Summary: The influence of Christian wives and mothers is immeasurable and irreplaceable. One area of great influence that a woman has is through her words.
A WOMAN’S WORDS
INTRODUCTION: Proverbs 31 gives us one of the most beautiful descriptions of Christian womanhood. Verses ten through thirty-one provide a list of virtues and characteristics that exemplify the Christian wife and mother. Someone has said, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." The influence of Christian wives and mothers is immeasurable and irreplaceable. One area of great influence that a woman has is through her words. Today I would like for us to consider a woman’s words.
I. Words have power and influence.
A. Our words have power. How often have you been affected by something someone has said whether good or bad? Have you ever been encouraged and uplifted by a kind word from someone? Have you ever had your feelings hurt through thoughtless criticism?
B. Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
C. "Words have the power (to produce effects) to affect our nervous systems and stimulate interpretations, ’thoughts’, meanings, ’feelings’, images, memory, fears, anxieties, actions" – Milton Dawes, The Power of Words, The Dallas-Fort Worth Center for General Semantics © 1999-2003
D. Words lay the foundation on which we build our worth, character, values, and attitudes. A good word will build up, strengthen, and encourage us. But a careless word can tear down homes, break hearts, and wreck reputations as they wound, hurt, and destroy.
E. Proverbs 25:11 "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
F. Words are not just letters strung together. Words are the incarnation of emotions and the stimulators of emotion. A word can be a balm or a bomb. A positive word makes you feel good. A negative word leaves you feeling depressed and defeated. Words release energy. A single word can turn you on, or it can turn you off. A negative word can defuse your enthusiasm for a project. A positive word releases positive energy and becomes a creative force. – Robert Harold Schuller (1926- ).
II. A Christian wife and mother should seek to influence and guide her family with words of wisdom.
A. A Mother’s influence is one of the most powerful influences in the life of an individual and will have a profound affect on that individual’s character and destiny.
B. Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." George Washington’s mother is reported to have been a godly woman. On the other hand, we are told that Nero’s mother was a murderess and that the dissolute Lord Byron’s mother was a proud and violent woman. Some of the greatest criminals of history have had bad mothers. On the other hand, many of the noble characters and fine leaders of history have had good, God-fearing mothers. Billy Graham has said, "Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children."
C. Proverbs 31:26a "She opens her mouth with wisdom…"
D. The Septuagint renders this as "She opens her mouth heedfully and lawfully."
E. She is familiar with the Law of the Lord and what is the true secret of lasting happiness. Therefore she can guide her children in the way of life and instill wisdom, morality, and virtue into their hearts and minds that shall be with them the rest of their lives.
F. Today too many mothers and fathers have become permissive, not wanting to be restrictive, not setting high moral standards or guidelines, nor desiring to impose their beliefs on their children. There are two types of permissive parents: Indifferent-permissive parents set few limits and provide minimal interest; their children have poor self-control and poor social skills. Indulgent-permissive parents are highly involved but place few demands on their children; their offspring tend to be impulsive, immature, and out of control.
G. Proverbs 29:15 "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame."
H. An interesting study conducted showed the effects of permissive parenting. It was noted (1) delinquent boys were 13 times (57% to 4.4%) more likely to come from homes with permissive mothers than punitive overly strict mothers, (2) 93% of the delinquent boys came from families where the mothers did not keep a close watch on their sons and let their sons make their own choices, and (3) delinquent boys are 5 times (64% to 13%) more likely to come from families that let the boy fend for himself than control him. (Glueck & Glueck, 1950; Paulson, Coombs & Landsverk, 1990; Di Lalla, Mitchell, Authur, & Pagliocca, 1988)
I. 2 Timothy 1:5 "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."