Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I could ask, "How many of you have ever had a mother?" But I probably don't need to ask that question. What should we do about our mothers? Well, we are supposed to honor them. If the father is the head of the house, then the mother is the heart of the house. And how we love our mothers.
There was a family. One day the Mother became very annoyed by her little girl's bad table manners. As punishment, the mother said, "you will eat at the card table, and we will eat at the regular table today." Well, the family sat their at the main table, ignoring the little girl that had been disobedient. When it came time to say grace, they did. Then they began to hear the little girl, alone at her table praying, "Thank you Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies".
It is hard to be a mother. Modern mothers need more than the wisdom of Solomon to administer proper love and instruction and acceptance in their home. And at the same time, to show their care and their kindness. To be a perfect mother is very difficult. I don't know if there are any perfect mothers. It is probably about as hard as hammering a nail into a board with a freshly laid egg. Not easy. Simply just be the best mother that you can be. There are no perfect mothers.
First Thessalonians in your Bible begins to lay out some parameters. And one is a guideline for mothers. Look at 1Thessalonians. Here Paul, Silas and Timothy are writing to the church as apostles of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 2:7, We could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you like a mother caring for her little children. You mothers need to be gentle to your children. Don't be rough. Don't jerk them around. Don't yell at them. Don't poke them. Be gentle to your children.
Every day is mother's day, but tomorrow is a special day that we dedicate to honor our mothers and to show appreciation to these often under appreciated individuals. Mother's Day is when everybody waits on their mother. Everybody does the dishes, sweeps the house, makes the beds and everything. And she pretends she doesn't mind all the extra work it takes to clean up after you after you have done all of that.
After an elementary teacher had given her class a science lesson on magnets, she gave them a quiz to see how much they had learned. One of the questions read: "My name starts with 'M,' has six letters and I pick up things. What am I?" And half of the kids wrote down "Mother." 1 I think that most mothers really do go around picking up things and straightening things out after we make messes. Not just in the physical element of our living room or our house, but in our lives. They do their very best to raise their kids properly. They give them individual attention. They get involved in the life of their children. In fact, even a brand-new mother like we had up here just a few minutes ago (at the baptism) with the Wade family. Researchers took some brand new mothers who had all given birth in the previous 5 to 79 hours. No mother had prepared for this test. Each mother had nursed their newborn. Each mother was blindfolded and then asked to identify which of three sleeping babies was her own. Nearly seventy percent of the mothers chose the right baby.2 A mother very quickly gets involved intimately in the life of the child.
Mothers, you must sense your high calling. I know Verline Starr must feel very proud right now because her son is is up there in West Virginia and is going to be preaching his very first sermon today in his brand new church. And his wife, Miranda is going to be a church school teacher there. They're entering the work of God. Mothers get to feeling proud, and that's rightly so. You know, when your child successfully graduates from school, it isn't over. You sense the magnitude, I suppose, at graduation day. I saw several of our folks graduating down at the Memorial Auditorium. When you see them go down the isle, and your son graduates from college, you know of the magnitude of the job when you realize that when he rents a U-Haul trailer to bring home all his dirty clothes for you to wash!
Motherhood is an enormous challenge. And it isn't over when they graduate. Mothers, don't let anything interfere with your motherhood, with loving your children with the divine calling that God has given you. Motherhood is a divine calling. God has a purpose in entrusting that child to you. That little baby that you hold in your arms, that child that sits in the pew beside you, is a God-given challenge. Raise that child properly. Set the right example before that child. You know, times are changing here in this world. Evil is growing fast. Did you know that for the very first time, that a child that is born after the year 2000, will, statistically, not live longer than their parents? Due to a lack of exercise, obesity and many other factors, that child's their life span is becoming shorter. Their time is being cut short.
Look at Proverbs chapter 23 in your Bible. Another little bit of wisdom of how we should appreciate our mothers and respect them. Proverbs 23:22, Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Mothers do get old. You honor them all the days of their life. And you should even honor their memory after they have died. Don't ever despise your mother.
There is a crying need for old-fashioned mothers. Mother who know how to pray for and with their little ones. Mothers who read their Bible before their children. Mothers who are willing to turn off the soap opera and spend quality time with their children. Mothers who even though your nest is empty, you are still on your knees praying for your children. Spending quality time before God, uplifting your children to the Lord. Only a mother can cry when she is happy, laugh when she is heartbroken, and work when she is sick.
