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(030) Mothers Day: What You Can and Can’t Do

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Mother’s Day: What You Can and Can’t Do

May 11, 2008


·         Mother’s Day history

·         “Christian Counseling” miscarriage, “Honor your father...”

·         Listen to Mark’s sermon

·         My traditions sermon

“Happy” Mother’s day?

·         100th anniversary of Mother’s Day.

This is my first Mother’s Day sermon, and it is very difficult for three reasons:

1. I am not a mom.

2. I am lousy at Mother’s Day, or any day with gifts or cards.

3. For many, Mother’s Day is bittersweet, or even bitter:

·         Bad parents or absent

·         Barren, miscarriages, abortions

·         Single mom

Even still, it’s a good thing to set a day aside to honor motherhood, which together with fatherhood, create the most important institution in society.

It’s also fitting to celebrate it on Sunday, as it is one of the best attended Sundays. But it also gives us the opportunity to look motherhood from a Christian perspective.

·         As a community-driven church, we will look at it as a community, so even if you aren’t a mother, it still applies.

Young parents

Many of us are in the same boat – young parents.

Q   Do you remember that moment that you first thought “What the heck am I doing? Who is the idiot who let us have a kid?”

The pressure is enormous, and the fear of permanently damaging these precious little ones. Parenting is a little like getting married – if you are not scared to death, you are not ready.

·         The pressure on mothers is higher than it has ever been: All the pressures of mothering, plus for many a job as well.

Working mothers is a contentious issue: Very difficult financially (impossible for single mothers), and many enjoy working.

·         My perspective: Husbands, support your wives in what they want, and help them not overload or be superwomen.

With all of the pressure put on moms by society, family, and themselves, I first want to look at what moms can’t do.

Can’t do

1. You don’t have the final say in marriage or pregnancy:

·         Many wonderful, godly women cannot have children, while others have no problem. 30% end in miscarriage.

·         Don’t ask women about “when are you going to have kids,” but if you ever find yourself struggling, let people in.

2. You can’t change the past.

·         It can either cripple you or teach you, but it can’t be changed.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV 

3. You can’t make your kids love Jesus.

·         That’s pain with freewill, and the risk of having children.

·         God’s first kids didn’t do so well.

4. You can’t dictate your child’s gifts and strengths, or what they will do with their life.

·         They belong to God, and our joy is to see them become what God means for them to be.

5. Can’t oversee every aspect of their life.

·         Some things are out of our control.

Ä  Rather than focusing your energy on what you cannot do (the definition of anxiety), focus on what you can do.

Can do

1. Have a deep, personal, committed relationship with God, which flows out from every aspect of your life.

·         Our hope is that our children will see the reality of our faith and want it for themselves.

·         So many people come back to church when they have kids.

2. Have loving and respectful relationship with your husband, or at least a respectful one with their father. 

·         I am learning more and more how radically our parents and their relationship shape us, Likewise, we our affect our kids.

·         Let’s improve on our parents and hope our kids improve on us.

3. Show the unconditional love that God has shown us.

·         The love of a mother is legendary, and is crucial for developing a sense of wellbeing in the world.

·         Study shows that moms nurture and provide security, dad independence.

4. Teach wisdom.

·         Not facts, but wisdom, how to live a moral, healthy life. Sometimes we have to be the “what not to do.”

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9 NIV 

·         Ideally, mothers and fathers share in teaching.

Q   What kind of necklace are you giving you kids? 

5. Model (poem)

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my

first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a

stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a

prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a

meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of

your time and money to help people who had nothing,

and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care

of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you

handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and

wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'


Ä  As much as we may wish it wasn’t true, what we do, far more than what we say, will make our children who they are.

6. Pray: When we can do nothing else, we can pray (this is how we rely on God)

·         Jewel speak

We (ENTIRE church) can do

1. Pray

2. Dads: Help out however you can (Glad to see men more involved)

·         Slide show: E-mail: World’s worst husbands/what not to do:

·         Carrying wood; Carrying beer & holding hands; Rowing; Tent; Carrying beer, one open.

3. Honor our parents (5th commandment)

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. Exodus 20:12 NIV

·         How we treat our parents teaches our children how to treat us. Does that scare you?

Q   What about when our parents don’t deserve honor?

·         Honor them as frail, sinful, broken people made in God’s image.

·         Don’t be a slave to unforgiveness.

·         Guard how you speak of them: Say as little negative as possible, and as much positive as possible.

4. Create a community to help each other.

The primary responsibility of raising children belongs to the parents, but that doesn’t mean we have to go it alone.

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,  5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5 NIV 

There is a community aspect to parenting.

·         Provide perspective.

·         Provide support.

·         Help teach: Sunday school.

·         With permission, help raise.

Husbands: Ensure your wives have community and free time, and that you are part of a community.

·         Home groups are best avenue.


Like everything in our Christian walk, motherhood is a mixture of trusting God for what we cannot control, striving to do what we can, and relying on each other as a community the entire way.

While we set aside this one day, I hope that every day we communicate how honored motherhood is, by how we treat the mothers in our life (especially as husbands), and being a supportive community.



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