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. my mother trained herself to be a godly woman. Someone once said . like… • stand up straight • brush your teeth • eat your vegetables • clean your room BUT those didn’t make the cut. Proverbs 31 was the text that the preacher used for his funeral message. It seems fitting that I would honor her by using her life as the basis of what you’ll hear today. As I was preparing this message this morning. (Of course. Then King Lemuel goes on to describe what a noble/virtuous woman looks like. It’s these pieces of advice that stuck with him as most important throughout his life. it doesn& #8217. I got to thinking – if King Lemuel felt it was appropriate to praise his mother in his message.Now. 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. Now. cause I’m going to do it anyway). In fact. and as you can probably imagine… he’s talking about his mamma. So. I could do the same for mine.that people become what they train themselves to become as they grow up. she might have told him a few other things as he grew up.t matter whether you mind or not. and he used this passage because my mamma was a Godly/virtuous woman. 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. She seemed to build her entire life around God. if you don’t mind… I’m going to use my mom for foundation for much of sermon. I remember as I grew up that . as most of you know.

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

. And in that. she was faithful to God that Dad got a little jealous. And God did that for my mother.” Proverbs 31:23 That’s her objective: that her man is respected and highly regarded. mom’s gentle and quiet love for God began to wear at Dad’s defenses. and one day when they were at church . God honored my mother. In fact. King Lemuel says that a virtuous woman is successful if… “Her husband is respected at the city gate.the invitation was given and dad surprised mom by suddenly getting up from his seat and walking down front. And from that day forward. She was a Godly girl. where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Mom told of the time Dad tried shaming her into not going. 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. and beauty is fleeting. and a virtuous woman does everything she can to accomplish that goal. Over time. He later became a Sunday School Superintendant and even an Elder in the church.Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceptive. but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. mom says he never used a curse word again.he still wasn’t all that sold out for God. It got to the point where Dad even tried to talk her out of going to church so much. 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. 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. and dad was drawn to her because she was Godly . And God honored her even more when Dad died and assured her (in a very special way) of where dad was going.” And mom was a woman who feared God. What it does mean is that God honors us when we place our affection for Him above all else.

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

no reason. just felt like calling” she replied “Well. A Godly mother realizes that .getting permission from my wife wasn’t going to be hard. 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. why are you calling?” I asked “Oh. Mothers have a significant impact on what their children regard as being important. I do think that. • whether they instinctively choose between right and wrong. ILLUS: Not long ago. Every week that I’d been at the congregation. 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.but I knew I hadn’t done that… because I had studiously avoided that because my mamma had told me to. This was Saturday morning… we never talked on Saturday morning. Now . “Well mom.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. we always talked on Sunday Night after worship. • whether they are selfish and prone toward cheating or if they share with others and play by the rules of life. And I was publicly challenged by one man who accused me of having named names . But I know too much about Scripture to really believe it. it’s funny you should call…” and then I went on to explain what I wanted.for all the strengths they can . But I preached that powerful sermon because my mother listened to the promptings of God one Saturday morning and called me just to talk. “Let me talk to Dad for a moment. But the odd thing was that just a short time after I finished my prayer… Mom called. You’d be right.” she said and I waited while they talked. 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. but Godly mothers are different from other kinds of mothers.

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

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