The mother's love is strong.
A Young mother was telling her friend about her little baby boy growing up. She said, "You know, he's eating solids now: keys, bits of paper, pencils . . ." They grow up so fast. And what are they becoming? Your children are becoming like you. They are! You mothers look in the mirror and you will probably see what your children are becoming.
Did you know that even as we speak, seven million American children have a parent in jail, or in prison, or on probation, or on parole. Seven million! And listen to this: half of jailed youth have a parent who was also once in jail themselves. In other words, the new generation follows its elders into prison. Thousands of American babies are born every year to a mother who is in jail. In 1980, on any given day here in the United States, there were 12,000 mothers in jail. Today that figure is fast approaching 100,000. Twenty-five years ago it was 12,000. Now, it's close to 100,000. This problem is skyrocketing upward. Not according to the population growth, but according to the wickedness of the times in which we live. Motherhood is experiencing a steep avalanche, a decline, a slide toward oblivion. A crooked stick always casts a crooked shadow. If you want your children to go straight, you have to go strait. If you want your kids to be in church, you have to be in church. If you want you children studying the Bible, you need to study the Bible.
It used to be that mothers were the equivalent to God on earth. I think it is high time for those mothers who have slipped and fallen, that they come back to God. Revelation 3:3 says, Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. And that is true for even a mother. If you have fallen, if you have been wayward, if your example has not been right, it's not too late for you to be right. There is always hope for a wayward son who still respects his mother. And if that respect can be there, then there is hope for your son or your daughter.
Can your children admire you? Can they respect you? Do you daily ask God to give you the character worthy of your children's respect? Let them see you reading and enjoying the Bible. Let them hear their name on your lips as you kneel there in prayer. Later in life they can never get away from the memory of a mother like that. History shows that almost all the great workers for God had godly mothers. Mothers are the quivers from which their children as living arrows are sent forth out into this world. Mothers largely determine the direction their children take in life. A little boy was told by his mother that it was God who makes people good. The boy said: "Yes, I know it is God, but mothers help a lot!"
Which is more important? A stay-at-home mother or a missionary returning from Africa? Which is more significant? Which is more important: a mother that stays there with her children and helps raise them for the Lord, or a great doctor in one of the greatest medical institutions of this world? A great and famous doctor or a mother at home with the kids? Listen to David in 1 Samuel 30:24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike. Isn't that a great regulation? The person who stays by the supplies is just as much a hero as the one who goes out to do combat with the enemy. Those who stay by at home are just as much a critical part of the team as those who go out and do combat in the world and try to do the other parts of life. David understood that the home guard is just as crucial as are those on the front line. When a mother stays at home by the stuff to care for the children, patiently teaching them about Jesus and showing them the way of life, her job is every bit as significant as any other task upon the whole earth. Do you agree with that? Now if she stays at home, and all she does is gab on the phone all day and watch the soap opers, you know, that is another story.
I am stating what needs to happen. Your work as a mother is very important. It's crucial to guide your children into Jesus Christ. And a mother's work is never done. Just about the time a mother thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother. And grandmothers are important too!
Do you know how to get your children's complete attention? Just sit down and enjoy a book for while, and they will find you. They will come to you. And when they do come to you with their little hurts, help them. Did you know that there is no modern pain medicine as effective as a mother's kiss.
Mothers, if you believe that God has a special purpose for your child, then raise her, raise him differently. You sacrifice whatever it takes to bring your children into the image of Jesus Christ. I urge you to believe in God yourself. I urge you to believe in your children, and never give up on your children.
Mothers are very unique in all of God's creation. One day I held an empty bird nest in my hand. I had gotten it down to show one of my grandchildren. As I held that empty nest in my hand, I thought how glad I am that human mothers are not like mother birds. You will never find an empty nest that has been desserted by a human mother. We stay by the nest, don't we? Mothers are forever. If a human even touches the baby bird, the mother bird will refuse to care for her baby. If a mother bird has a defective chick she will simply shove it out of the nest. A mother bird retires when her baby is able to fly. I never see a gathering of the father and mother birds with all three or four of their offspring as a family. They cease to be a family after one short season.
