Summary: This sermon addresses the issue of motherhood.
God’s Choice of a Mother
Luke 1: 26-31, 38, 46-55
If you were given the responsibility of choosing a woman as the ideal candidate for motherhood, other than your own mother, what qualities would you deem necessary in making your choice? Would you consider physical appearance as one of the determining factors in your choice? What about intelligence, affluence, education, social status, accomplishments, etc? We must admit that many good and godly mothers would not win beauty contests. Not many ideal mothers are wealthy or hold degrees from Harvard or Yale. We should understand that the qualities found in the ideal mother are actually the inward God-given qualities of the heart.
The writer of Proverbs gives us a list of the qualities found in the ideal mother. In chapter 31 beginning in verse 10 the wisdom writer teaches us that a virtuous woman, meaning a woman of high moral standards, is a woman who can be trusted by her husband and children. She is industrious and plans ahead; she possesses wisdom and speaks with kindness; she is praised by her family; and above all else she fears the Lord in her life, which is her source of beauty-a beauty that transcends all physical beauty.
In our modern society these qualities seemingly have been cast away and motherhood is not as highly esteemed as it should be. Children in modern times have more money and material possessions than ever before, but money and possessions never replace the love and devotion that come from the heart of a virtuous woman who fears the Lord and sees her children as a heritage from the Lord given to her for godly training. God alone prepares the heart of a woman for motherhood. He chooses women and qualifies them by His grace to be godly instruments in His hands for His purpose and glory in training and nurturing children.
Let’s focus on God’s choice of Mary to become the mother of Christ.
I. First, consider the reasons God did not use in choosing Mary to be a mother.
A. God chose Mary, but not because she was perfect. She was not a perfect woman.
•Mary had inherited the sinful nature of Adam just as every human being after the fall. God never uses perfection in choosing any human for His purposes. If He did He would never choose any person for anything. He would only use the perfect angels of heaven if perfection was a criterion in making His choice. I know Catholicism teaches that Mary was perfect and sinless, but that simply is not scriptural. Mary and Joseph had children after the virgin birth of Christ occurred. Mary was a descendant of Adam; therefore she was not a perfect woman. She was a woman who feared God and loved Him, but she was not perfect. Mary was favored of God the scripture states, which simply means she received the grace of God and was chosen by His grace alone.
•Dear mothers know that God has allowed you to be mothers not because you are perfect, but because you have been favored of the Lord to be entrusted with the care of training and nurturing your children for God’s purpose and glory. He has graciously given you the privilege of being used as an instrument for Him. Because of this fact, mothers have great influence over their children. There is truth to the adage, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” Abraham Lincoln once said, “All I am are ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”
B. God’s choice of Mary was not based upon her experience in motherhood.
•Mary had no experience in being a mother. She may have taken care of her siblings or her younger relatives, but she had never been a mother. She had no training in motherhood other than the training she most likely received from her mother and grandmother, which would have been appropriate and sufficient.
•We can be sure Mary would not have been chosen by the experts of modern society to be a mother. Most all social workers would have rejected her as a candidate for motherhood.
•Let us understand that God places in the hearts of mothers who fear Him a love that guides them in the care of their children. It certainly is an awesome responsibility to become a mother or a father. No mother or father is experienced with the first child. That is why families are important. Mothers and grandmothers have important roles in helping young mothers and fathers in gaining the experience needed to raise children. It takes a family to raise a child, not a village. The state has no business in your God-given family business. Also you cannot place too much confidence in the experts. Just because you read something in a book by an expert in child care doesn’t mean what that expert teaches will work with your child. Linda Howard in her book entitled, "Mothers are people Too" relates to this issue when she states, “Upon the birth of my first child, Mark, I became the leading child expert of the age. Armed with the fifteen page booklet given to me by my pediatrician and a telephone number where he could be reached day or night, I was invincible. Several times during those first two years of his life, my own mother would try to give me advice. It was all the wrong advice, of course. Few of her ideas corresponded with my infallible pediatrician. It took me a while to discover that my mother knew more about raising children than I could imagine. The fact that she had successfully mothered three children had never occurred to me before.” Now I know when it comes to health and behavioral issues things can be a little touchy so be gracious and patient in all situations. Let us all understand this; the greatest book on child care is the inspired word of God who made us and knows all about human behavior-parents and children included.