On Mother’s Day, many children will try to do something special for their mom’s like give them a personal

letter to express their love. Angie, 8 years old, wrote: "Dear Mother, I’m going to make dinner for you on Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a surprise. P.S. I hope you like pizza and popcorn." Robert card said: "I got you a turtle for Mother’s Day. I hope you like the turtle better than the snake I got you last year." Eileen said: "Dear Mother, I wish Mother’s Day wasn’t always on Sunday. It would be better if it were on Monday so we wouldn’t have to go to school." Little Diane wrote: "I hope you like the flowers I got you for Mother’s Day. I picked them myself when Mr. Smith wasn’t looking." And then there’s this one from Carol: "Dear Mother, here are two aspirins. Have a happy Mother’s Day!" APPLY: Each of these children appreciated their mother. You can tell from their letters that they loved their mothers. And while their gifts weren’t exactly perfect, they were trying, in their childlike way to show their mother how much they loved her. Here in Proverbs 31, we have a King who trying to do the same thing. Oftentimes, when someone preaches on Proverbs 31… they’ll skip over the first few verses. They’ll read Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” in the belief that this is where this section of Proverbs begins. But it isn’t. This famous section of Proverbs (that tells us about Godly mothers) actually starts with King Lemuel repeating an oracle (literally “a burden”) his mother had for him * He was reciting the advice that she gave him when he was younger. * He was repeating the things she felt he needed to know to be a good boy. It was her “burden” for him. She cared about how he lived his life. In those first few verses, the king says his mother told him to… • Be careful who he dates/marries. “Don’t hang out with questionable women.” (vs. 3) • Not to drink alcoholic beverages it will cloud his judgment (vs. 4,5) • AND (because he was King) to be sure to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. As King he stood between evil and good for the sake of his people (vs. 8,9)

And ever since she was a little girl. as most of you know. She seemed to build her entire life around God. cause I’m going to do it anyway).that people become what they train themselves to become as they grow up. So. In fact.Now. Now. Then King Lemuel goes on to describe what a noble/virtuous woman looks like. It seems fitting that I would honor her by using her life as the basis of what you’ll hear today. my mother trained herself to be a godly woman. I remember as I grew up that . and as you can probably imagine… he’s talking about his mamma. it doesn& #8217. My mom had three great loves in her life • Her God • Her husband • And her children IN THAT ORDER Nothing else mattered to her nearly as much as those 3 things. and he used this passage because my mamma was a Godly/virtuous woman. It’s these pieces of advice that stuck with him as most important throughout his life. As I was preparing this message this morning. I could do the same for mine. my mother just passed away a week and a half ago.  She’d give chalk talks – where she’d teach while drawing picture on an easel  She would sing specials for church… and sing in church choirs. like… • stand up straight • brush your teeth • eat your vegetables • clean your room BUT those didn’t make the cut. (Of course.t matter whether you mind or not. Someone once said . I got to thinking – if King Lemuel felt it was appropriate to praise his mother in his message. Proverbs 31 was the text that the preacher used for his funeral message. if you don’t mind… I’m going to use my mom for foundation for much of sermon. she might have told him a few other things as he grew up.

Dad walked away from her for good… and decided he’d take another look at this girl he’d kissed down behind the furnace in the church building. It was at a youth group function called “Christian Endeavor”. But my point is – dad never felt much of a need for God. Now dad wasn’t much of a church goer He was a man’s man .strong. Every Sunday of her life that she could do so… she’d get up and go to church.a force unto himself He’d gone to the youth group that night because he’d been invited by a friend.  And she played piano for church worship ILLUS: She recalled that when her church initially approached her to play hymns for worship she was hesitant.she had the whole family up in the choir loft – we made up almost half the choir. She even met my daddy at church. My point is this – mom was sold out for God. because she really didn’t know that many hymns at the time. and I believe that God rewarded her for her faithfulness. Mom says that got her off by herself and kissed her right there behind the furnace in the basement. But the preacher gently told her they’d start with the ones she knew and go from there. It was held in one of those old church buildings where the youth met in the basement and off in one room was a huge furnace. She was faithful to her God. but he turned it down feeling that he needed to stay on the farm and help his folks with the crops. But when dad found that girl sitting on another man’s lap/ kissing him. Dad was a popular handsome man that the girls kind of gravitated towards. Even a few days before her death she was still playing those hymns on the piano at my brother’s home. There was something about mom’s godliness that appealed to him. This was a woman he could trust not to go kissing on another man. He was pretty much self contained . and he’d kissed mom on a lark (he wasn’t real serious at the time). he was such a good athlete that he was offered a sports scholarship to a major university of that day. self-assured. a natural athlete (basketball and baseball) In fact. And so –dad married mom (which was one of the reasons I was born) . and his girlfriend at the time was one of the local beauties.

And from that day forward. and a virtuous woman does everything she can to accomplish that goal.Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceptive. In fact. And God honored her even more when Dad died and assured her (in a very special way) of where dad was going. Mom told of the time Dad tried shaming her into not going. God honored my mother.” Proverbs 31:23 That’s her objective: that her man is respected and highly regarded.the invitation was given and dad surprised mom by suddenly getting up from his seat and walking down front. King Lemuel says that a virtuous woman is successful if… “Her husband is respected at the city gate. What it does mean is that God honors us when we place our affection for Him above all else. Over time.he still wasn’t all that sold out for God. And in that. and beauty is fleeting. and one day when they were at church . . and dad was drawn to her because she was Godly .” And mom was a woman who feared God. He asked her “Would you really be comfortable in heaven if I were in hell?” Mom thought for a moment on that and replied: “Would you really be happy in hell if I were there with you?” Jesus said “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. He later became a Sunday School Superintendant and even an Elder in the church. And God did that for my mother. anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” Matthew 10:37 Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love our families. On their way home from church the Holy Spirit had exerted such an influence on him that dad pulled over to the side of the road and began to weep. It got to the point where Dad even tried to talk her out of going to church so much. mom’s gentle and quiet love for God began to wear at Dad’s defenses. mom says he never used a curse word again. She was a Godly girl. she was faithful to God that Dad got a little jealous.

