United Methodist Church

218 College Street

P. O. Box 327

Ducktown, Tennessee 37317

Sunday School:  10:30 a.m.

Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.

Rev. "T" Reamsnyder, Preaching

A Mother's Love

Proverbs 31:10-31

keep you Bibles open as we will look more closely

Someone wrote, "Mother's Day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produce to wash dirty faces, all the old gum they held in their hands, all the noses they wiped, and all the bloody knees they 'made well' with their kisses.

"This is the day mothers are rewarded for washing sheets in the middle of the night, driving kids to school when they missed the bus, and enduring all those football and soccer games in the rain. It's a day of appreciation for making your children finish something they said they couldn't do, not believing them when they said, 'I hate you,' and sharing their good times and their bad times."

So, what are mothers? Well, mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies. Some mothers are gardeners. Mothers are nurses and doctors and psychologists and counselors and chauffeurs and coaches.

Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, and shapers of attitudes. Mothers are soft voices saying, "I love you." And mothers are a link to God, a child's first impression of God's love. Mothers are all these things and much, much more.

One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one."

The Lord turned and said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart.

“She is to have a lap that will still appear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on black coffee and leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands."

"Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that's impossible." "It's not the six pairs of hands that bother me," said the Lord, "It's the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, 'What are you kids doing in there?' she already knows what they're doing in there."

"She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just did something wrong and communicate love and understanding without saying a word."

"That's too much." said the angel, "You can't put that much in one model. Why don't you rest for a while and resume your creating tomorrow?"

"No, I can't," said the Lord. "I'm close to creating someone very much like myself. I've already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick, who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger and who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower."

Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely and said, "She's too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You'd be surprised at how much this mother can do."

"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason and compromise and persuade."

Then the angel reached over and touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn't put that much in one model." "That's not a leak," said the Lord. "That's a tear."

"What's a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well it's for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You're a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn't put it there."

Mother’s Day, the day when families pay special tribute to their moms in various ways. We take them out to dinner, or buy them special gifts… but the sad thing is that often times Mother’s Day is really just a time when families try to atone for an entire year of neglect and disrespect, and for a lack of appreciation. It shouldn’t be that way, but often it is.

Now most people agree, whether they are Christians or not, that we are living in a post-Christian era; that doesn’t mean that the Church is dead, or that Christianity is dead, what it means is that the influence that Biblical Christianity once had on our nation and our culture has diminished to a point where it wouldn’t be recognized by Christians even 100 years ago. And that includes morality, education, social action, and maybe, most importantly, parenting.

Basically what’s happened is that secular humanistic reasoning has taken the place of Biblical truth when it comes to setting the parameters for the home and family. By contrast; a Christian should be one who sees the home, and marriage, and parenting as framed within the parameters of God’s infallible and authoritative Word (The Bible).

The truth of God’s Word should not only shape our beliefs and practices in all areas of life, but they are absolutes that guide us through life. And so our opinions and beliefs are only legitimately Christian, to the degree that they line up with God’s Word. The problem is that today, our minds have been darkened by secularism and sin, and a lot of folks can’t tell if something is Biblical or secular at all.

We expect that from the world, but we’re actually seeing the same thing within the Church as well. The trend that we’re seeing in the Church is that church folks are acknowledging the sufficiency of God and the Bible, but they fail to see a need to subject their personal opinions, reasoning, and emotions to the guidelines of Scripture in all areas of life, including what happens in the home. We read something like Romans 12:2 which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” And we think that only applies to our moral behavior, but not to things like marriage, or raising kids. Instead; we leave those things up to psychologists and talk show hosts. But, ALL of our relationships should be directed by the truth of Scripture, whether its education, finances, political involvement, our jobs, our marriages, or parenting.

