Lucia's Blog: A TRIBUTE TO GODLY MOTHERS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A TRIBUTE TO GODLY MOTHERS

 
Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying:  'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.'  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."
Proverbs 31:28-31


Sunday we celebrate one of our most beloved days of the year, Mother's Day. When we lament the decay of the home and culture, what we are really mourning is the loss of motherhood. Instead of complaining, let us lift up of our mothers and honor those who truly love their motherhood, accept their sacred calling and bless us all.

For many of us, Mother's Day is a bittersweet and sad day.  My precious mother died a few years ago and every Mother's Day is a painful reminder.  She is not here that I might thank her with these words, but I thank God immensely for giving me a beautiful and wonderful Christian mother who taught me so much.  Above all, she taught me to love God and honor Him all the days of my life.  The memory of her life lives on in us her children who still rise up and call her "blessed."  Abraham Lincoln once said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."  I would say AMEN to that since this is how my heart feels about my mother.  If your mother is still alive, I pray that you would honor her not just on Mother's Day but every day of your life as God has instructed us to do.  The following is a tribute to ALL godly mothers, especially my own mother whom I miss painfully but who nevertheless has left precious footprints in my heart and the hearts of those that she touched.


I.   WHAT IS A GODLY MOTHER?

It is the mother who builds nations. She builds stable homes, and in doing this, she blesses others. This mother is indispensable to nations, churches and to her neighbor. She takes her God-given role to heart. She is the truest friend in the midst of our trials and heavy burdens. She is aware that the only goal in her life is to uphold God's principles as a mother and wife. Her faith inspires her family as well as others. She also gives them the courage to fight on the battlefield of their souls. She labors intensely for the stability and building up of her family. She gives strength, comfort, and wisdom to her children.


"And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."  (2 Timothy 3:15).

She always leans on God to help her do her job well throughout her life. She knows she is nothing without God's help. She fights for her family's spiritual welfare, fighting the Enemy with all her soul, heart and mind. To her the most important and relevant purpose in life is to honor God, so she engraves His Truth in her heart, God's everlasting Truth.
 "For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well."  (2 Timothy 3:15).  
Armed with God's wisdom, she blesses generations to come. Her works will follow her!  In her heart, she has purposed to love and live in peace to maintain harmony and restore relationships.

On the other hand, the foolish woman destroys her home with her hands, but wise mothers build their homes for eternity. She opens her home with joy without complaint, all for the glory of God. She values her home and her family making it a haven for them. She loves and treasures having her children around and will sacrifice to keep them close.  She is a woman of prayer. She continually prays for the needs of her family. She also prays for wisdom and understanding. She delights in teaching them the Word of God so that they might walk the straight and narrow way. Their souls are more important to her than her own economic ambitions.


II.   THE VALUE OF GODLY MOTHERS:

In the letter written to the church in Rome, Paul starts out by greeting twenty-six saints by name as well as two unnamed ones. He also greeted several churches that were meeting in homes.  Paul evidently did not live an isolated life.  As sheep of the Lord's pasture, we group and keep together.  We get to know each other better; we pray together; we share together; we care for each other.  This requires dedication, love, and longsuffering.  In this letter written to the Romans, Paul commends nine women.  This proves that Paul did not belittle the role of women but instead praised them for their good works.  Many have accused Paul of undervaluing women.

Consider the following statements made by Paul regarding the value of these godly women of God, who in many cases were mothers also.

  • A Tribute to Sacrificial Mothers: 
 Phoebe is one good example.
"I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchreae:  2 that ye receive her in the Lord, worthily of the saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need of you: for she herself also hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self."  (Romans 16:1-2)

Apparently, Phoebe was planning on visiting these brethren in Rome.  Paul sent this Letter to them via Phoebe.  In this Letter, Paul is urging these brethren to love each other as God's adopted people and welcome each other with brotherly love.

What is the lesson here?   That we must remember and honor our mother's sacrifice as one that is worthy.  In Phoebe's case, she "hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self."  How do we remember and honor our mothers?
  • By modeling her godly character.
  • By following her example.  
  • By visiting the sick.  
  • By helping the one in need.  
  • By teaching and instructing others about how to manage their home.  
  • By helping our neighbors.  
  • By taking a meal to a family who is suffering or is in distress.  
  • By always offering a word and shoulder for them to lean on.  
  •  By always being a giver and not a taker. 

