If you grew up in the church, then you are familiar with the ‘church mother’. She may not be your mother, but she was everyone’s mother at church. You know the church mother, she sits on the front pew dressed in all white, including a big white hat. She keeps an attentive eye, much like a watchman on many things happening inside the church and for the most part, her mothering role is just that. The church mother is the one that will pull you to the side and tell you to spit out your chewing gum when the ushers didn’t catch you, stop running in church or talking during the Word; she is even the one that will keep a watchful eye on the young ladies in the church. In the movies she is depicted as a gossiper, the one that keeps the young girls in line by addressing their attire and the lengths of the hems of their dresses. She is also the one that sees Jezebel coming from a mile away.
Church mothers. Where are they now? In the churches of today, you rarely see that front pew occupied by the women in all white. Is it that the grandmothers of today are far too young or not seasoned enough to mother in the church? Have all the church mothers gone on to Glory? Why does it seem that this role has been retired in the church?
There has been a shift, where the church mother numbers dwindled and the number of spiritual mothers have increased, and the pastor’s wife has now become the church mother and the spiritual mother of her congregation. Some say these two roles are not the same and the ‘First Lady’ cannot be the church mother.
In a recent discussion with a former church mother, we went over some of the reasons why there are no longer many churches that have this role in place. The main reason discussed, was the backlash from today’s generation. In the spirit of offense, the children have become disrespectful and sometimes the church mother may have to deal with verbal repercussions from the child’s parent.
It has come down to church mothers simply not saying anything anymore. Another reason was that the pastor simply does not allow them to address certain issues anymore. Those issues are now handled under new protocol within the church.
Although church mothers were needed and the women of the church felt that they could go to the church mother in confidence about things they couldn’t share with the First Lady or the Pastor, the truth of the matter is, church mothering starts at home. Parents have to be accountable with how their children come to church and should make sure they come to church appropriate. Parents as well, especially mothers; be mindful of spandex, see through clothing and some styles and trends are cute, but not for church.
1 Timothy 2:8-10 KJV says, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broided hair, or gold, or peals, or costly array. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Now without taking on a religious undertone, ladies you know what is appropriate, enticing, flashy and clothing that makes you ‘feel yourself’. Those are the items you don’t wear to church. There is a dress code across many institutions that we abide by every day; at work, at school, and other festivities, so there should be one in the church as well. Mothers, your daughters are watching the way that you carry yourself. Legs out, cleavage, super short skirts and dressed, large splits and some things are just not modest apparel for a woman professing godliness.
Parents also must be accountable for the way their child conducts themselves in the house of God. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it' Proverbs 22:6. We would love for the church mother to take her stance again in the church, but we must begin to teach, train and discipline our children at home. No one has the right answers, and many are quick to say 'there is no parenting handbook'; but there now are a myriad of resources available in the world we live in today for guidance. One day our children will become parents, and we want them to instill good virtues and morals in their children that reflect good parenting.