Monday, May 10, 2010

One of God's Best Gifts

Preached at Northwest Christian Church

David P. Kautt

Sunday Morning, May 9, 2010

A billboard out on Central Expressway, what would it look like? What it says? What it doesn’t say? I’d like to put on one of those big billboard this message: “Godly mothers are one of God’s best gifts.”

Now think about it with me, will you my friends? What the message didn’t say was: MOTHERS are one of God’s best gifts – though I believe mothers are very important in God’s grand scheme of things. But that’s just it, isn’t it?! Any woman – any young woman of sufficient physical health and maturity can bring a child into this world, right? And, sad to say, we have many of those kinds of mothers these days, don’t we?

But, listen. What we don’t have a lot of these days are GODLY mothers. And in my estimation, this is one of the key ingredients that’s missing from our society and so many homes and families in our day and time. GODLY mothers.

Now, let’s think this through for a minute, shall we? “GODLY mothers.” What does that word ‘godly’ mean? It means “God-like.” In other words, when boys and girls look at their mothers, more than seeing her, as undoubtedly she is – as their maid, their chef, their chauffeur and their doctor – they ought to see what GOD is like. Now, don’t misunderstand me, for a mother some of the most important daily venues in which she is to reflect God’s nature and character are those very venues! As she cleans their home – and, by the way, as she guides here children to learn how to make their home neat and clean – by her attention to detail, by her cheerful spirit, by her attitude of “I’m doing this to glorify God and bless my family,” she serves as an extremely powerful model to her little ones (and big ones, too!). In all of that, she’s a model of what it means to be a Christian! What it mean to be godly.

You see, the godly mother, she shows her children what GOD is like. Yes, as she pushes that broom and tugs on that vacuum cleaner; as she kisses their ‘owies,’ as she tenderly applies ointment and band aids to skinned knees; as she tirelessly rocks her little ones through the pains of ear infections and stomach flu – what does she do? She shows her children what it means when God says, “I am merciful and compassionate to my children!” God uses you, as a mother, in those uniquely, God-given responsibilities of motherhood (and, not in something else, not in some other way.) Mom, in your tasks of cooking and cleaning and nursing and mending, God uses YOU to impact your children, those precious ‘arrows’ HE has placed in your quiver. God uses you to touch their lives for His sake and for eternity!

What am I trying to say? Two things, really. Godly mothers, Christ-like mothers. Number one – we need more of them, not less of them! You know, as important as other influencers may be to our children’s growth and development, no one – NO ONE can replace a mother’s supremely important role, as one of the two most vital people in children’s lives! So what am I saying? Mom, you are important! And your exemplifying Christ in your work as maid, chef, chauffeur and physician to your children is important! Don’t let the world tell you otherwise!

Godly mothers. We need more of them, not less of them!

And the second thing I’m trying to say is this: “Mom – ‘a godly mother’, ‘a Christ-like mama’ – does that description fit you? Is that what you are?!”

Let me point you in the direction of some ways to evaluate yourself, and along with that, some help for those of you who want to become a godly mother.

First things first: This Book, the Bible, the Word f God, this unlimited resource of divine wisdom and guidance about every area of life, including motherhood – this Book is our starting and ending point! Advice columns, library ‘top-shelvers,’ check-out stand periodicals, even ‘family’ wisdom handed down from one generation to the next – none of these can compare to or should ever take the place of THIS Book! This is our Source, your Source, Mama! And God’s sufficiency supplied to you, so that you can carry out that role!

Now, having said all of that, Mothers, how can you know if you’re a godly mother? What characteristics of Christ-likeness should be especially evident in your lift in that unique role you play?

Allow me to suggest the following areas for you to investigate further, as you seek to become all God wants you to be. First of all, I invite you to think about your voice. Mothers, when God wants your children to hear words of love, when He’s looking for someone to say to your children, “I’m glad God made you!” does He use your voice? When your little ones’ Heavenly Father is searching for someone whose voice – both in terms of WHAT that person say, and HOW he or she says it – when God is looking for someone to say to your son or daughter, “I love you!” doe He use your voice? Ladies, He wants to. His desire is to use your voice in that way!

Think about it with me, will you? Please find Proverbs 31:26. This is Solomon’s magnificent description of the excellent wife, the wife and mother whose godly character surpasses all others.

