"A Mother's Influence: Home Maker Or Home Breaker"
Rodgers Baptist Church
801 West Buckingham Rd. - Garland, TX 75040
Text passages: Proverbs 14:1. "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." Titus 2:3-5. "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
Introduction: Mother's Day is a day that we set aside to honor mothers and celebrate motherhood. At one time in our society, motherhood was something that was respected and that every woman gladly embraced. However things have changed. Today, motherhood is often viewed as a hassle, an inconvenience, an obstacle to personal fulfillment and career advancement, yet where would we be minus the contribution of a loving mother? Poet Robert Browning said of motherhood, "All love begins and ends there." There is a certain fulfillment in being a mother that no other pursuit can equal!
In our first passage, Solomon speaks of a home builder. Usually when we think of a home builder, we think of a contractor, a person who makes his living building houses. A home builder helps individuals, couples, and families see their dream come true. Part of the American dream is to own a house, and not just any house, but the house of your dreams. Your dream house might include a media room, an indoor heated pool, a game room, a three or four car garage, many walk-in closets or better yet, walk-in pantries, or a huge dining room for family gatherings and holidays. Sad to say, in today's economic climate, there are many whose dream house has turned into a nightmare. For a number of reasons, there are individuals and families who are losing their homes to foreclosure.
Our text speaks of house building, except this house is not the outward frame, but the family inside! The word "house" here describes a household or family unit. The builder is a "wise woman" or a wise mother. This is the only place the phrase "wise woman" appears in Proverbs, which does not imply that wise women are few and far between. The Bible record is full of names and testimonies of wise women who rescued nations, saved kingdoms, instructed kings, sat as a judge over a nation, encouraged and sustained prophets, and even spoke as prophets. The appearance of the phrase "wise woman" in this passage, is used to emphasize the influence a mother has on her home. In one verse, Solomon contrasts the "wise woman" with the "foolish woman." Every mother by her influence, is a house maker or a house breaker.
Solomon makes it clear that a wise mother, by her godly influence, builds her home or family. A foolish mother by her godless influence, tears down her home or family. Every mother present today has the power to build or destroy her home!
What I have done in this message, is connect this Old Testament proverb, this word picture painted by Solomon, to a practical admonition given by the apostle Paul to Titus as he was sent there to pastor the church in Crete. In this passage, the apostle Paul gives a special instruction to the women in the church, particularly to mothers, helping them to better understand how wise mother's build their homes. There are five admonitions to wise mothers. These five admonitions to wise mothers are either directly stated or at least implied in Titus 2:3-5. Following these five admonitions, a mother will prove herself wise and build her home for the glory of God.
Five Admonitions To Wise Mothers
Admonition one: Fall in love with the Lord and His Word.
Did you notice the qualities listed by Paul in these verses? The older women or mothers are to be holy, truthful, kind, temperate, and good examples in all things. The younger women or mothers are to be loving, "discreet," or wise, "chaste" or pure, and submissive or obedient. Where do these qualities originate? These godly qualities spring from a relationship with God. The "fruit of the Holy Spirit" is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." This is where a mother must begin. These are defining attributes that come from a close relationship with the Lord. All other relationships are secondary!
The flight attendant on the plane is instructed to tell mothers that in case of an emergency in flight, she must put on her own oxygen mask first, then her child's mask. Why? If she is unconscious, the child is helpless! So it is with our relationship with God. This vertical relationship is primary to all other horizontal relationships. The first and greatest commandment is vertical, to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second commandment is horizontal, to love your neighbor as yourself! It is no different for mothers or any of us. When our relationship with God grows neglected and cold, our relationship with others will suffer!
A woman or mother cannot be wise, until she acknowledges God! Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Fearing God doesn't mean we are terrified of Him, but that we revere Him, respect Him, honor Him, obey Him and worship Him.
A woman or mother cannot begin to build her home without God's help. Psalm 127:1a says, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it." A wise woman or wise mother sees God as her indispensable building partner! Mothers must constantly ask God for answers. Mothers must constantly seek God for wisdom.
This relationship cannot be legalistic anymore than her relationship with her husband or children. A vital relationship with God must spring from your own heart and soul. It is not about rule keeping nor is it guilt driven. As a child is connected to its mother in the womb by an umbilical cord, mothers must stay connected to the all wise, ever present, unlimited, caring, loving God.
