2011 05 08

A Mother’s Hope

Reverend Anthony R. Locke

May 8th, 2011 www.FirstPresTucker.org

at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker

This was the 2011 Mother’s Day Sermon

Proverbs 23:12-26 Mother’s Day English Standard Version

12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
16 My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what is right.
17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.
20 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.
22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.[1]

Today is a special day because it is the Lord’s Day, and because we honor mothers in a special way as we reflect how they are God’s gift to us.

Mothers are more intimately involved than anyone else in child rearing. Every mother is special and a gift of God to the family. We should honor them and listen to their wisdom.

God fearing mothers hope that their children will listen to their instruction and the instruction of God. Christian mothers place their faith in a covenant keeping God that loves their children even more than a mother’s love.

God marks our children in baptism with His love and we raise them to know God. God covenant promises to aid the mothers to raise up a godly seed that will serve and fear God.

The hope of every God fearing mother is reflected in our passage between verses 22-25.

Notice that fathers are not cut out of the raising of children, but this morning we are focusing on the hope of God fearing mothers. There are three specific hopes.

God fearing mothers hope their children will honor them, cling to the truth, and cause their hearts to continually rejoice.

A mother’s love is unmatchable, intimate, unique and special. A mother’s heart overflows in free, un-bought, sacrificial and unselfish love.

A mother has constant and tender concern for her children. She nurses in times of sickness. She advises and counsels in times of distress.

No matter how much pain her child, teenager or young adult causes – a mother keeps loving.

The beauty of a mother’s love is only matched by the ultimate source of love from God. God never stops loving His errant children. His love is a constant. No matter how far God’s children stray, He is always willing to leave the 99 to go find that one lost sheep.

A mother’s love deserves our highest honor, respect and appreciation.

How sad that this motherly love is disparaged by the world which despises the role of motherhood within our culture. Organizations and non-profits are organized to lobby against the traditional role of motherhood in America.

But this is not God’s perspective. From God’s point of view, motherhood is not a hassle, a career killer or a lower station of service in life.

Motherhood is the favor of God. Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Motherhood is a divine gift, not a burden, but a reward. Serving the needs of children is a gift from the hand of our Lord.

Motherhood is a beautiful station of service to the “least of these” in our midst. Jesus says that when we serve the least, we serve Him. Jesus takes it personally as though a cup of cold water had been personally given to Him. Motherhood is a high calling in the Lord’s Kingdom.

Our culture looks at motherhood with unscriptural eyes. If we treat motherhood as a hassle or burden, then our young people will see motherhood in the same light. Later in life those same young people will treat their service to their mothers as a hassle and burden. We must treat mothers with the honor and dignity they deserve when they are younger, so that when they are old, their children will rise up and call them blessed.

Godly mothers hope that they will have children who honor them. Verse 22 do not despise your mother when she is old. She has toiled and dirtied herself in the field of God’s favor and reward. No matter how long you live, you can never repay your mother. Not just the hours, but the love that mirrors the love of Christ. That kind of sacrifice elicits an obedience of love that is sweet, full and immediate.

She has no greater heritage than our love. Her reputation is written in the wisdom and  character of her children. She served the least and is now the greatest in God’s eyes. We should pray to have God’s perspective that we might honor our mothers as Jesus honored His.

Don’t abandon your mother. Make sure she is well cared for either in her home or your home. Visit her often. Tell her often how much she means to you. Tell her how much you appreciate her life of love. Show your love in ways she will appreciate back.

Men, honor your wives. Your children learn how to honor their mom first by watching you honor your wife. Speak soft words. Be patient. Be kind. And always show love.

Every God fearing mother hopes for children that honor honorable people. The most valuable Mother’s Day present you can give your mother is to love and honor God above all. Fear God and live in obedience to the Lord.

What better way to honor a God fearing mother, than to flee from sin, flying to God for salvation, kneeling at the cross in repentance, and walk in God’s favor daily.

That’s the deepest hope in the heart of a God fearing mother. Consistent, obedient, spirit filled living for Jesus.

