Summary: This sermon reveals the fact that we have good reason to be thankful for our mothers. They are special people who endure a lot for their family and children.
Text: Prov. 15:20; 23:22b
Intro: Moms really are marvelous people. They fulfill all sorts of functions in the home. They are maid and manager, chef and counselor, physician and parent, all rolled into one. Yet most do all those things willingly and lovingly for their family, all without pay.
Not that I speak from experience or anything, but mothering is not an easy task. Who else but a mother can patiently put up with the wining and crying of a sick or irritable child; clean up all the messes made by their husband and children; fix the family’s meals, which are sometimes criticized; wash the endless piles of dirty clothes; and still maintain their sanity? I believe it takes a special person to do all that, while receiving little thanks or praise. But such is the gift of God we call, “Mom.”
As we observe Mother’s Day today, I find myself very thankful and fortunate to have been given the mother I enjoyed for 59 years. Her comfort, compassion, counsel and care were of tremendous help to me. Now that she is gone, I greatly regret the times that I so foolishly caused her worry and emotional pain, due to my thoughtless insensitivity to her sacrifices and love for me.
Let’s take a few moments today to think about why we need to be thankful for our “Marvelous Moms.”
Theme: We should thank God today for a godly…
I. MOTHER’S TRAVAIL
A. Childbearing Involves Pain.
Gen. 3:16a “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…”
Ps. 48:6 “Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.”
NOTE:  The word translated “sorrow,” in Genesis 3:16 means, “(painful) toil.”1
 I’d never actually seen a woman in labor until I was ordered to escort a pregnant Vietnamese woman outside the base at Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. I helped lay her down on the floor, between the two rows of seats, on a little three-wheeled motorized vehicle the Vietnamese used for a shuttle. As soon as the lady was in, the scooter-like vehicle bounced off down the road to the village. I think that experience scared me worse than having rockets fired at me.
 The worst labor pain I have witnessed to date was that of a Nigerian friend and neighbor in Raytown, Missouri. Bisi Aromona was about to give birth to her first child, a boy, whom she later named, Tokie. I was the only pastor that Bisi claimed, so Shirley and I were allowed to go into the labor room to comfort her, and pray with her. However, when we arrived at her bedside, comforting her was out of the question. Bisi was in so much pain that she never opened her eyes, and barely even acknowledged our presence; and such horrifying groans I’d never heard in my life. The whole scene seemed surreal.
B. Childbearing Involves Peril.
Gen. 35:16b “…and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni (“son of my sorrow”): but his father called him Benjamin (“son of my right hand”).”
1 Sam. 4:19 “And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.
20 And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast borne a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.”
NOTE: Fatal childbirth is rare in America these days, but it is still the closest a woman comes to dying without actually experiencing death. According to the Center for Disease Control, “…the U.S. maternal mortality rate was 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004.”2
C. Childbearing Results In Motherly Pride.
John 16:21 “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
NOTE: It’s truly amazing that a woman will endure such pain and agony in childbirth, and yet count it all worthwhile to bring that little life into the world. But my how motherhood has suffered since the legalization of abortion in 1973. According to The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform, there were 1.37 million abortions a year (1996), which computes to approximately 3,700 abortions per day in the United States.3
II. MOTHER’S TEACHING
A. Children Learn From Their Mother’s Example.