Communication is life blood to any relationship, and our relationship with God is no different. The avenues of communication with God are prayer and His written Word. A wise mom will take time to talk to God and read the Bible for herself and to her children.
In the past, Christian poems and hymns have been written about a mother's prayers or a mother's Bible. Lasting memories, life saving memories of a mother's prayers or a mother's devotion to the Word of God, were etched in the minds of grown children. Mom, are you placing those memories in the minds of your children? Is your example connecting them more to the world, than God's Word? Are you listening to His voice? Are you looking toward heaven for answered prayers? God has given us His Word. It is a treasure! Do you see God's Word as absolute truth? Do you see it as real and relevant? Is there a desire in your heart to know what it says, and then follow it's instruction?
Admonition two: Fall in love with your husband.
Titus 2:4a reads, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands." A woman tells her friend, "My husband is an angel." Her friend replies, "You're lucky, mine is still alive." A woman found herself standing at the pearly gates. St. Peter greeted her and said, "These are the gates to Heaven, my dear. But you must do one more thing before you can enter." The woman was very excited, and asked of St. Peter what she must do. "Spell a word," St. Peter replied. "What word?" she asked. "Any word. It's your choice," St. Peter answered. The woman promptly replied, "L-O-V-E." St. Peter welcomed her in, and asked her if she would mind taking his place at the gates for a few minutes while he took a break. The woman sat at the gate, and soon saw her husband approaching. Surprised, she asked him, "What happened? Why are you here?" Her husband stared at her for a moment, then said, "I was so upset when I left your funeral, I was involved in an accident. Did I really make it to Heaven?" "Not yet," she replied, "You must spell a word first." "What word?" he asked. The woman responded, "Czechoslovakia."
It is interesting that mothers are instructed, if not commanded, to love their husbands. Husbands are to the number one priority after God! So many times wives grow to resent their husbands for the very reasons they married them. If she married him because he was a strong, decisive leader, now he is too domineering. If she married him because he was fun loving and carefree, now he is immature and irresponsible. If she married him because he was gentle and patient, now he is too passive and not assertive enough. If she married him because he couldn't live without her, now he is too clingy and smothers her sense of independence.
It doesn't take long after you've been married, to discover that your "knight in shining armor" has a few kinks. He is far from perfect and marriage is much harder than you ever expected. Life with it's twists, turns, and unceasing demands, has a way of dulling our senses and diminishing our returns! Soon the one who drove you crazy in the romantic sense, is driving you crazy in the roommate sense! Add a few children along the way, and the primary horizontal relationship in a marriage is in trouble, if not lost! We cannot afford to lose that lovin' feeling! Mothers must make sure they stay in love with their husbands! How? Here are some things you must remember.
Remember, love is a choice more than a feeling. God chose to love us when we were most unlovely! Determine to love your husband, to do the right thing, and love will grow. Remember the qualities that drew you to your husband in the first place. Give up the illusion of a dream boat with its unrealistic expectations, and be thankful for your faithful Tommy tug boat, who keeps going and gets people where they need to be!
Remember, your husband needs your respect and esteem. Men have a deep need for respect. In times of doubt, you may discuss your concern, but in the end, stand by his decisions. Always be wiling to give him the benefit of the doubt. Make sure the tone of your voice, your body language, and choice of words, reflect reverence and respect, especially in front the children.
Remember, God has wired your husband differently. Grow to appreciate those gender differences. Generally speaking, men are problem solvers; task and goal oriented; bottom line "how much does it cost" economizers; and bare necessity communicators. Learn to appreciate what your husband brings to the relationship and family!
Remember, relationships are living things, therefore learn to be flexible and willing to change. You cannot change your husband, but you can grow and change. God can change your husband more than you could ever imagine!
Remember, God is the great attitude adjuster. Never be afraid or too proud to yield. Your home must not become a battle ground. One wife defines submission as "...ducking so that God can clobber him!" As you learn to submit, it will put more of a focus on his responsibility to love you as Christ loves His church!
Admonition three: Fall in love with your children.
