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Mother’s Day 2021 “A Woman Worthy of Praise” – Prov 31:10-31

10 May

This is how Zimbabweans celebrated Mothers Day | Mbare Times

Mother’s Day has a very special place in the hearts of the majority of people in America. Hallmark estimates that 150 million Mother’s Day cards will be sent this year (but only 95 million Father’s Day cards), making Mother’s Day the third largest greeting card holiday of the year.

U.S. Americans spend an average of $105 on Mother’s Day gifts, $90 on Father’s Day gifts. The phone rings more often on Mother’s day than Father’s day. The busiest day of the year at car washes? The Saturday before Mother’s Day. What mom thinks still matters.

We’re calling upon a man whose name is mentioned only once in scripture, yet this choice portion of literature seems to last forever in our minds as we look for a godly woman.

His name was King Lemuel, and he had a good mother.

In verse 10, King Lemuel begins with both a question and a declaration:

Question: a wife of noble character, who can find? Answer: she is worth far more than rubies!

Verse 30 sums it all up: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Many times these verses are presented in such a way that a great deal of guilt is brought forth on the part of the women and mothers listening. If you do not get up early and buy-and-sell land or provide your family with hand-sewn clothing…these verses are still for your encouragement.

Instead of listing items of activity which should be part of the Christian woman, it is listing characteristics which are then applied to the culture in which we walk and work. The idea: be this kind of woman in your character and your activities will be determined by the particular circumstances which do apply to your life.

  1. She is diligent (vs. 13, 17-18, 27)
    1. Proverbs 31:13: “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”
    2. Proverbs 31:17-18: “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.”
    3. Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
    4. This trait seems to be mixed with a pleasant spirit and a good attitude. She seems to possess pride in what she does…she’s not happy just to “get by” but in doing a good job. She looks for the best buys, she realizes a profit, and works even into the night.
  2. She’s industrious and efficient (vs. 14, 16, 24)
    1. Proverbs 31:14: “She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.”
    2. Proverbs 31:16: “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.”
    3. Proverbs 31:24: “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.”
    4. She’s a thinking individual. In the investment of her time, she looks for dividends and returns. Instead of focusing on the grind, she looks to the benefits her work will bring.
  3. She’s compassionate (vs. 20, 26).
    1. Proverbs 31:20: “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”
    2. Proverbs 31:26: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
    3. She has a soft heart that can be touched. And this makes her unique and distinct when contrasted to the man: an illustration….a child is hurt and the two responses:
    4. Mother: How are YOU doing? What can I do? (the caring one)
    5. Dad: Why were you running? You scratched the wall! Who’s fault was it? (the investigator).
  4. She has inner beauty (vs. 22, 25).

Proverbs 31:22: “She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”

Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

IF MARRIED: She’s a devoted wife:

  1. She maintains her husband’s confidence (vs. 11a)

Proverbs 31:11a: “Her husband has full confidence in her….”

He’s comfortable in being transparent with her. He can share his feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and disappointment and know she will keep them to herself.

  1. She meets his needs (vs. 11b).

Proverbs 31:11b: “…and lacks nothing of value.”

She’s supportive and affectionate. She encourages his pursuits, and is committed to him and his efforts.

Remember when God looked at Adam and said: “It is not good that man should be alone.” He made a help-meet that would make him complete. Woman was a special creation of God but also a “corresponding part.”

  1. She seeks his good (vs. 12)

Proverbs 31:12: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

  1. She aids his influence (vs. 23)

Proverbs 31:23: “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.”

 IF A PARENT: she’s a dependable mother.

  1. She is disciplined (vs. 15, 18-19).

Proverbs 31:15: “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

Proverbs 31:18-19: “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. {19} In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”

This is not a verse teaching you into hell if you don’t make homemade biscuits early in the morning, etc. But it is teaching a principle of taking charge of your time so you can meet the family needs. If the role of the husband or father in your house is for him to fix breakfast, then, obviously, the specifics would change.

  1. She’s organized (vs. 21).

Proverbs 31:21: “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.”

This verse presents a sense of planning. She takes the challenge of a family as just that, a challenge, and seeks to meet it. It’s not just “a cross to bear.”

