Tomorrow is Mothers day. You know, motherhood is not easy. If it was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called "labor." The labor never ends. One mother said that at her house mothers day was every day! It was mothers day to do the dishes, mothers day to fold the wash, mothers day to do the sweeping and on and on....
I want to talk to you today about a mother who was absent. Now you may be thinking, well, a lot of mothers are absent today. They're off at work. Children are at day-care. This mother is mentioned in the Bible. She was absent during most of the life of her child, and yet her child became being good. I want to ask a very serious question: Is it important to bring your baby to church? A baby doesn't get anything out of church, does it! You'd better think again. Let's look at a Bible character: her son was one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. This great mother had a name that spells the same forward or backward. (No, not EVE). Yes! Hannah! I want you to look at Hannah. Her son was that great spiritual Patriarch -- Samuel. Hannah only had her baby for 3 years when he was just weaned. Now if you're only going to have your child for three years, there's very little you can do because babies don't understand anything today, except if their diaper is wet or if they're hungry. Do you think that's true? Not so!
Let's turn to 1 Samuel 1:1 cf. "There was a certain man....whose name was Elkanah....And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah." Now Hannah had her baby, Samuel, for three years, until he was weaned. In the middle-east culture they weaned their children at about three years old. At that tender age he was taken away; his mother took him and she gave him to the high priest, Eli. What would you think of me if took my only son at the age of 3 and I drove to Silver Springs, Maryland and gave him to the president of the General Conference. Then the only time I'd see my son after that was once a year to give my son a new coat. I would probably be accused of child neglect.
Let's also suppose that the General Conference President was poor like Eli was, and also let's suppose that he two older boys: older than my little baby. And that these boys were evil and corrupt. They made fun of the church. Every time they needed money they'd go into the church treasury. They knew the combination to the treasury safe and took money from it to support their evil habits. Now what kind of father would I be?
Let's suppose the situation was so bad that people even stopped coming to church all over the land. Everyone knew that the General Conference president was to blame because he never disciplined his own evil teenage boys. What kind of a father would this man be to my little son? Imagine the evil influence of those wicked boys. I would be out of my mind to do such a thing.
But let's suppose that my son grew up to be a wonderful holy Christian Saint. Eventually he became the President of the General Conference, and the he became best leader our church ever had. Then what would you think of me as a parent? People would say: Wow, look at what that boy became despite his neglectful parents.
So.... just WHY did Samuel turn out so well? Did his mother neglect him? There are some rich morsels of spiritual truth for mothers in 1 Samuel: 2 First of all I want you to notice that Samuel's father was a Polygamist. Now, that's not recommended. He had with two wives. Besides that, he favored one wife over the other. And that always happens. I Samuel 1:5-- "But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her..."
Jealousy raged in the household. He gave Hannah two portions of food as if she had a child even though she could not get pregnant. When you want to have a baby and you can't.......It is tough. Why didn't she have a baby? Because God closed her womb. If you can't get pregnant, maybe there's a reason. People have a way of aggravating a poor lady who may never be a mother. "When are you going to have children? You're getting pretty old. You'd better ...." You know how the words go. They shouldn't way things like that. She had no fruit of the womb to celebrate. Her tears were bitter.
Notice verse 6 - "And because the Lord had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat."
Now, I want to mention ten keys to good motherhood. I want you to listen. Here are ten facts that are brought out in these verses. If you want to be a good mother, If your daughter is going to get married someday and you want her to be a good mother take notes if she's not here.
Here are ten keys to being a good mother, brought out here in the Bible about Hannah and her relationship with her son.
Your home may be miserable now, but divorce brings far more misery and for far longer into the lives of your children.
Listen to this poem written by a wayward son:
I was but a youth and thoughtless as all are apt to be, Tho I had a Christian mother who taught so carefully, There came a time when the world came to allure, I no more sought her love so good and pure. She made my room an altar, a place of secret prayer, And there she took her burden & left it in Gods care, I went my way unheeding, careless of the life I led, Until one day I noticed prints of elbows on my bed. While I wrestled with my conscience Mother wrestled still in prayer, Till that little room seemed hallowed Because of oft she met Him there, My stubborn heart was broken By those imprints on my bed, Her constant love and prayers Were like coals upon my head. Mother-love and God-love are a combination rare, And one that can't be beaten when sealed by earnest prayer. And so at last the fight was won, and I to Christ was led, And mother's prayers were answered by her elbows on my bed." Author unknown
If you have a wayward child out there, you keep praying for that child. Hannah was a woman of prayer. Children need praying parents.