We must help one another.  Think about how many single mothers, widows and of course divorcees there are who need our help in the body of Christ?  We can be a blessing to them in making their burden a little less heavy.  Remember the old saying "The hand that rocks the cradle usually is attached to someone who is not getting enough sleep." Let us let this sink deeply into our hearts! 

  • A tribute to All Servant Mothers:  
Priscilla is another example.
"Salute Prisca and Aquila my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles:  and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ."  (Romans 16:3-5)

In Acts 18:2, we come in contact with Priscilla and Aquila in Corinth.  We learn that they had just left Rome because of the deportation or banishment of all Jews from Rome by Emperor Claudius.  Aquila and Priscilla were tent-makers.  This was Paul's trade also.  When Paul left Corinth to go to Ephesus, they went with him, (Acts 18:18).  When they heard Apollos teaching the Way of the Lord concerning Jesus accurately according to John the Baptist, they took him aside and instructed him, an eloquent scholar, in the Way of God more accurately, (Acts 18:24-26).

According to Scripture, Priscilla and Aquila had an open heart to hospitality.  Their home was an open door.  They used their home as a meeting place for the church at Ephesus.  Paul spoke of the church meeting in their house when he wrote to the Corinthians, (I Corinthians 16:19).  A group of Christians met at their home after Claudius had lifted a ban against the Jews.  The last time we hear of this great couple is in (II Timothy 4:19).  They are in Ephesus.  They show a great example of hospitality, perhaps in part because of Priscilla.  It seems that they had a place for the church to meet everywhere they moved.

Lesson to learn:  Is our home a place of evangelizing?  Is our home a center for instruction in the Way of the Lord?  Are the doors of our home open to hospitality?

The wife is the queen of her home.  Let us never apologize or feel undermined for being housewives.  Remember that hospitality was a distinct trait of the first-century church.  There are many great things we can do for the Lord's cause as Christian women who are wives and mothers.  But we need to open our doors to hospitality.  That means we must be devoted housewives, not part-time but full-time, to accomplish this task.

Sadly, we live in a culture where the art of hospitality has been lost.  Why?  Simply, because we are not content with what the Lord provides for us.  Therefore we, wives, feel the urge to leave our homes and work in the commercial world, having a double income to nourish our selfish ambitions, interests, and material desires.  We want to keep up with the Joneses.  This is wrong!

We have an example of a  noble sister, Priscilla, who married Aquila, and later came to obey the Gospel. She loved the church and did an excellent service for the cause of Christ.

What do we learn from Priscilla and Aquila?
  They worked together as a godly married couple for God.  It is vital for us as a family, including our children, to work together as a godly team to further the gospel and bring glory to our God.  This applies in the home and in the church as well.

  • A Tribute to Soul-Winning Mothers:
    • The Household of Aristobulus: 
"Salute Apelles the approved in Christ. Salute them that are of the household of Aristobulus."  (Romans 16:10)

In this letter to the Romans, Paul greets the household of Aristobulus and not just to him alone.  Some suggest that this man was the grandson of Herod the Great and the brother of Herod Agrippa I.  Perhaps his household, wife, family, and servants were believers.

Lesson to learn:  The messengers of God's kingdom of grace were often a man's wife and children.  Godly wives can minister with their husbands to win souls for the Lord.

    • The Household of Narcissus:  
"Salute Herodion my kinsman. Salute them of the household of Narcissus, that are in the Lord."  (Romans 16:11)
Perhaps, this man was one of the wealthiest men in Rome who worked as a chief of staff for the Emperor Claudius.  And although he was a wicked man, there was salt and light in his household who were in the Lord, perhaps slaves also. 

  • A Tribute to Shepherding Mothers:
    • The Mother of Rufus:
"Salute Rufus the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."  (Romans 16:13)

We first come to know this man in Mark 15:21.  Simon of Cyrene is described as the father of Alexander and Rufus.  Perhaps this is the same Rufus identified with his father.  Simon's wife became like a mother to Paul and others.  Rufus' mother was a shepherd.

Lesson to learn:  The most important people that we should teach the Gospel of our Lord are our children.   We teach them and show them godly character.  This is so needed in our culture today.  Both mothers and fathers can teach many godly character qualities to their children who may later pass them on to their children, and to their children of the next generation.  There is no better legacy than that!  We must teach this godly character to our children in their daily living.  Let us take to heart the instruction and command given to us in Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart;  and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.   And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates."

