A MOTHER WHO FEARS GOD
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: Did you know that the idea for Mother's Day was born in a small Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia? It was 1876 and the nation still mourned the Civil War dead. While teaching a Memorial Day lesson, Mrs. Anna Reeves Jarvis thought of mothers who had lost their sons. She prayed that one day there could be a "Memorial Day" for mothers. The prayer made a deep impression on one of Mrs. Jarvis's eleven children. Young Anna had seen her mother's efforts to hold the war-split community and church together. As she grew into adulthood, the younger woman kept Mrs. Jarvis's dream in her heart. On the day of her mother's death, Anna was determined to establish Mother's Day in her honor.
On May 12, 1907, a local observance was held which later spread to Philadelphia. By 1910, Mother's Day was celebrated in forty-five states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. Elated, Miss Jarvis told a friend, "Where it will end must be left for the future to tell. That it will circle the globe now seems certain."
On May 8, 1914, President Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day "for displaying the American flag and for the public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of the country."
I want us this morning to look at Bible and from God Himself see what is His Will for Mothers, yes all women. It applies to us all, mothers, fathers, all men and women. But here the God addresses specifically His will and purpose for Mothers. This is the highest calling and purpose of women. This is basic for a full and happy life. To ignore it, means heartache and sorry and great disappointment. To ignore it means to live a life that less than what God intended you to be.
About her daughter she said, " I feel like I've seen my daughter grow up in the Lord this year and that's one of my greatest blessings." She explained about the influence of one couple in the church on her daughter.
She talks about the Revival they had and how many were saved. Several church members were saved including the Pastor's young son. She encouraged us to stay close to the Lord. She warns of the Devils attempts to destroy us and our usefulness for the Lord. She asks for prayer for several who have needs in the church. She asks for prayer for herself that "She and her family would be used of the Lord."
Some would consider her simply a plain country girl. She is always modestly dressed, very respectful and has a beautiful smile. She is a jewel in God's crown. If you attended the church you would not notice her. But she is always faithful, there at every meeting, ready and doing all she can to serve her Savior.
Years earlier a another dear Christian lady loved her husband and prayed that God would save him. She never nagged at him about it or argued. Each Sunday she would get her son and herself ready for church and faithfully attended year after year. Her husband showed absolutely no interest in God. She was always modest in her apparel, a loving wife and mother and lived a godly life. One day God touched her husband's heart and he came to Christ. An important part in that was his wife's testimony. Her husband stands before you today as your pastor.
Why has God used these three women? They love God and He is the most important thing in their lives.
I. A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD SHALL BE PRAISED. Prov. 31:30
2. The Hebrew word is "yir' a" and means an "emotional reaction, terror, or to be afraid, and to have reverence for God, a deep respect."
3. In many places in the Old Testament the use of the term to fear God and proper living are so closed related they are virtually synonymous ideas. If a person feared God, it resulted in living a godly life. The fear is seen as the motivation which produced righteous living.
4. Exodus 1:17, The midwives feared God and would not kill the new born baby boys. In Exodus 1:21 God richly rewarded them.
5. Godly fear is the result of believing in God! When one's sees who God really is it will bring about a godly fear of God.
As we stood in ranks, he inspected me, and ask when I was from. I was not terrorized to the point that when I saw him I wanted to run and hide. I was not afraid of him, because I was sharp! I was spit-shined head to foot....I knew my general orders, my uniform was perfect...because I was prepared and a good soldier there was nothing too be afraid of. I was the Groups Communications Center Chief and when he later inspected my center there was no problem...why? By Army standards I and my center and people were living righteous! That means we were obeying our orders and doing right. Yes we feared him, but we were not afraid because we were ready.
They then want to obey God, follow Him and live their lives to His glory. As examples of His Grace they will show God to the rest of the world.
A man or woman who will not live for God, should really in all seriousness examine their lives, to see it their really believe in God with their heart or merely have a head knowledge of the fact of God's existence.
