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Summary: Moms can make lasting impressions not only upon their daughters, but also upon their sons! They can help their children avoid the detours that could ruin their lives.

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A Mother's Curriculum

Proverbs 31:1-9

[Note: This is a major revision of my 2000 sermon, also posted on Sermon Central, titled, "A Mother's Oracle]

1. "The ideal woman was described 2,500 years ago in Proverbs 31--and she is still intimidating her sisters ever since." Liz Higgs. One man illustrates:

2. There is an amazing obliviousness among many Christians as to what we are really trying to do for our kids as parents. Let me give you a choice between two possible scenarios.

#1. You daughter marries a man who works at Wal-mart, where she also works part time. They have two children, a rented home, and an old clunker car. But they love the Lord. They know their Bibles, their marriage is strong, and the serve the Lord faithfully by attending church, teaching Sunday School, and sharing their faith.

#2. Your daughter marries a professional manner with a great income. They live in a beautiful home with new cars and the best school district, where their children attend. They go to church on Easter and Christmas and a few other times. They profess to be saved, but they have no significant involvement in ministry or Bible knowledge, but are trustees of the country club.

3. If you had to choose between number one and two, which would you choose? Your choice is a great diagnosis of where your heart really is.

4. In life, we have many more that these two choices -- but hopefully you get the point. This has great relevance, obviously, to the subject of parenting and motherhood.

5. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "It is… in the Book of Proverbs that the high place which the mother occupied in the Hebrew's estimation is specially indicated. Her teachings are constantly enjoined as being of equal weight with those of the father. The first verse after the introduction to the book reads: "Hear, O my son, the instruction of thy father; and neglect not the teaching of thy mother" (Prov. i. 8). …the wise words attributed to King Lemuel are said to have been taught him by his mother."

6. Today's text mentions King Lemuel. We have no certainty who this is! …a nickname given to Solomon (I don't); … Hezekiah … a Babylonian king w/ aJewish mother.

7. This woman tried to instill in her son the idea of projecting the long-term consequences of today's behavior. The foolish person lives for the immediate, but the wise person thinks of the long-term future. It is very much that way today!

8. I would argue that the best moms think about the long-term best interest of their child. They view motherhood as a stewardship; God owns the children, they parent them to develop them and prepare them for adulthood. That goal -- adulthood -- needs to be on the minds of every mom.

MAIN IDEA: Moms can make lasting impressions not only upon their daughters, but also upon their sons! They can help their children avoid the detours that could ruin their lives.

TS-----------> We’ll look at 3 such detours, spelled out by the mother of King Lemuel, but, by way of application, can be applied to both genders.

I. The Detour of PROMISCUITY (1-3)

A. Ethics taught by MOTHER

1. The fact that her advice impacted him implies they had a good relationship...

2. We should not presume that everyone has had a good mother, or a good relationship with his or her mother

• I learned a lot about relating to people from my mother; I learned compassion and consideration and empathy

B. A mother who VALUED her son

1. Lemuel’s mother had difficulty conceiving him, "son of my vows."

2. She understood that parenting is a SPIRITUAL matter

3. She cared about the SOUL of her son, not just his prosperity…

4. He had been an object of prayer

5. Temptation when you have a child late in life, to spoil him/her

6. Truly valuing our children means doing what is in their long-term best interest, not necessarily pleasing them in the immediate…

C. Do not give your strength to WOMEN

1. Womanizers often brought to ruin (may succeed in career) children damaged

2. King David nearly lost his kingdom because of his sin with Bathsheba

3. Boys need to be taught to respect women as human beings to be valued. Girls need to be taught that God values them, and, although it is good to marry, no marriage is better than a bad marriage. RESPECT.

D. IMPLICATIONS for today's moms

1. A moral compass that will influence youngsters throughout their lives...talk about right and wrong as defined in the Bible....

2. Aunt Leona is living with her boyfriend..."Kids, this is wrong. But we cannot police Aunt Leona. She doesn’t know the Lord, so we cannot expect her to obey His commands." SILENCE MEANS APPROVAL TO MOST KIDS...

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