Welcome to Christ’s Community Church. Today we’re celebrating Mother’s Day and so we’re going to talk about mama, because we all love mama. Now some of you singles are thinking this does apply to you, but I’m thinking that you might know a mama or have a mama. In fact maybe someday you’ll be a mama or you’ll marry someone who will be a mama and so eventually this is going to apply to you. What I want to do is a little preventative maintenance as we look at Psalms 127 and 128 and talk about mama.
Now to begin, I want to start off with a little bit of participation. I wonder how many of you know somebody that has a job that you’d love to trade jobs with? You know, from time to time you think to yourself, “I’d love to have that job.” How many of you?
Or how many of you, maybe you don’t want their job, but you’ll trade their salaries. How many of you have thought, “I sure would like to have what they make”?
Or how about a house that you would rather have? You would trade your house for their mansion any day of the week as long as they pay the bills right?
Or what about bodies? Anybody like to trade their body with someone else? You know, you’d like to have that hard firm body instead of your soft round one.
A lot of us would love to trade positions or possession with someone. And depending on who you are, depending on your gender or your age, you may or you may not have a great desire to be like mama. Now how many of you love your mama?
How many of you hope to one day be like your mama?
You see, to be mama, to be a mother, is a good life, it’s a desirable life. The Bible tells us this and we can read in Psalms chapter 127:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:1-5).
Continuing in chapter 128,
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel” (Psalms 128:1-6).
What the Lord is describing here is the good life. The good life if you’re a man is to marry a woman who loves the Lord. That you have many children. That you sit around your dinner table with all the kids and your wife and you all love the Lord. The Lord loves you, you love the Lord, your kids love you, and you love your kids. There is peace in that house, there is blessing in that house, and in addition to that you are the blessing the city in which you live. That’s the good life according to the Scriptures.
But the problem is, we may be infinitely blessed and overcome with resentment because of another person’s position or the blessings in their lives. And suddenly everything that we have, everything that God is given to us, no longer gives us any satisfaction. And we’ve got to be honest, because that’s the way a lot of us live. We’re always living for something around the corner.
You know, one day when we have kids I’ll be happy, one day when we can remodel the house I’ll be happy, one day when the kids reach a certain age, then I will be happy. Maybe, when I’m promoted to this position, when I can travel, finally then I will be happy. One day! And were always living for something that someone else has or something that’s around the corner; and we end up living out our days resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives while ignoring God’s goodness in our own lives.
And it’s that kind of attitude that simply steals the blessing out of your life. In Genesis chapter 30, we see Rachael who is unable to get pregnant. The Bible tells us,
“When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children (or what?) or I'll die!" (Genesis 30:1).
Now, she wasn’t going to die, but her resentment, her jealousy of God’s goodness in her sister’s life spoiled the blessing in her own life. She was stuck in this game of comparison, she was consumed by envy, not because she didn’t have a blessed life, but because she was looking for another blessing which hadn’t arrived yet. And don’t you know, in our culture we are almost conditioned to compare.
I think back to when I was growing up, you know it was in like fifth grade and I moved up to a 10-speed bike. I just thought I was so cool because I was so fast and it was awesome. It was like the greatest thing since sliced cheese, until this guy down the street got a motorcycle, a little dirt bike and envy crept in stealing the blessing. Positionally, I was still in the same place, I was still blessed, but like king Saul I fell, because the sin of comparison feeds the sin of envy.
Consider king Saul for a moment. There was a day when the crowds were cheering, and they were singing a song saying that David was such a great warrior, that David had killed all these people in battle, and Saul had killed less. When Saul heard that he started to envy David and the Bible tells us in first Samuel:
“Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David” (1 Samuel 18:8-9).
Saul had a blessed life, but he took his eye off of the work of God and put his eye on someone else. He became resentful of someone else’s blessing and is spoiled the blessing in his own life. That’s what comparison and envy does to us, but today as we celebrate mama we want to consider the important and vital ministry that she has. As we look at and compare and consider the role of momma, the first thing we see is that motherhood is a calling that women were created for.