Proverbs 31:26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

What does Solomon say in answer to these questions?

Listen, sisters. He says, “When God is looking for someone to speak words of love and tenderness and truth to your children, He wants to use you! He wants to use your voice!” And how will that come to pass? It will come to pass when you have the law of kindness on your tongue, and God’s eternal wisdom flowing from your mouth.

Now find Proverbs 10:21. What does Solomon say about the lips of the righteous, about your lips, my dear sisters, if godliness is what your life is all about? Proverbs 10:21: “The lips of the righteous feed many.” Think of it! Your lips can actually serve as God’s instruments to nourish your children, if your goal is to be a GODLY mother! Jot down these other verses to look up along these lines: Ephesians 4:15 and Ephesians 4:29. “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.” and “Let not corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

So mothers, you are important, supremely important to your children, and to their becoming all God intends for them to be. But listen, more than chefs and maid and chauffeurs, what your children need and what God wants you to be for these He has made in such a fearful and wonderful way is for you to be godly! And you begin that right here with your mouth, with your lips, with your voice – in the things you say and how you say them, in allowing God to use you to speak words of love and truth and Biblical wisdom to your children.

But then, what about those times when your children – young or not-so-young – are hurting? What is it that they need? A band aid? Maybe. A dose of cough syrup? Maybe. Some of that white ointment on their scratchy places? What do they call that stuff? “Chigger-ex?” Or perhaps a few stitches in their arm? Maybe.

No, dear sisters. You think about it with me… when your little ones or your gown ones are hurting, whether it be physically or otherwise, what they need the most is comfort. And who do you think God’s Holy Spirit – the Comforter that Jesus promised to send in His place – who do you think He wants to use as His human agent for that comfort? To me, the answer is simple, yet oh-so-significant. God wants to use you! When your children need comfort, when the world of people and problems, either child-size or adult-size, has socked it to your children, when their hearts are broken, their tears are falling, and maybe even their blood flowing… when your children need comfort, their Heavenly Father wants to hear you say, “God here, use my arms, use my hands!” “Use my arms and hands, just like Jesus used His arms and hands to touch, to bless and to hold the little children.” (See Mark 10:13-16). When your children need comfort, Ladies, would you, would you allow Him to use your arms and your hands?

Now let’s look at Proverbs 1:8-9. “Listen, my children, to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching, for they will be a crown to grace your head and a lovely necklace to adorn your neck.”

And Proverbs 6:20-24: “My children, keep your father’s commands, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them like a necklace around your neck. Then, as you go through life, they will watch over you; and when you’re awake, they will speak to you. For your father’s commands are like a lamp, and your mother’s teaching is like a light, and the correction and discipline they give you are the way to life. They will keep you from immoral people – from the seductive words of wayward sinners.”

What is Solomon saying? What is the point he is trying to communicate to his children about their mother? Ladies, mark this one down, and you children, you ought to circle this one, too! Mothers – oh, certainly you have a big job cooking for hungry girls and boys. (And in case you hadn’t noticed, they prefer your cooking over that of anyone else.) And it’s a big job washing and drying all their laundry, even showing them how to take care of their clothing, and taxiing them from one ball game to another band concert – all these things and your servant leadership in these things is important. But listen, dear sisters, listen to Solomon, God’s inspired spokesman. When God is on the lookout for someone to instruct your children, when He is searching for someone to enlighten your sons and daughters on that subject that is at the very beginning and foundation of wisdom and knowledge, and I mean the fear of the Lord *, guess whose hand He hopes to see go up as the very first volunteer? That’s right! He wants to use your mind to teach them! Think of it, sisters! What an incredible opportunity! What a sobering and humbling responsibility! God wants to use your mind to teach them about His mind! That’s what my imaginary bill board message means when it says, “GODLY mothers are one of God’s best gifts.”

Mother’s Day. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but I’ve noticed that perhaps more than at any other holiday or special day through the year, whether it be Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or any other special day, perhaps more than any other time of the year, more special meals are being enjoyed, more boxes of chocolate and bouquets of roses are being given, and more long distance phone calls are being placed on Mother’s Day than at any other time of the year! I think that’s wonderful! You mothers deserve all that extra attention!

But you know something? At some of those dinner tables and over some of those telephone lines, there’s an awkward silence – and uncomfortable ‘distance,’ even though mothers and their children may be in the same room! Why is that?

