When I was a mom of young kids, I wanted to practice hospitality more, but I was perpetually exhausted. I didn’t have the capacity to make our apartment presentable, plan and cook a meal, and clean up while still caring for two energetic boys who woke up throughout the night. But thanks to a young couple named David and Shelby, I didn’t have to.
They regularly visited our home and seamlessly wove themselves into our lives through simple acts of love: reading a bedtime story with our boys, coming to play games after the kids were asleep, bringing a meal component, or offering to babysit and then staying to chat when we returned. I eagerly received their hospitality in my own home.
Through their lives, and the lives of others in my local church, I witnessed the love of Christ while parenting little ones and it inspired me to care for others—even if their season of life didn’t match my own.
Encouraging Moms in the Church
Being a mother, especially to children under age three, can be exhausting. Moms of little ones often go days without much adult conversation and miss portions of church services to care for their children. They may struggle to find relationships beyond those with other moms and feel like all their conversations center on surviving a new parenting phase.
The Bible exhorts us to encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11; Rom. 1:12) and not to limit that to only those in a similar season of life. The church is intended to connect across the generations (Ps. 145:4; Titus 2:3–4). Whether single, an empty nester, married without kids, or overflowing with children, you can encourage fellow believers—including young mothers. God can use seemingly mismatched life seasons to sharpen the faith of young moms as each of us step out of our own bubbles and onto the common ground of connection in Christ.
But sometimes it can be challenging to figure out how to do this well. Here are five ways you can encourage moms of young children in your church.
1. Seek out moms after church for conversation in an area where children can roam and play.
Take the initiative to greet a mom juggling a baby in her arms or tailing a toddler around the lobby. Even if the conversation is brief or interrupted multiple times, this simple act communicates you cared enough to seek her out—and you may be the only person at church who did so that particular Sunday. If you don’t know where all the parents disappear to after church, figure out where the kids are playing and chances are the caretakers will be close.
2. Offer to host a meal at the mom’s home.
I eagerly received their hospitality in my own home.
Hospitality can be daunting when a home is taken over by a toddler tornado and the mother is sleep-deprived, but she still needs community. Dragging all the baby or toddler paraphernalia to another house can be challenging, but having someone step into her home to provide the hospitality can alleviate some stress. Being at home allows the kids to maintain a normal rhythm and the mom has more ways to engage her child when she has the advantage of being at home.
3. Text a Bible verse and short prayer.
Sending a specific verse and letting a mother know you’re praying for her can point her to Jesus amid a busy day of diaper changes and board books, convincing a toddler to nap, and sweeping food off the floor again. This simple act reminds the recipient that she’s not alone and directs her gaze to God. The Lord may use your text to encourage her on a particularly taxing day.
4. Offer to take a neighborhood prayer walk together.
Plopping kids in a stroller and going for a walk is a great way to occupy the kids and free up the mom for conversation. A walk can even be transformed into a time to pray for the neighborhood together. You can suggest doing a prayer walk on the way to a local park or coffee shop. As you stroll, pray for pertinent community issues, residences you pass, businesses in the area, and local schools. This time of prayer can help the mom feel more connected to you and to the larger community beyond her home.
5. Suggest doing a Bible study together.
Motherhood can feel lonely, but having a Christian friend invite a mom to study Scripture together can be a powerful encouragement. Some women may have no family close by, budget restraints, little ones who struggle to be left alone with sitters, or a spouse who works long hours, making it difficult to join a church group study.
The goal is to spur one another on in our faith—not to add stress.
Offer to do a study together that fits with both your schedules—on a lunch hour, during naptime, after the kids are tucked into bed. Communicate about what type of study is possible given time limitations with young ones. The goal is to spur one another on in our faith—not to add stress.
As we seek to build one another up, let us not neglect encouraging young moms who may feel isolated from the body of Christ as they navigate motherhood. May the Lord build biblical community and spur us on in our faith as we reach out to those in a different season of life.