MOTHERíS DAY

 

Have you ever wondered when Motherís Day began in the United States?

President Woodrow Wilson signed a joint resolution in Congress on May 9, 1914, recommending that the federal government observe Mother's day. The next year, the president was authorized to proclaim it an annual holiday. Even though Motherís Day is special day that we are supposed to honor our mothers, I think we should honor our mothers every single day because they are special and they are precious. I want to share with you some of the special qualities that most mothers have.

        A mother is one who will nourish, love, and care for her children.

        A mother is a night watchman as she keeps a ear out for her childrenís cry at night, and she will immediately spring out of bed to comfort them.

        A mother is a doctor and a nurse all rolled into one. No matter what kind of pain a child has, it is only a motherís kiss that can make them feel better.

        A mother is one who can change a stinky diaper with a smile on her face.

        A mother is a time keeper as she keeps up with all the events in her childrenís life, and she makes sure they make it to them on time.

        A mother doubles as taxi driver or chauffer; whatever it takes to get her children where they need to go.

        She is a chef, and she makes meals that are best for her children.

        A mother is a councilor and works with her childrenís emotions during difficult times.

        A mother is a referee when it comes to disputes between her children.

        A mother is a great comforter when her child wakes up from a bad dream or bad weather.

        A mother is great encourager who gives her children what they need to succeed.

        Even though a mother is overworked and underpaid, she doesn't complain.

        She would work her fingers to the bone for her children.

        She is willing to come to their rescue, no matter what the cause.

All of these wonderful qualities are a motherís God-given talents that she can use for the glory of God. God expects a mother to raise and nurture her children to become the best they can be in this world and to prepare them to love God as much as she does. It is not easy being a mother, but when it is done right, it has it rewards. So, all faithful Christians mothers should be honored.

In fact, the Bible teaches us that we should honor our mothers. For instance, under the Law of Moses notice what the 5th commandment says:

Exodus 20:12 " Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. ††

 

We also find this commanded in the NT as well:

 

Ephesians 6:1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

 

Long before Woodrow Wilson suggested that we honor our mothers, the Word of God has commanded us to respect and honor them. For the rest of my lesson, I want to take a look as some of the mothers of the Bible, and look at some their characteristics.

 

The first mother I want to look at is Abrahamís wife, Sarah. I am going to label her as the impatient mother.

 

God had made a promise to Abraham that his descendents would be more numerous than the stars, and no doubt Sarah was aware of this, but a lot of time had went by and she was unable to conceive. Apparently she thought she was never going to conceive, but she was not going to let her infertility stop her from providing Abraham with children as we read in:

 

Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.3 Then Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.

 

We learn that Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands and she gives her maid servant to Abraham and she was able to bear him a son. Some might say, oh thatís wonderful she accomplished her goal. However, this was not in Godís plan. Sarah took matters into her own hands and tried to take them out of Godís hands.

 

A lot of people are like Sarah. When we donít get the results we want from God in a timely manner, what do we do? We take matters into our own hands just like Sarah did and most the time when we do this, the result does not come out like we want them to. Thatís what happened to Sarah when Hagar bore a child for Abraham. Apparently, Hagar was dishonoring Sarah because she could not conceive. Perhaps she was making mean comments such as, ďdonít you wish you could produce a child like me.Ē Because of this, Sarah dealt with her maid harshly, and Sarah was very unhappy about this whole mess. Iím sure Sarah wished that she had never taken matters into her own hands. She should have waited on the lord and trusted in Him, but she did not. Most of us can relate to Sarah because most of us have been impatient and we have taken matters into our own hands. Many times when we do this, we end up regretting what we did because we didnít trust in God.

 

Now after Sarah was way past the age for a woman to conceive a child, God lets Abraham know that Sarah was going to have a child. Notice Abrahamís response:

 

Genesis 17: 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!"19 Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.20 "And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.21 "But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year."

 

Even Abraham was amazed at what the Lord was telling him. This just go to show you that with God all things are possible. So, a great lesson we can learn from Sarah is to not take matters into our own hands, but to be patient and put our trust in Godís timing.

 

A great example of this comes from our second mother, Hannah.

 

This story is found in 1 Samuel. We learn from 1 Sam. 1:1-7 that a man by the name of Elkanah (L- ka- naw) had 2 wives named Peninnah (pen- in Ė naw) and Hannah. Peninnah was able to have children but Hannah could not. Once a year when they would go to worship God and make sacrifices, Elkanah would make an offeringand give a portion to Peninnah and her children, but he would give a double portion to Hannah because he loved her so much even though she had not bore him any children. This was very troublesome to Hannah because all she wanted to do was to be a mother, and it certainly didnít help matters when Peninnah would give her a hard time about not having any children yet.

 

1 Samuel 1:8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD.10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.11 Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

 

As you can see, Hannah was getting very depressed and she prayed to God from her heart with eyes full of tears. She poured her soul out to the Lord and asked him to allow her conceive a son. If He would make this happen she promised she would give him to the lord all the days of his life. She put her trust in the Lord, and the lord heard her prayer and answered it and she bore a son. She even named him with an appropriate name because Samuel means ďAsked him of the Lord.Ē Now she stayed at home with Samuel until he was weaned, then she took him to Eli the priest so he could serve the Lord forever just as she had promised.