You see, there is no such thing as a gender battle, because women are called to mother and mothering is a high and noble task. The Bible tells us in Genesis chapter 1, “God blessed them…” mom and dad, the first husband and wife, and said to them,
“God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it..." (Genesis 1:28).
Women were created to mother, and honestly, I’ve never seen a woman who isn’t naturally a mother. Now I’ve heard some say, “I don’t want to be a mother.” But that doesn’t make them not a mother. You see women who don’t have children still mother. Some women call their cats their kids, sometimes it’s a dog, or it’s a hobby or a job, but there still not your kids. Those are your cats, and that’s your dog. And so, a lot of mothers end up mothering something, someone, or somewhere because God built them for it, and that is good.
Mama is supposed to have children, God intended for her to be fruitful, but that’s not just a lot of children, that’s not just multiplication, but fruitful multiplication. You see some people think they are a good Biblical family because they have lots of kids, but that’s not true if those children are demons. That’s not exactly what God was talking about. It’s a beautiful thing to have many children, they are an absolute blessing from God, but you want them to be fruitful. God never intended for you to have 17 disobedient, wild, and rebellious children.
The problem with our society is that there are a lot of children, but they’re not fruitful children, because having children is a lot easier than raising children to be fruitful. The responsibility of raising fruitful children falls in a large part to mama. It’s the role of mom. She is the one who is leading, teaching, instructing, disciplining, and involving herself actively in those children’s affairs to cause them to be fruitful. And yet if you believe and have a biblical mindset like that you will be swimming upstream against a very strong social current.
As a matter of fact, the trend today is that even if you get married and make good money, you’re still not going to raise your own children. It’s kind of interesting, because women who don’t want to raise her children have other women raise their children for them. And statistically three quarters of women will be in the workforce, yet none of them given the choice would want to put their kids in day care. And the lady working as a nanny or in daycare knows that it would be much better for her kids if she were able to just raise, discipline, and instruct her own children rather than handing off this great ministry opportunity to someone else. But statistically the emphasis on work and the greed of our culture has caused women to choose careers and choose not to be mothers. And yet the calling of motherhood was something a woman was created for. Number two, there is a calling but there’s also a responsibility of motherhood.
The first thing you want to do is work on your character. You want to develop a healthy fear of the Lord. Proverbs chapter 31 talks about this great wife and mom saying,
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
If a woman fears the Lord, that’s what causes her to be a great mom and a great wife. If she’s a great Christian, she’ll be a good mom and a good wife. That’s where you start. Am I growing in wisdom, knowledge, and discipline as a result of my fear of the Lord? If so, then whatever God has for me I will be prepared, particularly if it’s motherhood. In addition it tells us in Proverbs chapter 1,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7).
Foolish people don’t fear God, foolish people don’t have wisdom, and foolish people don’t have discipline, and they don’t know what they’re doing with their life. But you know, if your mom, that school is always in session, you’re always training, because Proverbs chapter 22 tells us you are building momentum in your children’s lives.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
So, very early in life children are learning, children are taking notes, and a wise mother knows that. She considers the issue of Proverbs chapter 20,
“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right” (Proverbs 20:11).
And mothers know the identity of a child gets set very early either through poor or good training. Many of you have had babysitting jobs and you know there are certain kids that you’ll never again watch those kids. Mama knows that she needs to set the reputation of her kids early, not that they’re perfect, but that they love the Lord, they’re growing, and they respect authority. That is training that begins early and that comes from mom.
First it comes through unspoken instruction. Moms you need to know that your children are like parrots; they are watching you and imitating you. Most of what they will learn comes from what they have observed from you. The old saying, “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a reflection of reality. Mama preaches with her life.
Proverbs chapter 31 tells us what a good mom does:
“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard” (Proverbs 31:15-16).
Verse 21, “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet” (Proverbs 31:21).
Mama is practical, and how she lives, acts, and does things is a living sermon to the kids. But she also trains her children through her words. Verse two of Proverbs 31 tells us that this mother sits down with her teenage son and talks to him about drinking, running around with bad kids, chasing girls and encourages him to live honorably.