Take a look at 2 Corinthians 6:14 and following **. Have you ever heard of the concept of being ‘unequally yoked’ with unbelievers? To me, one of the saddest things about Mother’s Day is when mothers and their sons and daughters get together for lunch, or when they talk to each other on the telephones and instead of celebrating the wonderful, warm intimacy and mutual understanding, because they are all coming at life from a Biblical view, instead of that closeness and unity which God intended for there to be in families, there is separation and disharmony! They are unequally yoked! And why is that?

Hear me, dear sisters. The reason so many mothers and their sons and daughters are distant is because some have chosen to follow Christ, and some have not! Bu listen, ladies. Here’s the really important part for you. What is one of God’s very best gifts? Remember the bill board message? It says, “GODLY mothers – GODLY mothers are one of God’s best gifts!” So here’s the deal. If your children – especially your grown children are godly and you are not – don’t be surprised that there’s an awkward silence or an uncomfortable distance between you and them! More than likely, when they’re looking for someone to understand them, to share Biblical fellowship with them, if you’re not a godly mother, they won’t look to you. Why? Because, sad to say, as an unbeliever, there’s just no way you can truly understand them or fellowship with them.

Oh, but listen sisters. Listen! What a celebration your Mother’s Day meal with them this afternoon would be if you – right now – would give your heart to Christ! If you – at the end of this service – would step out and respond to God’s gracious invitation to salvation! Equally yoked! Equally yoked – that what you would be!

Godly mothers. They are one of God’s best gifts. Why? Because, when little ones as young as Hannah, Kayla, Bear and Noah John, and bigger ones like you and me, need to hear words of love, when they need to know that somebody understands them, guess what, ladies? If you’re a GODLY woman, a Christ-like mother, He looks to you – to your voice, to your mind, and to your heart to provide what is needed. Isn’t that amazing?

But then, one more thing – really, the most crucial of all. GODLY mothers – why are they so important? You know a moment ago I described what is probably the less likely scenario, the unequally yoked situation where the division, the separation between mother and children is due to the mother’s unbelief, the fact that the mother is not a Christian – that’s the less-likely situation. Now, let’s consider the situation from the other way around. The children are the ones who are lost and bound for hell. How will that unbelieving son or that wayward daughter come to know Christ?

Dear sisters, I don’t want to make it look more simple than it is, especially when we’re talking about unbelieving grown children. I know I’ve not been a parent nearly as long as most ofyou have, but one thing I am learning is this: the seeds of lifestyle and behavior, attitudes and priorities, habits, friendships, influences and thought patterns that we as parents allow to be sown into the hearts and minds, souls and spirits of our children – even at Cody and Jaden’s age – no doubt about it! No getting around it! Those seeds will grow! They will flourish and yes, they will bear fruit – good fruit and yes, bad fruit, too.

So, what’s the point? What do you mothers, and we fathers too, need to keep in mind here? Hear me well, Beloved, this one final question. When our children ask about God, when they want to know who Jesus is and how to be born again – does God use our faith to help them come to know Him? Do they see Jesus Christ living in us? Or does the One who gave His Son to die for them have to point them to another godly woman or man to be the example of Christ-likeness they need? Allow God to use your faith!

Godly mothers. They are one of God’s best gifts! And I trust that we, who are the children of those dear women, will let them know today and regularly, how grateful to God we are for them.

Let me close with this prayer. “O God, you are the Perfect Parent. You know our children so well, so much better than we do. You know their inner needs. You watch them growing and truly understand them. You care deeply for them and love them so sacrificially. For these reasons we ask for Your help in raising them. No, Lord, more than that. More than Your help, we ask that You bring them up! We hand them over to You! Just don’t let us get in Your way. Don’t let us interfere with Your parenting them! But, dear Lord, when you need human help, use us! Use us! When they need to hear words of love, use our voices. When they need comfort, use our arms to cradle them. When they need instruction, use our minds to lead them into insight from Your mind. When they need understanding, someone who really knows what they’re going through, use our hearts. And most of all, when they ask about You, use our faith humbly lived out before them, so that they too will come to know You as their holy Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen. “

* Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” And Proverbs 9:10-12: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone."

** 2 Corinthians 6:14ff: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Do no touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty.”

No comments: