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Summary: The fourth sermon of a post-Easter series on Love and the 2009 Mother’s Day message

A mother knows she’s been home too long for the following reasons: (Slide 1)

1. (Slide 2) She begins to talk to Barney as a real person.

2. (Slide 3) She forgets which one is real – Mister Rogers or King Friday.

3. (Slide 4) She cries for a wedding on Sesame Street.

4. (slide 5) She is one of the congregation that JUST laughed at the first three reasons-because she knew what all three of them was about.

President Obama is now starting the process of nominating a Supreme Court Justice. It is going to get very interesting.

One of our current Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, paid tribute to her mother in her nomination acceptance speech 16 years ago as follows

‘I have a last thank –you. It is to my mother Celia Amster Bader, the bravest and strongest person I have known, who was taken from me much too soon. I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”

Mothers are very influential and very powerful in the growth and development of their children. The late English World War Two General, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery said this about his mother and her power and influence on his life.

Certainly, I can say that my own childhood was unhappy. This was due to a clash of wills between my mother and myself. My early life was a series of fierce battles, from which my mother invariably, emerged the victor. If I could not be seen anywhere she would say, “Go and find out what Bernard is doing and tell him to stop it.”

(Slide 6) And I remind myself, as the late Florida Scott-Maxwell said, “No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.”

(Slide 7) As we continue our post-Easter series today, we consider how moms are loving truth tellers.

Now before I continue, I publicly recognize that for some Mother’s Day causes many different emotions and memories to surface. Some are pleasant and loving and some are just the opposite. Anger, pain, regret, and resentment are responses to the words ‘mother’ and ‘Mother’s Day.’ I acknowledge that such feelings and attitudes exist and I ask the Lord to remind us of those women who have served us as models of faith and thank Him for them.

But, moms are good truth tellers – in love. Their words often sting, but many times, they are right.

Mom this sermon is for you this morning and I offer it with the prayer and the hope that you will be encouraged and affirmed and reminded that the Lord loves you very much as a person and not solely as mother or wife or grandmother.

Now men, a recent survey done by the Pew Research Center points out something that should and must challenge us.

(Slide eight) There is a profound gap between men and women when it comes to spiritual matters.

(http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=736)

The recent survey shows that in several different areas relating to faith and spirituality women (and I am quoting them here) ‘are the stronger sex.’ The areas measured were:

• ‘are affiliated with a religion 86 to 79% (for men)

• Have absolutely certain belief in God or a universal spirit 77 to 65%

• Pray at least daily 66 to 49%

• Say religion is very important in their lives 63 to 49%

• Have absolutely certain belief in a personal God 58 to 45%

• Attend worship services at least weekly 44 to 34%

(Slide 9) This is our main text for this morning, Proverbs 16:23 “From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive.”

True wisdom; the wisdom spoken of in the Bible, is based on and in love. True wisdom; Biblical wisdom also contains the truth about a situation.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “It [Love] is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”

Jesus said, ‘you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’ And sometimes the truth is painful before it is liberating. And one of the ways that we know that truth will hurt before it heals has been in our experiences with our moms. Just ask Field Marshall Montgomery!

The Bible tells us that parents are to ‘train up a child in the way he should go.’ This is not a passive process. This is an active process, which requires mothers and fathers to be involved. God uses them to shape the direction of the child. Such shaping requires telling the truth even when it hurts, not just the children, but the parents!

A popular idea these days is for parents to be a child’s best friend. I respectfully disagree with that idea.

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