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AND CALL HER BLESSED Proverbs 31:28-31 May 8, 2011 Given by: Pastor Rich Bersett [Index of Past Messages] Introduction A worried mom sprang to the telephone when it rang and listened with relief to the kind voice in her ear. “How are you, darling? I was just wondering how your day is going.” “Oh, mother,” she blurted out, breaking into tears. It’s a terrible day! The baby is crying and won’t eat, my washing machine broke down this morning. I need to go shopping because we’re have two other couples over tonight, but I just sprained my ankle and I’m hobbling. And my house is a mess…” The mother was instantly sympathetic. “Oh, darling, you just sit down and relax for a few minutes. I’ll be over in half an hour and do your shopping and get the house cleaned for you. And between us we’ll get the baby fed. Oh, and I know a really nice repairman who is real prompt—I think I can get him there soon. Now you just stop crying and take it easy. I’ll get everything done for you. In fact, I’ll even call George at the office and tell him he ought to come home early for a change and help you.” The younger woman said, “George? Who’s George?” “Why, George, your husband! Wait, is this 223-1374?” “No, this is 223-1375.” “Oh, I’m so sorry. I guess I dialed the wrong number.” There was a short pause and the housewife said, “Does this mean you’re not coming over, then?” Household responsibilities, shopping, cooking, budget-minding, sometimes working a full-time job, cleaning and managing the home. A woman’s work is never done and it is often downright oppressive. And then you add a couple of children, and life can be overwhelmingly difficult. But, don’t worry! Once a year Mother’s Day rolls around when everyone finally remembers you with flowers and gifts, honor and thanks. It’s nice to be remembered and recognized for a change, isn’t it? First thing tomorrow morning, it starts up again. I thought today might be a good day to reflect a little on that magnificent Proverb, #31. That the world’s greatest book of wisdom ends with this chapter. And the last six verses read: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Moms—and women who have no children—I am here to honor you as God’s Word admonishes us to do. And I have with me a few dozen men and children—a couple of whom you know intimately—to join me. In fact, when I finish a few words of teaching springing from this scripture in just a few minutes, I want to open the floor for the rest of the body of Christ to speak words of honor and tribute to mothers, wives and the women in our lives. Please be thinking of brief testimonials you can share. The long list of character qualities and accomplishments of the godly woman described in the twelve verses we read earlier depict what surely must be the perfect woman. I don’t believe there is or ever was a woman who could match that description. And I think, rather than serving as a template for women to strive for, it serves as a reminder of all the kinds of things our wives and mothers do in the maddening mishmash of their multi-tasking lives. Things for which we should be thankful today. Don’t stop praising her And if there are any practical encouragements you pick out of my comments this morning, this surely is the first one: don’t stop praising her at 12:01 tomorrow morning. You are mandated as a Christian to encourage, thank, pray for, honor, emulate, provide for, cherish, serve, submit to, enjoy, treasure and even forgive her. And there is no part of God’s Word that says all that should happen only on Mother’s Day and birthdays. Let her children arise and call her blessed; and her husband also praise her. Cultivate a renewed appreciation for the women in your life and all they mean to you and do for you. And never stop giving thanks and honor every chance you get. Not only will she be appropriately served in that behavior, but it will go well for you if you do it. Tell her exactly how she is special to you and others I never ask Charlotte, How did I preach today? For one reason, I am afraid of the potential answer. Secondly, if what I preached and how I did at it didn’t impress her enough to offer comment, then I don’t deserve to hear. Not that I don’t drop hints once in awhile. One day, the ride home was noticeably quiet, so I sighed and mused aloud, I wonder how many truly great preachers there are in the world? She stared straight ahead and didn’t miss a beat: Probably one less than you think there is! On the blessed occasions when she volunteers a compliment, I land on it and want to know exactly what she means—how was it good, which parts ministered best, and how can I improve? You see, I want specifics. It just means a lot more to me when her compliments are more precise. She deserves your tailored remarks when you thank her. It just won’t do to say, Hey, mom, thanks for all you do. Yes, it’s better than nothing—but not much better. When you show honor and gratitude