  1. She’s dedicated (vs. 27).

            Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

What will be the results of this kind of woman (28-31).

Proverbs 31:28-31“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: {29} “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” {30} Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. {31} Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

* Her children will bless her! * Her husband will praise her!

* Her peers will be challenged by her! * Her works will bring their own praise!

* Her Lord will be honored by her life!

A husband’s relationship to his excellent wife: (vs. 11-12, 28-29)

Proverbs 31:11-12: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. {12} She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:28-29: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: {29} “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.””

  1. He trusts her (vs. 11). He has no cause for suspicion for her. Deep within, he holds confidence in her.
  2. He benefits from her (vs.11).
  3. He’s affirmed by her (vs. 12).
  4. He’s impressed with her and sings her praises (vs. 28-29).

Young men – look for this kind of woman! Young ladies – strive with God’s help to be this kind of woman! Fathers and married men – Thank God if you have this kind of woman!

An “Eight Cow” Woman/Wife/Mother

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Johnny Lingo, a man who lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of him. He was strong, good-looking, and very intelligent. But when it came time for him to find a wife, people shook their heads in disbelief. The woman Johnny chose was plain, skinny, and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. She was also a bit older than the other married women in the village, which did nothing for her value.

But this man loved her. What surprised everyone most was Johnny’s offer. In order to obtain a wife, you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. The other villagers thought he might pay two or even three cows at the most. But he gave eight cows for her!!

Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him. Some thought it was a mistake.

Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the United States came to the Islands to trade, and heard the story of Johnny Lingo and his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken aback, since this wasn’t a shy, plain, and hesitant woman, but one who was beautiful, poised, and confident.

The visitor asked about this transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple. “I wanted an eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks of herself.

THE LAW OF LOYALTY AND SUPPORT

First, we see in this story the law of loyalty and support.

  • Jesus saw Peter for the first time and said, “Wishy-washy Peter, you are r”
  • He went by Matthew the publican and said, “You can pr”
  • He looked up in a sycamore tree and saw the wee little man, Zacchaeus, and said, “You can be an honest ”
  • Charles Hodge told the story of an congregation in Amarillo that was growing. He felt he knew at least one of the reasons. Those who spoke often of the congregation talked about how they had the best elders, the best deacons, the best singing, the best teens and the best teachers of any congregation around.’”

The law of loyalty and support says that leaders will become what their followers make them become. If you pray for, encourage, and push your leaders, minister, teachers, etc., they will become an eight cow person.

If you criticize them and run them down, you can reduce them to nothing. We will become what we expect them to become.

WE ACT AS WE ARE TREATED.

This principle is true of our spouses, our church members, and our children.

Don’t rear your children to believe they are worthless. The Bible says children are a heritage of the Lord.

If you rear your children to believe that they are a bunch of no-good bums, they will turn out to be a bunch of no-good bums. We don’t rear children that way. We tell them what they could be. We give them a dream of excellence. We tell them some things are beneath our dignity….some things we just aren’t going to do.

My mom often tells the story of members who moved into the Chattanooga area during a time when transitions were common in the congregation where she worshipped…and my dad served as an elder for some 31 years.

“How is this congregation?” The old man said, “Well,  how  was  the  congregation  where  you  came from?” “Oh,” he said, “it was the best congregation on earth.” “You will find this congregation to be like that.”

Another conversation was different when the response was, “That is the sorriest congregation there ever was.” He said, “You will find this congregation to be just about like that.” He is right, isn’t he?

If we want this church to be great, it will be great. If we want it to be bad, it will be bad. It will be what we make it. It can be an eight cow church!

MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE.

All of life is a compromise. We can make it level enough, straight enough, and square enough, but it will never be perfect.

We have to take each other ’s weaknesses and liabilities along with each other ’s strengths and assets. We have to make do with what we have.

How many of you would like for your husband/children to treat you as if you were an eight cow woman? Wouldn’t that just tickle you to death? Wouldn’t you be nicer to him?

Would it be hard to love and respect a man who treats you like an eight cow woman?

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2021 in Marriage, Sermon

 

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