Summary: Maturity of Purity is a goal God our Father set forth in His Word, and He expects His children to attain that goal as we grow and develop in the likeness of His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.
GOD’S FLOWER GARDEN II: THE WHITE ROSE
PURITY OF CHARACTER
Each Mother’s Day, is there a better way to express our love for mothers than by presenting a rose; or, if she has gone on to be with the Lord, by commemorating her life either wearing or displaying, or even just imagining, a beautiful rose?
When I was growing up, it was our custom to wear a red rose if our mother was living or a white rose if she were no longer with us; there were times when we might wear a red or white carnation. But whether a rose or a carnation, the message was the same: We love you, we adore you, and we shall always remember you.
My mind goes back to my marriage to my wife Florence. A friend of ours by the name of Ruby Nell Bennett sang a song of tribute from me to my wife who would become the mother of our children. The song first became famous when the great Caruso sang it. At the time of our marriage, the popular rendition of the song had been recorded by Mario Lanza.
“Take thou this rose, this little tender rose, the rarest flower in all God’s garden fair; and let it be while yet its crimson glows, an emblem of the love I proudly bear. Take thou this heart, the heart that loves thee well; and let it flame before the shrine, my own; take thou my heart, for oh, your dear eyes tell – God fashioned it for you, for you alone.”
The rose is indeed the rarest flower in God’s garden of love. For that reason, Solomon likened his love for his beloved unto the rose of Sharon – undeniably the most beautiful rose that grew in the wide-open spaces of the valley of Sharon in the land of Canaan.
King Solomon’s reference to the Rose of Sharon has been widely interpreted by biblical scholars as a foreshadowing of the coming of God’s greatest expression of His love for His creation – an expression of love that would be fulfilled in the coming of His Son Jesus Christ.
“No greater love” is the theme of our Lord’s birth . . . life . . . death and resurrection. Herein is love – not that we loved God – but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the Savior of all who believe in Him.
No greater love has been shown to me in my lifetime than was shown to me by my mother and, for fifty-three years, by the mother of the three sons and one daughter that my wife and I together brought into this world.
In our first devotional message in this series on God’s Flower Garden, we talked about the yellow rose as emblematic of the sunny, cheerful, warm feelings of friendship that are ours in our close relationship to Jesus Christ.
In this second devotional thought about God’s floral display, our focus is the white rose which represents PURITY. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I believe with all my heart that, today, my mother sees God.
My mother, your mother, and all mothers who departed this life as persons saved by grace . . . believers in God’s Son Jesus Christ . . . children of the heavenly King, are present with the Lord, and so shall they ever be with the Lord.
The white rose is a symbol of the purity God expects of mothers who are blessed with God’s gift of children.
Do you recall the words of the daughter of the Egyptian king to the mother of Moses – a mother who loved her son so dearly that she placed him in a basket of reeds in the Nile River to spare him from losing his life?
Moses’ sister Miriam watched as the baby was found in the bulrushes by one of the maidservants of the princess who loved the child the instant she saw him. Miriam went to the princess and asked for permission to bring a nurse maid for the baby from among Hebrew women – since the child was obviously Hebrew. The princess agreed to the plan.
Miriam returned with the nurse maid - none other than Moses’ own mother disguised as a servant – and, as the princess handed the baby to his own mother, the princess said to her: “Take care of this child for me.”
Folks: God says to mothers, blessed with the privilege of giving birth to a child, “This is my gift to you. Here – take care of this child for me.”
Sure, some mothers do a better job than others; but most all mothers, if the truth were told, have within themselves a natural yearning to be a good mother; but God expects all mothers to be pure in their relationship to God and in their care for His children.