B. Look at Prov. 31:10. "Who can find a virtuous woman?"
2. Verse 30, is written as a question, that answers itself. The answer is very obvious! All my commentaries on the subject say it is a rhetorical question and the answer is NO!
3. However, I strongly disagree. To say the answer is no is to deny the power of God in a woman's life. I say YES! The key is Verse 30, a woman, a mother, will be a glory and praise to God if at the center of her life, Christ Jesus is first....she fears, reverences and loves God and that motivates all she does. Yes, there are many virtuous godly women who love God and honor Him by their lives.
4. The word "virtuous" refers to a woman's character of being a woman of strength and real ability. The Hebrew word is "chayil" (khah'-yil) and means strength, valiant, virtuous, one of valor, power and strength. Her strength or virtue is in her character of being a godly woman therefore she can be used of God as a blessing to others.
B. A godly woman will earn the trust and respect of her husband as she lives a consistent righteous life before him. She honors the Lord and that manifests itself outwardly to others so that they trust her. One the of the great benefits in living for the Lord is that you live a life of character and people learn you can be trusted.
God's influence in a woman's life will show her family how good it is to live for the Lord. The opposite is also true. A nagging, never satisfied, always complaining and unstable wife will not gain her family's confidence.
It boils down to a matter of love. True love puts aside one's own desires and seeks the others well being. A selfish wife or mother shows she really does not have a deep love for her family. They in turn will cannot return a love that they are not shown.
You cannot expect people to respect you when you do not respect them. Speaking down, being overbearing, complaining, or mistreating a spouse is a sure sign you have no respect for them and in turn ...what goes around comes around. Respect and confidence are earned by one's behavior.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 instructs the believer about the effects of love and says, "Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."
B. Beauty is vain. The word "vain" means worthless or of no value. Over dressing and making one's appearance the driving force in a person's life is worthless says God.
Seeking to impress and gain favor and to hear "Oh, isn't she pretty!" is vanity. Think of the sorrowful life so many women live trying to look like a Barbie doll? What wasted lives.
2. This is true praise, virtuous praise, deserved praised, reward that is lasting. Because the actions produced came from a deep reverence, love and fear of God. Did you notice that her children and husband also praise her.
3. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."
The word "modest apparel" means in clothing that is modest, in good behavior, and seemly.
The word "shamefacedness" means a having a sense of shame or honor, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect.
The word "sobriety" means having self-control and sobriety.
The phrase "not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" refers to the dressing to advertise a woman's sexuality. In biblical times the women who worn these things were prostitutes. Today a woman can dress nicely and were her hair braided. She can wear jewelry and nice clothes, but as a Christian she should dress modestly. I do not think we need to go into specifics about what is modest. If it is worn to draw attention one's body is it immodest. If it is tight fighting and or short it is immodest. Shamefacedness means having a sense of regard for others and respect for one's self, on husband and family.
If you want an example look at my wife. She always dresses modestly because she loves the Lord and she loves her husband. I am proud of her and to me she is the most beautiful woman on earth.
2. What influence is a God fearing Mother? What greatness and good can she inspire in her family and those who know her?
ILLUS: When you study some of the great, positive, history-making figures, you will often find they speak of the influence of a parent. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "All that I am I owe to my angel mother." General Douglas MacArthur said, "My sainted mother taught me devotion to God and a love of country which have ever sustained me. To her I yield anew a son's reverent thanks."
The great preacher G. Campbell Morgan had four sons. They all became ministers. At a family reunion a friend asked one of the sons, "Which Morgan is the greatest preacher?" With his eyes beaming with delight, the son looked over to his father and said, "Why, it's Mother!"
God wants women with open hearts who will be faithful Him and live lives that honor and bring glory to God. Women willing to raise their families, to guide their households towards God.
Maybe you do not match up to the woman of Proverbs 31: Few do....but that does not mean you can't.
Maybe in the past you have not been the Mother you needed to be. We all look back and see our mistakes....yet God is the God of new beginnings! Today, you can make that full commitment to the Lord!