Mother’s Day was last weekend. Father’s Day is around the corner. Every child who has died had a mother and a father. They may also have a step-mom or step-dad, probably some grandparents too. So there may several mom types or dad types who are grieving and who don’t know what to do on these days celebrating motherhood and fatherhood. The loss of a child brings up certain questions including “Am I still a parent?”
Let’s think about this from the beginning. A man and a woman made love. A baby, a small human, was conceived. God oversaw her growth and development in the womb. God saw the child. Whether you are the birth parents of that child, or her adoptive parents, you are her parents from the moment of conception, or the moment you conceived of the thought of adoption. The child is an eternal being, made in the image of God, under His watchful eye, with plans of important work for that child to do to glorify her creator. The child is eternal even if her life on this earth does not last many years, months, or days. You are her parent then and now. Yes, you are still her parents.
Here are some scriptures to back up my statements:
- “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16
- “Then God said, ‘let us make man in our image, in our likeness…’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
- Paul says “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain… I desire to depart and be with Christ,...” Philippians 1:21,23 This passage is rich with implications of life beyond the grave.
- “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” I Corinthians 15:20 The fact of the risen Christ is historically proved in I Corinthians 15: 5-8. As Christ is living after His death, so shall we be living after ours. We are eternal beings.
For bereaved parents, it is often painful on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. While others in your congregation are receiving words of encouragement and perhaps a rose, what do you do? It’s a dilemma. God has taught us to think of Him as Father (in the prayer He taught the disciples in Matthew 6:9); and has used the images of both mother (in Isa 66:13 Isa 49:15) and father (Ps 68:5) to help us understand the nature of our relationship with Him. He knows both the mother’s hearts and a father’s. He understands each or you and why the dilemma is troublesome.
In my opinion, you are a parent and deserve a rose. But if you feel more discouraged or lonely because of being recognized in this way, you have permission to make your own choices and to not accept that rose. God knows your heart and your heart-ache. Like He saw your child’s development in the womb, He sees yours now. He sees you and knows you and loves you completely. He offers His love to comfort you even in this dilemma.
The is God speaking to you: “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;..” Isaiah 66:13