If you love Jesus then you will fulfill the hope of a God fearing mother. If we will do this, then we will deeply honor our mothers.

The hope of a God fearing mother is for us to honor them, second, for us to cling to the truth.

What does it mean to cling to truth? How do we hold wisdom, instruction and understanding.

Well, first we have to ask, “what is truth in Proverbs?”

Truth in Proverbs is the whole counsel of God’s revealed will. Proverbs holds practical truth for living.

Proverbs provides truth to provide insight for right choices, truth for maturity in relationships, truth to keep us safe from snares, truth to keep us from aligning ourselves with sinners, and truth about the moderate use of wine and words. There is truth about the Triune God, truth about the path of salvation. There are many, many categories of truth in Proverbs.

God revealed truth and a God fearing mother hopes for us to let that truth in, to bind it upon our neck, to write it on the tablet of our heart.

We don’t take off truth so we can do as we please. We embrace truth and we cling to truth.

Ultimately, Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. We rest our minds and hearts, we rest our faith in the Person who is truth personified.

God declares that He has given us life, and that life is in His Son. Jesus is the truth of God. The Spirit leads into the truth of the Son of God.

Cling to truth.

Buy that truth and do not sell it.

Jesus tells a story about a man who finds a treasure in a field, sells all he has to buy the field and obtains the treasure. Jesus is the treasure. You sell every thing you have in this life to hold and cling to the new treasure.

Truth is free, but very costly. You must set aside the pride of your heart and your own wisdom to possess and cling to God’s wisdom.

You must set aside your own righteousness and embrace God’s definitions of rightness and holy living. You must abandon your own will, and let the Holy Spirit guide your path. The Spirit will lead you to the cross and you must crucify your appetites for worldly things and the lusts of the flesh.

You must be willing to bear reproach for bearing the truth to a world in rebellion and rejection of God’s revealed truth in Jesus.

How much do we value truth? Do we cling to truth? Or do we sell truth down the river when it becomes inconvenient and too costly to affirm? That is the opposite of clinging to truth.

God fearing mothers hope that their children will honor them, that they will cling to the truth and that they will increase as the focus of their rejoicing.

All mother’s rejoice in their children. Pictures are always at the ready. Stories of victory and triumph are well rehearsed and on the tip of their tongues. Every child is a source of pride and joy.

But joy can turn to sorrow. Listen to Proverbs 10:1 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

A wise child who honors their mother and clings to truth will not bring sorrow to the heart of their mother.

Children, you have the power to break your mother’s heart. You can cause her heart to break by the choices you make.

I remember an incident when I was in my late 20’s. A beautiful young lady began visiting our church. She was the sort of girl that turned my head. I was interested. I started to get to know her in church settings. Eventually, we went on a few dates.

Unknown to me, my mom discerned some things about this girl that were not honorable. My mom was praying, weeping before the Lord, that I would loose interest on my own and not date her. Finally, my mom put that prayer and those thoughts on paper in a four page appeal that she sent me in the mail.

I was dumbfounded. Shocked really. It wasn’t long that my mom was proved right, but without hesitation, I broke off my interest. I told her I couldn’t see her again.

Imagine the sorrow I would have caused my mom’s heart if I had let myself get dragged into a sinful and damaging relationship with that girl. What a mess I would have created had I not honored my mom.

We can either be the source of great joy or sorrow to our mothers. She who brought us into the world, clothed us, counseled and dotted over us, cared for every detail, thousands of little details, prayed over us, wept for us to have good character and be honest, and we can break their hearts by sinful choices.

The deepest wound my mother can strike is to tell me that I have disappointed her with selfish and sinful choices. I hate to disappoint my mom. I want to make her heart rejoice, not hurt.

So these are the hopes of a God fearing mother. They pray that we will be children who honor honorable people, that we cling to the truth, and that we give them increasing cause for joy and praise to God.

I hope you were blessed with such a mother. I hope you are aspiring to be this kind of a mother to your children.

May God bless us today as we reflect on the goodness of God’s love that came to us through our mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.


[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

A Tribute to Mothers