to her, it isn’t just to check off one of your duties. You want to genuinely please her, reward her, bless her. The text says her children will call her blessed. That means they will make her feel absolutely special. So, in practical terms, study the good qualities of your mother, wife, sweetheart. Research the great things she does for you and for others, and take note of them. And thank her, brag about her, for those specific qualities and behaviors. King Lemuel did. He is the author of this chapter of Proverbs—he noted that the noble woman he described is trustworthy (11); she brings honor to her husband (12, 23), she manages her household very well, providing for every family member and employee what they need (15, 27); she is an industrious entrepreneur and successful in commerce (14, 17-18, 24); she is kind to the poor and needy (20); she is a talented seamstress and business woman, as well as a good teacher (19, 21-22, 26); she is tireless in her work (18, 27); she fears the Lord (30). Is she charming and beautiful? Not necessarily! (30) But by being who she is she fulfills the deep and abiding resume of 1 Peter 3:4 – sweet inner person—the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Your mother, your wife, your sweetheart, your daughters, are not going to be perfect in every way that the noble woman of Proverbs 31 is. But there are unique and wonderful qualities about her that beg to be noticed. Find them out, consider them as God’s gift to you and the others in her life, and tell her how much she means to you, and specifically in what ways. I want to conclude my comments with one “By the Way”. Then I would like very much to open the floor for testimonials from any of you who would wish to share a word of blessing, thanks or honor concerning your mother, even if she has gone on from this life, or your wife. My “by the way” – By the way, did you notice how enterprising this woman is? She’s sowing and weaving and providing everything necessary for her home, but she’s taking it to town as well. She’s gone commercial! It even appears she is involved in international trade! I want us to take note of this and also take note of the fact that ALL women work—both inside and outside the home (some get paid for it). There is nothing wrong—and beaucoup right—about a woman working in a career to better the economy of the home. It does not dishonor a husband; in fact, it honors him (read it again). But this wonder woman depicted in our text does not overlook her responsibilities in her home and with her children. And it is extremely wise for a working mom to carefully consider staying home while her children are young to nurture them. I’ve talked with many moms who wish they had given more time to their kids and less to their employers; but I’ve never heard a stay-at-home mom regret her time with her children. The Pew Research Center reports that 75%^ of Americans believe now that both spouses should contribute to the household income. So does King Lemuel! They also share from their research that nearly 37% of working moms are satisfied with their jobs away from home; 60% wish they didn’t work outside their home. ERMA BOMBECK: We all know that being a Mom is the hardest, most rewarding job on the face of this Earth. "You don't love me!" How many times have your kids laid that one on you? And how many times have you, as a parent, resisted the urge to tell them how much? Someday, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I'll tell them... • I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home. • I loved you enough to insist you buy a bike with your own money, which we could afford, and you couldn't. • I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your hand picked friend was a creep. • I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your bedroom, a job that would have taken me 15 mins. • I loved you enough to say, "Yes, you can go to Disney World on Mother's Day." • I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, disgust, and tears in my eyes. • I loved you enough not to make excuses for your lack of respect or your bad manners. • I loved you enough to admit that I was wrong and ask for your forgiveness. • I loved you enough to ignore what every other mother did or said. • I loved you enough to let you stumble, fall, hurt, and fail. • I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your own actions, at 6, 10, or 16. • I loved you enough to figure you would lie about the party being chaperoned, but forgave you for it...after discovering I was right. • I loved you enough to shove you off my lap, let go of your hand, be mute to your pleas and insensitive to your that you had to stand alone. • I loved you enough to accept you for what you are, and not what I wanted you to be. • But most of all, I loved you enough to say no when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all.     [ Back to Top]          
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