Fortunately, our human mothers are forever. Praise God for that. They are always there. They never stop loving us. They never stop praying for us. They are always there for us. Get along with your Mother-in-law not just because you can't afford a baby sitter but because God has appointed grandmothers to assist in the process of raising children. In 2 Timothy 1:5 it speaks about the influence of a grandmother. You can't discount the influence of a grandmother. Second Timothy 1:5, I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. So here it is. Transferred, starting with the grandmother. The grandmother has an influence that continues all the way down the line.
Napoleon Bonaparte said, "The future destiny of the child is always the work of the mother." Fathers are important, but the mother is the key.
God is involved in your successful motherhood. It is such a great responsibility he does not trust it to you entirely. He will not let you be a mother alone. Come to Psalms 139:13 in your Bible. A woman cannot be a mother without God, than a tree can grow leaves without the sunshine. Every mother is a partner with God trying to raise those children. A woman cannot be a mother without God any more than a tree can grow leaves without the sunshine. Every mother is a partner with God trying to raise those children. Look at Psalms 139:13, For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.
Now God chose a womb. God could have chosen an assembly line; to create new human beings; to manufacture new people. In our modern age, I would say that most new people today would probably be made in immense factories in India or China. Your baby would have a little tag to peel off that says, "Made in China." Some factory over there would mix the chemicals over there and out you would come. Thankfully, God did not choose that impersonal combination of chemicals. God is involved personally in the creation of each and every human baby. Mothers are not a product of evolution, they are a partner with God. If a mother was a product of evolution, then why is it that they only have two hands? With all those kids they ought to have more arms and hands. Mothers are a distinct invention of God. They are partners with God. God is a partner with every mother. They each do their marvelous work in the womb.
Look at Isaiah 44. It speaks about God and His work. Isaiah 44:2 says, This is what the Lord says He who made you, Who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: You think, as a mother, "well, that is what I did." But no, it is God that forms the baby in the womb. And once the Baby is born you still desperately need God as your silent partner, not in the womb this time, but in the home. God agrees to partner with you in the home. God is willing to continue His involvement even after the birth. All throughout life. So take advantage of God's willingness to partner with you in preparing your children for Heaven. Let's get ready to go to heaven with our whole family!
Look at Proverbs 1:8, 9. It says, Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Your mother's teaching. Don't you ignore that.
I want to appeal to any children that might be listening or reading right now. If you have a godly Christian mother, and you have strayed from God's truth or perhaps your mother is no longer able to be with you to appeal to your heart: I urge you, if you have strayed away from God, to come back to honor the prayers of your mother and to be the Christian that you know yo ought to be. I urge you to do that. I think your mother's prayers would number in the thousands, hundreds of thousands of prayers. Honor those prayers. If you have a Godly Christians mother, if you strayed away, perhaps your mother is not longer with us, maybe your mother has died. You can still honor that life, and I think those prayers still count for you. Leave your sinful life. Come back to God. Honor God. Honor your mother
Here is some injunction for each of us. Look at Ephesians 6:1-3, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with a promise, "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." There are several promises there aren't there? If you honor your parents, if you honor your mother, you will not only have a long life, but an enjoyable life.
Today we want to thank our mothers for being mothers, for loving us. And I appeal to you mothers, if you have strayed away, that you would come back to what God wants you to do. In these last days, the devil is pressing each of us very hard, and mothers are vulnerable like anybody else. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior you are not fit to attempt to raise your children for heaven.
So come back to God. If you children have strayed, you come back to God. You need a living connection with Jesus Christ.
If you are a mother today, we honor you and we appeal to you, be a good mother. You are the only mother that your child will only have. So be the best that you can be. A good mother leaves footprints on your heart and you are never alone without your mother. Because you have her prayers and you have Jesus Christ.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers. May we honor our mothers and do our best to do what is right.
1. Better Families, January 1994, p. 2.
2. Marshall Kaitz, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
3. Adapted from John Killinger, Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise.
Hymn of Praise: #1, Praise to the Lord Scripture: Responsive Reading 826 Hymn of Response: #652, Love at Home
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last updated May 10, 2005 by Bob Beckett and Eric Koester.