day may be surrounded by pangs of yearning, even bitterness, as deep wants fill your heart. At the beginning of Psalm 28, David, secure in his status before God, pleads with him in earnestness: “To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.” David cries out with honest longing, producing bold and passionate words. Your fervent prayers do not fall on deaf ears, but they are heard by a God who is steadfast and faithful. And because of this, joy can be found in the midst of the longing. And not a joy that brings mere smiles, but a joy that produces trust that God will provide exactly what is needed for today, and a surety that tomorrow remains in His perfect, Sovereign hands. This assurance gives you the ability to praise the One who is your strength and shield, even in the midst of questioning.

For Those Who Feel Inadequate in Motherhood

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Whether it’s never-ending weariness, teenage rebellion, or a short fuse with toddlers, our inadequacies are often magnified in parenting, but the reality is, in our own strength and might, we are not able. Satan, though, tries his hardest to make us believe otherwise. And so, we try to parent by our own strength or attempt to mimic that person we believe is doing it perfectly, but we inevitably fail. When that happens, our insecurities scream loud, confounding the promises of God. In order to begin to understand the sufficiency of our Savior, we need to be able to admit that without Him, we are not able to fulfill our responsibility as a mother. We can’t parent perfectly, which is exactly why we need Jesus every day, every hour, every moment. Stand in awe at the reality that He has made you mother and allow your inadequacies to shine a light on the all-sufficient grace of God. Because of this grace, you have exactly what you need for the ins and outs of each day. You have access to His wisdom, His strength, and His love. Lean into His promise to you today.

For Those Who are Spiritual Mothers

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:3,4)

You are equally treasured, and your influence is far-reaching. Parents, whether biologically or through adoption, are not the only ones who spiritually mentor their children. The call to help a child grow in their relationship with Jesus is profound and necessary in the body of Christ. This relationship may start out a little uncomfortable, and it may be discouraging at times, but it can also be filled with joy and fulfillment. And behind the scenes, the work done on your knees is just as essential. The children God has placed in your life will benefit greatly from these prayers and will be blessed by your stories, your love, and your relationship with Jesus. I have been the recipient of spiritual mothering in the absence of my own mom, so I can attest to the significance of your precious, attentive heart. Seek out those who need to hear of the greatness of the Lord and know that our God will use your witness in generations to come.

Rejoice with those who rejoice this Mother’s Day. Give thanks for the gift of life and the beauty and privilege of motherhood, both spiritually and physically. And weep with those who weep on this Mother’s Day, keeping your eyes attentive to those who are downtrodden and unhappy. Far greater than providing gifts to those with kids in toe is the privilege of loving, encouraging, and blessing each woman of God in the place He has called them.

About the Author:

Katie Polski

Katie is wife to Chris, a PCA pastor at Trinity church in Kirkwood, MO, and together they have three children, Ella, J-Rod, and Lily. Katie works as the music director at Trinity and serves on the Women’s Ministry Committee. She also spends much of her time writing, playing piano, leading women’s Bible studies, and speaking to women’s groups about the joy she has found in Christ. Katie graduated from Covenant College with a BA in English Education and has served on the board of Covenant. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Theology from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. For more information, as well as various blog entries, you can visit her website at www.katiepolski.com