Mother’s Day—called Mothering Day in the U.K.—can be traced back to ancient pagan practices, but it has gone through a lot of changes and names to get to what we know today. The history of Mother’s Day can be traced back to celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. During the 1600s, the early Christians in England celebrated a day to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. By a religious order, the holiday was later expanded to include all mothers. Mother’s Day occurs in the U.S. once a year on the second Sunday of May, while Mothering Day in the U.K. is celebrated the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditional ways to celebrate Mother’s Day are to take mothers out to dinner and/or honor them with cards, flowers, or candy. Biblically, honoring mothers (and fathers) is commanded by God in both the Old and New Testaments (Deuteronomy 5:16: Ephesians 6:2).
The Bible does not command us to dedicate a special day to honor our mothers, nor is there anything in the Bible to condemn it. So the question is whether, considering the pagan roots of the holiday, Christians should celebrate Mother’s Day. The key is found in Romans 14:5-8: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
As Christians, we should be fully convinced that we are doing what God wants us to do. If we choose to celebrate Mother’s Day and we see nothing wrong with it, then we should celebrate with a clear conscience. If, however, celebrating is against one’s conscience, then celebrating is not appropriate. On the other hand, if one does not celebrate Mother’s Day or any other holiday for reasons of conscience, that is fine, as long as he/she does not become prideful, looking down on those who do celebrate. As with all issues not specifically addressed in Scripture, we have the freedom to celebrate or not celebrate Mother’s Day, according to personal preference.