They shuffle into the sanctuary one by one. Some wear stress-strained faces and weary half-smiles. Many take up stations by the nearest exits. Others begin unpacking Mary Poppins bags full of sticker books, Cheerios, and Magna-Tiles—anything just to survive the sermon. One intercepts a beeline for microphone cables; another whispers reminders to stand up straight. Countless others’ faces are absent this week—wiping sick brows, grieving a private loss, or feverishly packing bags for a family vacation trip.
Each of these moms in your church community carries her own particular burdens from the week behind and for the week ahead. Whether a church leader, friend, or fellow mom in the trenches, how do you show these sisters they’re seen and loved? Here are four simple places to start:
Invest in their faith
Today’s moms swim in a cesspool of messaging—inside and outside the church—that tempts them to make either too much or too little of their role. Yet Scripture maintains: “Your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:3–4, emphases mine). Notably, this passage precedes Paul’s discussion of household roles and responsibilities later in the chapter—a fitting reminder that moms’ primary identity, calling, and security is Christ—not motherhood or anything else.
Beyond defining who they are, Scripture also guides the what and the how of moms’ daily lives as well. Paul tells us the Bible “completes” and “equips” believers for “every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17)—including raising children and managing busy homes. So, you can help build moms’ faith by bringing them back to its pages again and again.
Practically, consider three “P’s” here: Priority, Place, and Problems. How can you cast a vision for the priority of God’s word in moms’ busy lives? How can you create places for them to regularly sit under its teaching? And how can you problem-solve common obstacles there (scheduling complexities, children’s needs, physical and mental exhaustion, etc.)? Working to help moms sit under and dig into the word will powerfully refresh their souls and reset their sights on glorifying the Lord in and beyond the all-consuming moments of motherhood.
Invest in their flourishing
Along these lines, endeavor to see the moms around you as holistic beings—more than just tantrum-tamers and household-handlers. It’s easy to feel a loss of individuality when days are consumed by others’ needs, especially in those never-ending “little years.” Yet, we know God intends everyone—men and women together—to use their unique gifts to build up his church (1 Cor. 12:14–21). So, even while motherhood is often all-absorbing, look for ways to see a mom’s strengths and pour into her passions as an image-bearer of God.
One of the most meaningful ways my own pastors have done this is by taking an interest in my work outside the home and plugging me into ministry niches that fit my giftings. Think beyond the nursery or church kitchen to the singular makeup of each mom in your church—what is she good at? How could she build into the body? What does she enjoy doing? What is she learning, reading, dreaming about? As a church family, how can you nurture the many beautiful parts of her personhood? What resources could you pour into her? When you invest in a mom’s flourishing, you help everyone around her flourish as well.
Invest in their family
You can also express love and care to moms by investing in the ones they love and care for. Brothers who come alongside a dad for accountability and prayer pour into his wife too as she reaps the blessings of those times. Church members who stoop down to engage with toddlers in the foyer tangibly extend grace to the moms close by who feel overwhelmed and unseen. And older mentors who offer a gentle word of correction to a straying teen or befriend a lonely college student—they support and shepherd the moms behind those young people as well.
Ephesians 4 exhorts us “to grow up in every way . . . into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Eph. 4:15-16). What’s true for our church family is true for the nuclear family as well: when one “joint” is strengthened, counseled, encouraged, and served, the whole unit is built up in love—including Mom.
Invest in their fellowship
Lastly, you can love moms in your church by facilitating their fellowship in the body. From the beginning of creation, God told us it was “not good” to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and he goes on to unfold in Scripture a pattern of his people dwelling with him—and with each other. We are made for Christian community, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Heb. 10:25).
Yet fellowship is especially challenging in motherhood, when round-the-clock feeding, schooling, sports-shuttling, and more keep women isolated and alone. Some moms are on the go constantly between work and childcare and other commitments; others rarely leave their houses due to the demands within. How can you, as the church collective and an individual member of it, creatively connect with the moms around you? Maybe it’s altering programming times or childcare offerings to enable more moms to attend a Bible study or women’s event. Maybe it’s initiating a one-on-one mentorship relationship—an older mom showing up at a younger mom’s house with a hot cup of coffee and hands ready to fold laundry or load the dishwasher. Maybe it’s volunteering to watch kids or arranging a park meetup or naptime Zoom session so moms can spend time together. It can (and will need to) look different from mom to mom, church to church, but as you prayerfully, intentionally pursue moms’ fellowship, you offer them an important means of grace for their everyday lives.
Brothers and sisters, let’s work to faithfully, creatively, and personally love on moms through these means and many more. Yes, send the Mother’s Day cards, deliver the flowers, buy the chocolates—but above all that, look for practical, day-to-day ways to see and serve these women as their heavenly Father does. For as we love them, we love Christ.