INTRODUCTION: Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) first suggested the national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her own mother so dearly. At a memorial service for her mother on May 10, 1908, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation (her mother's favorite flower) to each person who attended. Within the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity, and Mother's Day was observed in a number of large cities in the U.S. On May 9, 1914, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. He established the day as a time for "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."
While not a spiritual holiday observed by Christians, this is a good day to reflect of motherhood and pay tribute to godly mothers.
I. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT MOTHERHOOD.
A. To be a mother is a holy privilege from God.
1. Look at what Eve said when she gave birth for the first time.
a. Genesis 4:1 - "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."
2. Becoming a mother is the greatest joy that a person can have in this life.
a. John 16:21 - "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world."
B. Children are a gift from God.
1. Psalms 127:3 - "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
II. ENEMIES OF MOTHERHOOD.2. God specially designed the woman physically and emotionally to not only conceive and bear a child but to nurture and raise a child as well.
A. The playboy philosophy.
1. This philosophy looks upon women as playthings and objects of lust. Motherhood simply complicates the playboys "fun."
2. Many husbands have become infected with this philosophy, resenting the time that children take away from them. One father once complained to his friends, "We had so much fun until that baby was born." This shows a selfish side.
3. This goes against the spirit and letter of what the Bible says concerning the place of women/mothers in general in society and specifically what it says about the place of mothers in family.
a. Matthew 5:28- "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
b. 1 Peter 3:7- "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."
B. The Feminist Movement.
1. Modern feminism looks down upon motherhood as degrading and a trap to keep women "barefoot and pregnant."
2. Everything is done today to foster the notion that fulfillment comes from working outside the home instead of being a mother.
3. The Bible stresses the homemaking responsibility of mothers.
a. Titus 2:4- "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
4. In spite of what some think, the Bible does not prohibit women from working. It does, however, teach that this should be supplementary to her role as a keeper of the home.
a. Proverbs 31:10-24
5. The problem is when huge numbers of mothers enter the workplace full-time to the exclusion of raising children properly. The children lose the nurturing of a mother in the home. They turn to surrogate mothers (grandmothers, aunts, day care workers). This is not a blanket condemnation of all mother who have to work. Mothers, however, net to be careful that they work out of necessity and not out of a desire to have things or have “freedom.” Never be ashamed of the fact that you are mothers.
C. Abortion has caused many women to hate their roles as mothers.
1. The belief that a woman has absolute control over her own body has caused mothers to despise the child in their womb.
2. Many women have bought the satanic lie that the child of their body is not a human life. Add to this the rise of sexual promiscuity and over a million abortions result each year in the United States.
3. The fact is that mankind is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The taking of human life is murder and is deserving of death (Genesis 9:6). God hates those who shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17).
4. Every child deserves to live, even those who are “unwanted.” Give those who cannot have children can adopt.
D. Divorce has eroded the foundations of motherhood.
1. It has forced many mothers, who did not desire to work, to choose between welfare and working outside the home.
2. It has taken a great support for the godly mother, a godly father, out of the home.
3. It has also caused many women to make bad choices, including unwise second marriages and living with boyfrieds, to put food on the table.
4. God still hates divorce!
a. Malachi 2:15-16 "But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16) For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.""
5. The ease of divorce has lulled many women into the Devil’s lie of, “If it doesn’t work out I’ll just divorce him and get another.”
III. THE BIBLE HAS SEVERAL EXAMPLES OF GODLY AND WICKED MOTHERS.b. Matthew 19:9
A. Godly mothers.
1. Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
a. She promised God that she would dedicate her son completely to Him if God would give her conception.
1. 1 Samuel 1:11- "And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."
b. Mothers should be willing to put God first and seek to dedicate her child to the service of the Lord. The godly mother will not be so much concerned with how much money their children make when they become adults as how faithful they will be to the Lord and what service they will be to Him.
2. Mary, the mother of Jesus.
a. She was thankful to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:41-45).
b. She willingly followed her son all the way to the cross (John 19:25) and afterward to the beginning of the church (Acts 1:14).
3. Lois and Eunice.
a. They show the power of a mother’s influence. Godliness was “passed on” through three generations.
b. Lois was faithful to God, passed on that faith to her daughter Eunice, who influenced her son Timothy to follow God.
1. 2 Timothy 1:5- "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."
2. 1 John 3:18- "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
c. There can be little doubt that Eunice and, if she were still living, Lois were encouragers of Timothy in his work of preaching the Gospel.
B. Wicked Mothers.
a. She was a wicked idol worshiper (1 Kings 16:31).
b. She lied, cheated, and was hypocritical.
c. She fulfilled the proverb found in Ezekiel 16:44 -"Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter." Her daughter Athaliah turned out just as wicked as her mother.
2. Herodias, the wife of Herod.
a. She was the wife of Herod’s brother and was an adulterer (Matthew 14:3-4).
b. She influenced her daughter Salome to do wickedness. They teamed together to have Herod kill John the baptist
CONCLUSION: A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world." The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world." While Jesus is the true light of the world, you mother can be the light which will lead your children to Christ.c. Matthew 14:6- "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7) Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8) And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9) And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10) And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison."
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.
The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
--W. S. Ross
A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
--Dorothy Canfield Fisher
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.
--Henry Ward Beecher
Copyright 1999 by Grady
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