When her boy was finally born she named him Samuel which means "Heard of God". Obviously she had prayed long and hard laying hold on God and God heard her. Does He hear you? Yes, He does if you pray. Are you praying? Obviously she prayed long and hard, laying hold on God.
Let's say your child brings home the report card and it has a lot of one- legged A's. And let's suppose that you say to your child, "You know, this proves what I have always thought about you. I've always known that you are Stupid! You will never amount to anything! You are Hopeless!" What is going into the child's mind? Motivation for getting real A's? No. Do you know what is going into the child's mind? "I am stupid. This is the best I will ever do. My mother has even given up on me." Don't "bad-mouth" your children. Expect the best; have high hopes for your children. Your child will live up to your expectations, or down to your expectations about him. If you want high goals for your children you need to think highly of them. On the other hand if you have high expectations your children are likely to reach a high goal.
At an elementary school researchers randomly selected 6 students in each class and told the teacher that these were special. They are SPURTERS! These can really go! They are going to really shine! They have potential! Actually they weren't special, they were just random students. Lo and behold, at the end of the school year the "Spurters" tested much higher than the rest of the class. In fact, the IQ for the first grade "Spurters" increased 27.4%. The only difference was that the teachers believed in them! Now, what does that tell parents? You need to believe in your child. You need to tell you child some good things about them. Don't "bad-mouth" them all the time. Uphold them for Jesus. Have high expectations. Children reflect their mothers attitude toward them.
A Mother looks in her teenagers room. The music is loud. The place looks like a Collegedale Tornado just came through. Her child has a wild haircut and is eating junk food. The homework is not even started and it's late. If she believes that her child will amount to something and be a fine upstanding Christian she is a Mother of Faith. If she believe that child will be a fine upstanding Christian some day she will never give up on that child. Have faith in God and keep believing in your kids.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a Child in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it." Voltaire the famous Atheist, memorized an infidel poem at the age of 5. It's evil never left his mind! He became one of the greatest, notorious atheists in the world. Be careful what children put in their minds.
A four old boy was playing with a ball and it rolled past a parked car and out into the street. He ran after it. But He was hit by car. An ambulance came. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He had internal injuries: he was bleeding internally. He needed blood badly. In his small town there was no blood bank. His mother was the only one who had his same rare blood type. She said that of course she was willing to give blood. The doctors said that she could give so much and that's all.
The doctors took all from her they dared to take. The boy rallied. He started to come around. But he still needed more blood. He couldn't get it from his mother. A call went out but no one in town had his type. The boy began to weaken. It was a desperate moment. Just then a strange man came in. No one in town had ever seen him before. His blood was tested and it matched! They took some blood and gave it to the boy. He received strength. He would be OK. His life had been saved by the stranger.
But the man that had given blood went into a coma. The doctors now had another emergency. As they worked to keep the man from dying they noticed something strange. It was soon discovered that this man was a woman. She was the boy's own mother. The same person. She had given too much blood. In and out of a coma she asked about her boy. The boy was brought in and she was told he would be fine. Her last words just before she died were: "Praise God, my little boy will be all right!" That's what Jesus did. He gave His life for you, and me. Can yo imagine how that boy lived after that? A good mother will give her best for her son, for her daughter, for her baby, for her child. Just like Jesus gave His life for us.
Samuel---the heaven instructed child, became an incorruptible judge. He was the founder of Israel's sacred schools. All because of his mother. "When Samuel shall receive the crown of glory, he will wave it in honor and [he will] gladly acknowledge that the faithful lessons of his mother, through the merits of Christ, have crowned him with immortal glory." AH 536.
You can be like that if you draw near to Jesus. You will be that kind of a mother. I think every mother here today want to make a re-commitment of your life, and you want to say, "I want to be the mother of my children that I should be." Maybe your child sis just a little baby. Maybe your child is unborn yet. Maybe your child is already grown up. You still have an influence on that child's life. Be the best you can be, and you become the best by inviting the Best into your heart. Invite Jesus into your heart just now, and draw near to Him.
Happy Mothers Day!
Opening Hymn 191 Love Divine Responsive Reading 793 Closing Hymn 310 I would Draw Nearer to Jesus
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last updated 2/3/98 by Bob Beckett.