She read them over and over again. but the concept for the sermon seemed so dangerous that I was afraid it would only make matters worse. Now. . and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She’s a woman who’s NOT satisfied if her son/daughter are just good at math/science.she knows that their success in this world will be empty.(pause) Proverbs 31 also tells us that a Virtuous woman “… speaks with wisdom. And I’ve always valued her advice because I knew it would be built on God’s word. but given the circumstances. I asked God to help me come up with something better… when an idea for a sermon occurred to me. she was reading one story where the name of the Bible character was difficult to pronounce… and she stumbled over it. But their methods and motivations were so corrupt that the church was on the verge of splitting in two because of this board decision. in my childlike mind I wanted to help her and pronounced it for her. Without even thinking about it. Because until her children understand the value of God’s Will/ and His Word . So I told God that IF this were from Him – I’d need the permission of my wife and my parents. ILLUS: At one church I served I was faced with a difficult decision. I had a sermon for that Sunday. Jesus said: “what shall it profit a man. Mom’s faith in God has always been a touchstone for me.” Proverbs 31:26 This is a woman who teaches her children about God. it didn’t seem appropriate. She’s NOT satisfied if her children are ONLY successful in the business world. and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 ILLUS: Every night before bed. In fact. but she’d been so faithful in telling that story that I knew that person’s name almost as well as I knew my own. I was rocking my 2 year old son (Jonathan) and praying to God. On Saturday morning. I didn’t mind being fired as much as I hated the idea that it would split the church. if he shall gain the whole world. A group of troublesome members had worked for a couple of years to get me fired and finally succeeded in getting the board to get me to leave. mom read Bible Stories to me. You could tell it shocked mom. I remember one night when I was about 10. I was half-convinced that this idea had come from God.

it’s funny you should call…” and then I went on to explain what I wanted.you might get the impression – because I’ve indulged myself this morning and used my mother as the focus of this mother’s day sermon – that I believe she was perfect in every way.for all the strengths they can . You’d be right. This was Saturday morning… we never talked on Saturday morning. She was so upset with the church she’d have probably given me a loaded shotgun with instructions and given me permission to shoot whoever I wanted. I do think that. just felt like calling” she replied “Well. But the odd thing was that just a short time after I finished my prayer… Mom called. no reason. • whether they are selfish and prone toward cheating or if they share with others and play by the rules of life.getting permission from my wife wasn’t going to be hard. I read about some research published in the October 2004 issue of Psychological Science that mother’s have a strong influence on • whether or not their children have strong consciences. Now . And I was publicly challenged by one man who accused me of having named names . ILLUS: Not long ago. “Well mom.” she said and I waited while they talked. But I preached that powerful sermon because my mother listened to the promptings of God one Saturday morning and called me just to talk. But I know too much about Scripture to really believe it. why are you calling?” I asked “Oh. “Let me talk to Dad for a moment. She came back on the line and said “It’s ok… as long as you don’t mention any names” That Sunday I preached one of the finest sermons I’ve ever given in my entire ministry. we always talked on Sunday Night after worship. Every week that I’d been at the congregation. A Godly mother realizes that . Mothers have a significant impact on what their children regard as being important. • whether they instinctively choose between right and wrong.but I knew I hadn’t done that… because I had studiously avoided that because my mamma had told me to. but Godly mothers are different from other kinds of mothers.

ILLUS: Not so long ago. and one of the things that caught my attention was that these mothers also seemed to pass along some traits that weren’t all that desirable. a wise mother realizes she PERSONALLY can only lead her children just ‘so far’ into so becoming righteous. her own shortcomings will become part of what her kids imitate. I read about research that told that mothers not only taught their daughters how to be women. ILLUS: Near a church in Kansas. there can be seen in a cement sidewalk the prints of two baby feet with the toes pointing toward the Church. her husband also. CLOSE: Some of the greatest men of our nation recognized the influence of their Godly mothers: • Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying. Without realizing it these mothers passed on their prejudices and character flaws. "My sainted mother taught me devotion to God and a love of country which have ever sustained me. just like everyone else. The tracks are seen today plainly." • George Washington said almost exactly the same thing: All that I am I owe to my mother • General Douglas MacArthur said. if they’re wise mothers/ Godly mothers/ virtuous mothers/ they put a high priority on God’s influence in their children’s lives.share with their children . when the sidewalk was being laid. WHY? Because. "All that I am I owe to my angel mother. So." Proverbs 31:28-29 . It was said that 20 years ago. The Mother had wanted her little boy to start aright. To her I yield anew a son's reverent thanks. Sooner or later. every mother has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. but you surpass them all.they also have weaknesses that can also influence their kids. Thus. Just like King Lemuel praised his mother in Proverbs 31… I praise mine before you this morning And it’s my prayer that every mother here this morning might have the honor of having “her children arise and call her blessed." That’s my testimony to you this morning. a mother secured permission to stand her baby boy on the wet cement. and he praises her:…” declaring "Many women do noble things.