1 Samuel 1:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young.25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli.26 And she said, "O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD.27 "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.28 "Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD." So they worshiped the LORD there.

 

Not only did Hannah do the right thing by trusting in God and his timing. She also kept her promise she made to the Lord about giving her son over to Him. Since Hannah was so faithful and a wonderful mother, we learn that God blessed her with even more children.

 

1 Samuel 2:20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD." Then they would go to their own home.21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

 

We learn from Hannah how important it is for us to keep our promises especially the promises that we make to the Lord. She has also given us a great example of how God can bless our lives if we will simply trust in Him.

 

Our next mother is Jochebed (jock Ė a Ė bed), Mosesí mother. She is good example of what a mother is willing to do to save her child.

 

Exodus 2:1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi.2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank.4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it.6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children."7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?"8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother.9 Then Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water."

 

Moses mother loved him dearly, and she was not about to have him thrown into the river because of the Pharaohís command. Now as we read the story of what happened, it is easy to see that Jochebed was taking a big risk is putting her son on the river and allowing the Pharaohs daughter to see him. She could have easily ordered her servants to drown baby Moses. But when the Pharaohs daughter saw the baby and heard it cry, her heart melted. I think this would be a common response with just about any woman. There seems to be a natural desire for most women to embrace a child that is crying, and that is what Pharaohs daughter did. But, what I really like about this story is that Jochebed had the opportunity to teach Moses about God, and about the children of Israel until he was weaned, and this teaching stuck with him and never forgot it. I believe it was the influence of his mother that caused him to defend one of his own fellow Hebrew people. Remember how he struck the Egyptian dead who was oppressing the Hebrew slave? Of course we all know that Moses goes on to be a Godly man who leads the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

 

All mothers and fathers alike can learn a great lesson from Jochebed. Itís very important that we teach our children about God early on. What we teach them now will stick with them for the rest of their lives, and it will influence how they live their life in the future. We must understand that as Christian parents and grandparents that our children and our grandchildren look at us for examples. So, there is a great need for us to live a righteous life.

 

In my lifetime I have met parents who always keep beer in their refrigerator, and they will tell their children drinking is bad for them and that they should never drink beer, yet mom and dad get to drink all the time. What kind of message does that send to your children? I can tell most of them will end up sneaking a drink so they can feel big like mom and dad, and chances are when they grow up and get out on their own, their refrigerator will be full of beer as well. If you donít want your kids to drink, then you shouldnít drink either. If you donít want your kids to use bad language, then you donít use bad language. If youíre going to teach someone to do something, you must set the example. This principle doesnít just apply to parents and grandparents, it applies to all Christian in every situation.

 

For instance, if your friends and co-workers know that you are a faithful Christian and they catch you doing something that a Christians should not do, then you are going to lose the godly influence you had with those people because if you start telling them what they are doing is wrong then they are going to remind of what you did.

 

As I stated earlier, we need to start teaching our children at a very young age, but I want you to know that it doesnít matter how old your children are, you should never give up on them. Take every opportunity you can to teach them more about God because you never know what influence you may still have on them. So never give up.

 

Our final mother we are going to look at this morning is Naomi, and she is a great example of how much love a mother can have for her daughter-in-law. Naomi was married and had 2 sons who were married to 2 women of Moab. At some point, her husband dies then about 10 years later both her sons die. Parents never want to live longer than their children, but Naomi did. After she lost her sons she decided to go back home to Judah and both her daughter- in Ėlaws wanted to go with her.

 

The fact that these women were willing to leave their family to stay with Naomi indicates how much love they had for Naomi and how much love she must have showed them. She tried to persuade them to go back to their family and leave her. One of them listened, but Ruth would not. Notice what Ruth said to Naomi:

 

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."

 

This shows how much love and dedication she had for her mother-in-law. When they arrived at Bethlehem, Ruth went out into the fields to gather up heads of grain. The field she went to belonged to Boaz who was related to Naomi. Ruth caught his eye, and he wanted her to continue to gather food from his field and to hang around his maid servants and she does this. When Naomi hears about this, she got excited for her daughter-in-law and she gives her good advice on how to be pleasing to Boaz and to gain his favor.

 

Sure enough, Naomi advice paid off, and Boaz and Ruth ended up getting married and have a child named Obed who would become Davidís grandfather. Once again, Naomi had the opportunity to hold a child in her hands, and I have no doubt that she had had positive influence on her grandson as she gave him all her love. I believe we can also safely assume that Ruth learned a great deal about being a good loving mother from Naomi.

 

This is another great example that shows how important a motherís love is and how much influence they can have on their daughter-in-laws or son-in-laws as well.

 

Well, we have looked a several mothers this morning and their characteristics. We have learned how important mothers are and how they should be honored. We have also learned that we must be patient and trust in Lordís timing and that there is great need for us to teach our children and our grandchildren about God. Finally, we learned how our love can be used to influence those around us so that they may also be encouraged to live their life for God. As we grow in our Christianity, I hope that we will all strive to live by these positive characteristics we have learned about today.