Dear Pastors, Priests, Rabbis and all other religious leaders,
How many of your church attendees are childless not by choice?
Church can be extremely hard for people like me (childless). It should be a place for peace…but the place is full of families with children and a constant reminder of my failure. Because of the support/lack of support I felt within church, I stepped away from the church and God for a very long time. Why? I looked for answers and couldn’t find any.
- Genesis 11:30, God repaid Abraham’s faithfulness by granting him a son
- Genesis 25:21, Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, Rebekah to become pregnant. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayers.
- Psalm 113:9, the Lord gives the childless woman a family, making her a “happy mother”
I am not questioning the bible.
I am not questioning God (even though I have many times). But what I am doing is asking for help in interpreting words in the bible which make it sound like we just didn’t want it enough, didn’t pray hard enough or didn’t have enough faith. Ouch.
In reading about childlessness in the bible, I found an (irresponsible, in my opinion) author who said infertility can be cured “if the couple has truly put the Lord first in their lives.” Oh! Infertility isn’t agonizing enough…now a stranger is questioning our commitment to God. This comment and others like it are dangerous and turn us away from the one place we should always be welcome.
Why am I writing this to you? Because the second Sunday of every May is Mother’s Day…..which is a special kind of torture. Think about it. Are mothers given flowers before the service? Do you talk about the value of the mother to families and to the world. Do you ask all Moms to stand and be recognized? Oh….(as an after thought/consolation prize)…..those other women who don’t have children!?
Please remember that Mother’s Day isn’t a celebration for every woman in your church.
I am not asking you to NOT celebrate those who are mothers. But please acknowledge all women…and recognize that there are women sitting in your church who are hurting especially on Mother’s Day. What can you do?
- Acknowledge that not every woman is a mother
- Say a special prayer for those who are childless not by choice and who have lost children. Please don’t let this opportunity pass.
- Provide an opportunity for childless women to meet other childless women
- Proactively recognize that many childless women will not attend services on Mother’s Day
- Recommend resources
- Make it known that you are available. And supportive.
This post isn’t intended to discuss whether or not someone should worship and attend church. It is a personal decision which I won’t debate.22