God gives us a myriad of opportunities to teach godly character to our children.  If we obey this command, we will not have to worry about how they are behaving even when we are not around to see them.  But we must set the example before them.  We must teach them to hate evil and love all righteousness, (Psalm 12:8Isaiah 5:20).  Let us follow the example that Rufus' mother modeled for us.  Remember that she had been like a mother to Paul and all God's servants.


CONCLUSION:

Indeed, there is a high cost to motherhood. The price is not small. If you are not willing to pay this price, you will never find any amount of encouragement from the joys of motherhood that will satisfy you.  The cost of motherhood is not different from the price we pay for being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christian godly mothers see their duty as mothers flowing from their sacred calling to Jesus Christ.

So what is this cost of motherhood?

The sacred calling of motherhood is to dedicate one's entire life in service to others.  It also means to stand beside our husband, following him, and investing in the lives of our children in the hope that they will survive and surpass us. It means giving up our present satisfaction, immediate gratification, for eternal rewards. It means investing entirely in the lives of others who may never fully appreciate our sacrifice or comprehend the depth of our love for them.  And finally, it means doing all these things heartily, not because we will receive the praise of man, because we know that we will not always be praised, but because God made us this way, to be a woman and a mother, and there is so much joy, praise and great contentment in such a sacred calling, the calling of motherhood.

Indeed, motherhood requires vision, for it demands us to live by faith and not by sight.  Motherhood is the most sacred and noble calling, but it is the most socially unappreciated role or calling to which a young woman may aspire.  My question is.  Does your life matter?  A mother that fears the Lord does not ever need to ask such a question.  The future of the church and the hope of our nation rests upon her faithful obedience to God.

In 1950, the great Scottish American preacher Peter Marshall stood before the United States Senate, and he explained it this way:

Peter Marshall
The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge — that of being a godly woman. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other kind of women — beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career woman, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman — or of a godly man either, for that matter.
I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart.
It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct.

Therefore, as we approach America’s national Mother’s Day celebration, let us remember that we must fight for the Lord.  He is the one who designed motherhood and the home as the highest calling and the most sacred domain or realm of womanhood “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:5).  Let us be godly mothers who can touch a whole generation just by building our homes with Christ's love and godly example.  Let us be godly mothers who arm ourselves with God's wisdom teaching our children to love the Lord and glorify Him as they walk here on earth, (2 Timothy 3:15)Let us not be like the foolish woman who destroys her home with her own hands.  Let us treasure and value godly mothers. And let us always remember that mothers never stop loving, comforting, giving and teaching.  Motherhood requires a lifetime of guidance, wisdom, and strength provided by our God.

May the Lord fill our churches with faithful and godly mothers. May we as mothers always treasure in our hearts the purpose of the sacred calling of motherhood.  May all mothers reflect the beauty of God and His Word to the watching world.  May we lay down our selfishness at the foot of the cross.  And may we also remember that mothering is what we do as faithful servants of Christ.
"Strength and dignity are her clothing,  and she smiles at the future.  She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."
(Proverbs 31:25-27)


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Luci


I will leave you with the following poem that well portrays our role as godly mothers, wives, homemakers, and servants and mainly love in the home.


BLESSED MOTHERHOOD!

BLESSED is she whose daily tasks are a labor of love, for her willing hands and happy heart translate duty into privilege, and her labor becomes a service to God.

BLESSED is she who opens the door to welcome both strangers and friends, for gracious hospitality is a test of brotherly love.

BLESSED is she who mends toys and broken hearts, for her understanding is a balm to humanity.

BLESSED is she who cleans and scrubs, for well she knows that cleanliness is one expression of godliness.

BLESSED is she whom children love, for the love of a child is more to be valued than fortune or fame.

BLESSED is she who sings while she works, for music lightens the most massive load and brightens the dullest chore.

BLESSED is she who dusts away doubt and fear and sweeps out the cobwebs of confusions, for her faith will triumph over all adversity.

BLESSED is she who serves laughter and smiles with every meal, for her buoyancy of spirit is an aid to mental and physical digestion.

BLESSED is she who preserves the sanctity of the home, for hers is a sacred trust and calling that crowns her with dignity, strength, and praise.