Summary: What makes the love of a mothe special? This message looks at what one mom was willing to do to demonstrate love to her child.
A Mother’s Love
Text: 1 Kings 3:16-28
Opening: This is the day of the year when we celebrate our moms. Now of course we should do this much more often, and I encourage you to routinely express your gratitude to your mom for all the ways she demonstrates her love for you. And let’s face it, mothers do so much for us: They cook good food for us to eat; they turn a house into a home; they mend our wounds; they console us when we face disappointments; they cheer for us when we do something well; and, perhaps their greatest contribution is that they instruct us about life (See Proverbs 6:20). What do they teach us? Let me suggest a few things:
• Mothers teach us about foresight: "Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident."
• Mothers teach us about logic: "If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, don’t come crying to me."
• Mothers teach us about maturity: "Eat your vegetables or you’ll never grow up."
• Mothers teach us about religion: "You better pray that comes out of the carpet."
• Mothers teach us about time travel: "If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
• Mothers teach us about contradictions: "Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!"
• Mothers teach us about contortionism: "Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?"
• Mothers teach us about perseverance: "You are going to sit here until you eat every last piece of that broccoli."
• Mothers teach us about genetics: "You’re just like your father."
• Mothers teach us about the weather: "It looks like a tornado swept through your room."
• Mothers teach us about the circle of life: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
Background: The passage that we read this morning is first of all meant to illustrate the new wisdom that Solomon possessed when he became king. Perhaps you remember how he acquired it (See 1 Kings 3:4-9). However, tucked inside of this story are some principles related to motherhood that are worth considering as we celebrate Mother’s Day.
I. A good mother values her children (See 1 Kings 3:16-20). Two women, both of whom were prostitutes by vocation and lived in the same house, were blessed with sons just three days apart. I say blessed because the Bible tells us that children are a reward from the Lord (See Psalm 127:3) regardless of how they are conceived. Alone, with no one to help care for their newborn infants, the women were put in the unfortunate predicament of having to do everything by themselves (Remember the two women were prostitutes and not received well by their contemporaries -- See John 4:4-27; 8:1-11). This must have amounted to a great deal of effort as they were hardly in any condition to care for their babies. One might even have asked, given the difficulty of their situation, why they didn’t discard the children as some are apt to do today? I cannot speak for either woman. The text doesn’t tell us why they kept the children, but I can tell you what the Bible says about the value of children.
A. They have value because they are image-bearers - Children are made in the image of God (See Genesis 1:26,27; 9:6). This is not said of any other part of God’s creation. It demonstrates our value to God (See Psalm 8:4,5). When people look at our kids, they should see something of the image of God in them.
B. They have value because of their potential impact - It is God’s intent that parents would teach their children to follow after Him (See Ephesians 6:4). Children can become disciples of Christ that change our world. In a day and age when people are not having many children because of the cost, we have the opportunity to fill the earth with followers of Christ.
C. They have value because of their influence - Children remind us what it takes to receive the kingdom of heaven (See Luke 18:15-17). What childlike (not "childish") characteristics did Jesus have in mind when He said, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein?"
1. Children are humble -- Luke records this incident of Jesus and the children right after the story of the Pharisee and the sinner (See Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee was self-righteous and therefore not righteous at all in the sight of God. The sinner was humble enough to confess his condition to God and Jesus pronounced him forgiven. If the Pharisee had been humble enough, he too could have been justified.
2. Children are trusting -- Because those of us who are older have been lied to, manipulated, and taken for granted at times, we have learned a tendency to doubt and be skeptical. Not so with children. They have a wonderful ability to trust and to act on that trust.