Now before I get into this passage; two points of random knowledge. Proverbs 10 – 31 are an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew. In-other-words, in the literal Hebrew language, each verse begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet, in order. Isn’t God cool? Secondly; the word or phrase that’s translated as “virtuous” is the Hebrew word “chayil” which literally means “strength and valor, and in all ways excellent.” Throughout the Bible this word is translated as able or capable 8 times, it’s translated as strength 10 times and as valiant over 40 times. And basically it refers to moral strength, integrity and efficiency.

Now as we look through these verses, we get a good understanding of what the writer meant by “virtuous.” I see at least 5 qualities, there might be more, but I see five.

1. If you look at verses 11, 12 and 23, you’ll see that she is trustworthy and devoted. She has her husband’s confidence, and she enhances his reputation.

2. She is a woman of diligence and wisdom. We see that in verses 13 – 19. She’s not afraid to work, she’s a wise shopper, and she plans ahead.

3. She is a giving person. Verse 20 says that she extends her hand to the poor. In other words, she has planned ahead well enough to be able to not only take care of the family’s needs, but also the needs of the poor in her society.

4. She is dependable. We see that in verses 15, 21, 27. When adversity comes, be it bad weather, or something else… you know she’s already got a plan to deal with whatever it might be.

5. And lastly; she is a woman who loves the Lord. We see that by reading all the verses of our text. She is someone who is guided and directed by God’s Word and God’s wisdom.

Now ladies, you might read through that and say to yourselves, “This isn’t describing a woman, its describing Super Woman!” And that’s actually a pretty good assessment. It’s describing a woman who is living in a supernatural way with a supernatural God. And it has to be that way because there are few things that are more important to society than godly mothers. The Bible is clear in its teachings, both explicit and implicit, that the family is the foundation of society. And while fathers are responsible for the way the family goes, mothers are the glue that holds the family together.

And so; since moms are so important to the family and society, I want to really quickly look at some of the problems they face, so that the rest of us can really show our appreciation this Mother’s Day and every day of the year.

First of all, MEN… we need to look at motherhood and femininity with respect, (femininity, not feminism). The Bible warns us over and over again about the anti-Christian forces that are constantly at work to get us to adopt the values and attitudes of the world. But again; Romans 12 tells us that we are not to be conformed to the worlds patten. We aren’t supposed to be shoved into the mold that the world has for us. Let me just be blunt and tell you what I mean by that… Motherhood is more important than having a career! Not saying women can’t do both… I’m just saying that it’s important that they understand which one is more important!

Secondly; 2nd Timothy 3:1 – 5 says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness by denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

Now you notice what Paul was saying? He told Timothy that the perilous times will come in the last days because people will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money. Boasting, pride and blasphemy are all sins of pride that comes from loving oneself. Disobedience to parents and un-thankfulness also come from a sense of over exaggerated self-worth. It goes on… but this is the world we live in today. And so; what do you think this does to the woman, who by the very nature of her creation, is geared to needing love, and affection, and reassurance? What does it do when the husband loves himself more than his wife, or when he loves money more than his wife?

You see; Satan’s first attack was against the wife, and it immediately affected the home. He still attacks us today, including moms and wives. But then you couple that with the fact that people, sometimes husbands, are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, they are proud… kids are sometimes disobedient, people are unthankful, unloving… and these humanistic, unbiblical ideas and beliefs and behavioral patterns that affect the family, and the home, and especially the mother, because she is the keeper of the home.

Now those of us who are husbands and fathers… we need to take note of this, because even though our wives are to be the keepers of the home… we’re supposed to be the protectors of the home. In-other-words, we should not allow these sorts of things to infiltrate our homes, and our lives and the lives of our families. We can’t do a whole lot about it out in the world, but we can make sure that it isn’t infiltrating our homes!

Turn with me really quickly to Ephesians 5:23-29 (Read).

That passage clearly says that husbands are the head of the house, but also it says that we are to love our wives, just like Jesus loves the Church. In-other-words, we are to love our wives sacrificially…

And let me just say, if we fail to love our wives like this, what we’re doing is disobeying a commandment given to us from God’s Word, and we are distorting the picture that marriage is an example of Christ and the Church to the world.