You might be a mother if: 1. ...you sing "Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer" in the shower. 2. ...you believe macaroni and cheese should be its own food group. 3. ...you spend an entire week wearing sweats. 4. ...spit is your number one cleaning agent. 5. ...you catch spit-up in your hand. 6. ... you kiss your kid's boo boos, no matter where they are. 7. ...you ask where "the potty" is in public places. 8. ...you become good at picking up things with your toes. 9. ...you purchase cereal with marshmallows in it. 10. ...you're up each night until 10:00 p.m. vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, drying, loading, unloading, shopping, cooking, driving, flushing, ironing, sweeping, picking up, changing sheets, changing diapers, bathing, helping with homework, paying bills, budgeting, clipping coupons, folding clothes, putting to bed, dragging out of bed, brushing, chasing, buckling, feeding, swinging, playing baseball, bike riding, pushing trucks, cuddling dolls, rollerblading, basketball, soccer, football, catch, bubbles, sprinklers, slides, nature walks, coloring, crafts, jumping rope, raking, trimming, planting, edging, mowing, gardening, painting, and walking the dog and yet.....you somehow still manage to gain 10 pounds!
Titus 2:4 continues, "...to love their children." What could be more natural, than for a mother to love her children? Truth is, mothers can resent their children. Children can be demanding. They quickly take your own life and identity away, and if you are not ready for that, it can build resentment toward them in your heart!
Share yourself with your children. The great artist Pablo Picasso said, "My mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you'll end up a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up the pope.' Instead, I became a painter and ended up as Picasso." The greatest thing you can give your children is yourself, your personal time and attention. Children need a mother's attention. Talk to your children about God and His Word.
Admonition four: Focus on your home.
Titus 2:5a reads, "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home." The phrase "keepers at home" has more to do with love than location. A mother can stay at home, and yet not focus on her children and home! The phrase "keepers at home" means to watch or guard the home. It speaks of taking proper care of a household or family. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 had a husband and children, yet she speculated on real estate, (she considereth a field, and buyeth it) and operated a linen business (she perceiveth that her merchandise is good). In all of this, she never neglected her family. Verse 27 says of her, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." A wise mother will keep her focus on care for her family.
In these days when so many mothers work outside the home, it is easy to forget that a mother's first loyalty and greatest responsibility is to the home! The deterioration of family life in our nation is directly related in part with mother's spending too much time away from their families. Are you working outside the home out of necessity or covetousness? Are you sacrificing the emotional, spiritual, physical needs of your children, for material gain or selfish ambition? Has a sense of independence and worldly importance eroded your attitude of submission to God and to your husband? Stay home moms, are you neglecting your children for your own pleasure? Are you making the most of your time with them or are you letting the television occupy their time? Being a mother is all about sacrifice. A mother's love reflects the very love of God for us. It is sacrificial and unconditional.
Admonition five: Find a good mentor.
We see this in Titus 2:3-4a. "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women."
Paul speaks of the "aged (seasoned, experienced) women" ...not the old ladies! Who better to mentor the young mothers, than godly mothers who have had the experience of raising children? In II Timothy 1:5, the apostle Paul recognizes this kind of mentoring relationship between Timothy's mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. He says, "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." Obviously, Timothy benefitted from this nurturing relationship. What better person to help a mother learn and grown than her own godly Christian mother or grandmother? If this is lacking in your life, the Lord's church is a great source for mentoring relationships! Find a wise mother, attach yourself to her, and learn! It is interesting to discover that in Proverbs 8, wisdom is personified as a woman!
How can you identify a wise mother? Listen to her words. Proverbs 31:26 says, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Her love for God is revealed by wisdom and understand! A wise mother speaks words of wisdom, words of faith, words that nurture and build up, not tear down.
How can you identify a wise mother? Look at her husband. Examine her relationship with her husband. Proverbs 31:11 says, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."
How can you identify a wise mother? Look at her children. Proverbs 31:28 says, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Her children praise her as well as reflect her love, care, and attention.
How can you identify a wise mother? Look at her home. Proverbs 31:15 says, "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."
How can you identify a wise mother? Look at her friendships. Proverbs 31:30 says, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." Do you need to thank God for a godly mother? Mom, do you need to renew your commitment to God and motherhood today?