“O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. "It is not for kings, O Lemuel — not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights” (Proverbs 31:2-5).
This is a mother’s responsibility, but it has to begin when the child is young. If they don’t respect and honor their mother or father, if they don’t fear the Lord, and heed correction they won’t listen. Proverbs says, “Discipline your son for in that there is hope…” (Proverbs 19:18). The Bible goes on to say how mama instructs her children in chapter 31,
“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31: 26).
What that means is mama needs to know her Bible, she needs to know the word of God, and she’s going to teach like Jesus. You see, Jesus didn’t set up class, but he taught while he was eating, walking, working, serving, and doing life together with his disciples. Isn’t that how a mother teaches her children? As the opportunity arises she brings in Biblical wisdom and she imparts that wisdom to her children. And lastly mama trains her children through correction.
It’s not enough to just teach your children, you should also be cautioning them, reprimanding them to continue applying the Biblical wisdom that you give them. Proverbs chapter 1 says clearly,
“Do not forsake your mother's teaching” (Proverbs 1:8).
Part of your responsibility is to tell them what to do, but the other part is to make sure they continue in it. That’s why James tells us,
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
You see, just teaching without application and obedience leads to hard-hearted legalistic self-righteous kids but not to holiness. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, and so the only hope is to change the heart, and part of that takes discipline and it takes instruction. It’s modeling, it’s words, and its correction. And that’s why when you take your kid somewhere you say, “Here are the rules and if you disobey, here are the consequences.” Isn’t that how works? Isn’t that how God works with us?
Eat this fruit and what’s going to happen?
“You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
But a godly mother, a mother who fears the Lord saves her children from death. She loves them, she’s respected by them, because she holds the honorable position of mother.
Proverbs chapter 31, verse 28 tells us,
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28).
A good mom is praised by her children. And you know I think that’s why some women go into the workforce. It’s not about the money but it’s about the recognition. From time to time you get a performance review and you get a raise, maybe you get a promotion, but if you’re raising kids what you get? More dirty diapers.
You have to get your security from Christ and your identity in him. It may not be ‘til your children are older that they look back and actually bless you. Because when children are two or three they don’t understand the fullness of what they’re receiving from their mom. But as they get older, if mom does a good job, her children will delight in her and enjoy her and celebrate her. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Proverbs chapter 23 tells us,
“May your father and mother be glad may she who gave you birth rejoice!” (Proverbs 23:25).
That is the fruit of good mothering. Memories where you rejoice that you had those kids. And that’s my prayer for you mom’s today. My prayer is that you would celebrate your blessed life, that you would embrace this personal holiday, and that you would know contentment in your calling. It’s that one word, contentment, that is God’s answer to those who are mothers. Philippians chapter 4 tells us,
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
That’s the secret of contentment, of embracing the blessed life, and the calling of motherhood. All of a sudden this changes everything. As they say this is the game changer!
It’s that moment when I realize that I have everything I need to do the will of God and to glorify him through my life. I lack nothing to do the perfect will of God. That concept removes his desire for anything else because I have everything I need through Christ. At this moment and at this time I have everything that I need to do the will of God. Therefore, I lack nothing.
Moms the minute your mind starts to go down the negative track, wishing you had this or wishing you had that, maybe comparing, or complaining about the noise, the mess, and the responsibilities; grab those thoughts, take them captive, and replace them with thoughts of God. Train your mind to think on those things that are pure and lovely and admirable and excellent. If anything is praiseworthy give your mind toward those things. Refuse to think the negative comparative and complaining thoughts. Embrace your calling of motherhood. Embrace the blessed life!
This morning, if you are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ you have everything you need. You can do everything God calls you to do, and you can give him all the glory, because you lack no good thing. You are living the blessed life.
Pastor John Talcott
Christ's Community Church
303 West Lincoln Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
May 14, 2017
Graphics, notes, and commentary from LifeChurch, Preaching Library, and PC Study Bible.
Scripture from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.