You’ve heard the saying, “As goes the home, so goes the Church, and as goes the Church, so goes the world…” Well this passage is where that idea comes from. Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church to the unbelieving world.

Now secondly; if we fail to love our wives like this, we sin against our wives and our children, because our kids pick up on our attitudes and actions. One thing that gets me more riled up than just about anything else is to see a kid disrespect his or her mother. That causes my blood to boil. Because a lot of times, they pick that up from their own father. That was nevver tolerated in our house. And it shouldn’t be in any house.

[back to Proverbs 31…]

As you can see from our text, the demands on mothers are awesome! They include grocery shopping, preparing meals (sometimes for picky eaters, that they created), washing and ironing, house cleaning, caring for the many needs of the family, and on and on… and again; we look at that list and we go, they lady that’s doing all of these things is probably a basket case.

So in the time left, I want to quickly talk about how moms can handle all of this without going ballistic and losing their minds. We already touched on one important part, and that is the necessity of a loving husband and obedient kids. Men, to love your wife sacrificially mean that you are not lazy around the house. It’s not beneath us to occasionally do the dishes or do the laundry (you notice how I said ‘occasionally’? That shows you that even pastors sometimes have this pull of the world on us where we try to skirt the issue, or twist things to suit us). So that’s one way we can help our wives be this virtuous woman. By helping out around the house!

Secondly; and this one is on the wives and moms… and that is they need to have their priorities straight. In Luke chapter 10 we read the story of Mary, Martha and Jesus. Jesus had come to their house, and Mary found the time to sit at Jesus’ feet, to be near Him and learn from Him, while Martha got involved in the busy work. She found plenty of things to do, so that she didn’t have to get alone and be with Jesus (Now she would’ve never admitted to that, but that’s what’s implied in that passage).

Then she even complained to the Lord about Mary’s unwillingness to join her in her sin. Now I hope everyone realizes that this is the same Mary that goes to the tomb and is the first person to see the resurrected Lord. She was then commissioned to be the very first evangelist. Jesus told her to go and tell the others. And what we learn from that is that mom’s need to make Mary’s priority their own priority. It doesn’t mean that they ignore the other duties of motherhood. It means that they prioritize and have their priorities straight. On the flip side; mothers who end up making Martha’s priorities their own, end up like Martha. They find themselves full of resentment, self-pity, and tension.

Jesus Himself took time to pray and be alone with His heavenly Father.

Moms and wives, do you find yourselves so busy that you don’t take time to sit at the feet of the Lord and listen to His Word, and take your burdens and cares to Him? The Bible makes it pretty clear that no wife or husband, or mom, or dad can be the kind of spouse or parent that God has called them to be without the Lord's help. In-fact; Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing!”

Now let’s look at the last two verses of Proverbs 31 and then we’ll close (Read vss 30 & 31).

The woman who finds her value in her looks will either have so much plastic surgery and Botox done that she’ll end up looking like something out of a horror show, or she will devalue her worth to the point of self-loathing, (Because age eventually sets in on us all). But the woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised! The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom!

The woman who fears the LORD doesn’t have to toot her own horn, and she doesn’t have to brag or boast about what she’s accomplished. Her OWN works will praise her. People will see it and know it. Her children will rise up and call her blessed and her husband will praise her.

So let me just encourage all you moms and wives out there this morning. God doesn’t call you to be perfect; He calls you to walk in His perfection. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit – declares the LORD. So take time to set at the feet of Jesus, in-other-words, take time to get into the Word of God. Read the Bible, study the Bible, learn the Bible… you do that, and before long, you’ll find that you’re living the Bible. Compare what God’s Word says with what the world says, and if they differ, reject the world’s point of view. And lastly; keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, lay aside every weight of sin that so easily besets us, and look unto the Author and Finisher of your faith.