One problem that we run into as an enlightened community addressing celebrations like Mothers’ Day is that not everyone has a mother in anything other than a biological sense. And, perhaps worse, some have been abused by their mothers.
This leads me to the question of whether this day is celebrating our individual mothers, or the notion of motherhood. Surely as the holiday stands today, we are doing both. I think for purposes of my sermon, I will want to focus on the latter.
Josh notes in his comment to the last post that the phrase “ideal mother” is cringe-worthy. I can’t argue with that, particularly in as much as the phrase suggests to a ranking. What I was trying to get to was the idea that there is an ideal of motherhood, as something that Plato or Aristotle would acknowledge.
Which brings me to the second big problem. I believe that fathers are nurturing and kind and strong enough to make tough decisions. So, can we celebrate motherhood without dismissing fatherhood? I hope so.
The final problem is that the Bible does not always shine a bright light on mothers. Think about Sarah sending Hagar away. Think about Rebekkah as so strongly favoring Jacob over Esau.