Summary: Marriage advice from Ezra
“Choosing Your Children’s Mother”
Intro: This morning, we come to honor our mothers. Hopefully not like the gas station, that put up the sign, “Free rose for Mother with gas!”
Our mothers hold a special place in our hearts. For many of us, our mother is the one who first taught us about God. Some people have had less than ideal mothers, but we can all honor them today for being our mother.
A little girl was reciting a short piece of memory work in front of the church. As she came to the front, her mind went blank. In the front row, her mother was almost as frantic as the little girl. The mother gestured, and moved her lips, trying to help her remember her lines. Finally, the mother in desperation whispered her first lines, “I am the light of the world!” Immediately the child’s face lit up, and she started with her recitation, “My mother is the light of the world.”
Everybody smiled, and some laughed, but how true it is: Mothers light our worlds.
Prov. 6 - My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart for ever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.
Let’s think about mothers today, and especially consider our children: Choosing your children’s mother! Please turn to Ezra 9. Read chapter 9.
I. Ezra’s problem: improper wives for the people.
1 - People didn’t stay faithful to God’s commands - God desires purity!
*purity in marrying those of the same faith
*are we willing to be obedient to God’s commands?
2 - Leaders set the pattern for unfaithfulness - Leaders must set an example!
*As pastor, my marriage needs to be an example to others
*Board members, teachers, need to set a pattern of a godly marriage
*Any leader who doesn’t set an example in their home shouldn’t be a leader - we are not Christians only at church - testimony extends to the home!
3 - We should be appalled at sin - sin is never cute! [Rocketman - “it wasn’t me”]
*Do we care about the lifestyle we are setting
*Do we care about the testimoy our marriage and home gives to children, to others
4 - We need to join together in following God - We gain strength from one another
*one reason to come to church is to be encouraged to do right
5+ Confession is the first step to faithfulness - We should confess our sin quickly.
*When we see sin, we can never think “it’s not that bad.”
10:3 - There is hope in spite of past failures - we serve the God of the Second Chance.
II. Lessons for us Today
*To singles - choosing a mate must be a spiritual decision -
*not based on how good they look or how much money they make
*I Cor 7 - must belong to the Lord - concerned about the Lord’s affairs
*To married - Stay Married! - I Cor. 7:10-11
-God hates divorce
-There are times it is permissible, but it is not to be sought
“If only my spouse would be unfaithful, then I could get remarried”
**Importance of a godly mother & father -
-Ex. 20:12 - Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
-Deut. 5:16 - "Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Concl: If you’ve made mistakes before -
-don’t get rid of your spouse - Ezra lived in a different culture than we do
-confess your sins - 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
-move on to a godly future - Phil. 3:13 - One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.