Summary: It’s difficult being a Christian mother today. But as hard as that may be, we need to realize that difficulties are not unique to our time. In every age Motherhood has had it's share of difficulties. (Powerpoints Available - #335)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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TEXT: Luke 1:26-38
ILL. Most of you are familiar with the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. Well, on one Mother's Day, Calvin is pictured standing by his mother's bed. "Hey, Mom! Wake up. I made you a Mother's Day card." "My, how sweet of you." she says. "I did it all by myself. Go ahead & read it."
She begins to read: "I was going to buy a card with hearts of pink & red.
But then I thought I'd rather spend the money on me instead.
It's awfully hard to buy things when one's allowance is so small.
So I guess you're pretty lucky I got you anything at all.
Happy Mother's Day. There, I've said it. Now I'm done.
So how about getting out of bed & fixing breakfast for your son."
"I'm deeply moved." said his mother. "Did you notice the part about my allowance?" He asks.
A. Well, some of you may feel like Calvin's mother, wondering if anybody is going to say, "Thank you, Mom, for all the good stuff you do." Being a mother is a tough job & we recognize & honor that today.
ILL. One Mother's Day a "For Better or Worse" comic strip portrayed Michael's mother tossing & turning on her bed, thinking about her role as a mother, asking herself:
"Am I too tough or am I too lenient? Do I give in too much or too seldom? Do I listen to what he has to say? Do I nag him too much? Am I really a good parent?"
The last frame shows Michael lying on his bed saying, "The problem with grownups is they think they know it all." No, Michael, maybe not.
B. In fact, mothers recognize all too well that as they send their children off in the morning all kinds of things lie in wait things like drugs & gangs, alcohol & pornography. And they must be strong if they are going to overcome that.
In the past, our educational system encouraged development of Christian principles & attitudes. But in many schools today that is no longer true. Too often, children are being taught that there are no real standards of right & wrong.
PROP. So it's difficult being a Christian mother nowadays. But as hard as that may be, we need to realize that difficulties are not unique to our time. In every age Motherhood has had it's share of difficulties.
For example, look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, & consider some of the difficulties she faced.
I. THE DIFFICULTIES MARY FACED
A. First of all, she faced the difficulty of a tarnished reputation. Mary was not yet married & she was pregnant. Of course, we know the rest of the story - that the child in her womb was of the Holy Spirit, & is the Son of God.
But do you think they believed that in the little town of Nazareth? If you came from a small town you know that juicy gossip is a hot item. And here's this unmarried teenage girl expecting a child. Oh, how the gossips must have enjoyed talking about that!
In fact, 30 years later when Jesus was beginning His ministry, His enemies threw it in His face by saying, "We are not illegitimate children." Evidently they weren't above putting in what they thought was a knife & twisting it.
APPL. On this Mother's Day maybe there are some things in your past that you'd like to forget. Let me remind you. God not only forgives, He also forgets.
Encourage your children not to repeat the mistakes you made, & help them realize that God is a God of mercy & grace. You have had a new beginning with Him, so encourage them to live lives that are worthy of His love.
B. Secondly, Mary experienced the difficulty of poverty. I tend to think that we don't realize how poor Mary & Joseph were. When Jesus was brought to the Temple as a baby for the first time, Joseph & Mary offered 2 doves, the sacrifice of the very poorest in society.
If you have experienced the pressure of trying to buy the things your children want the right shoes, the right designer clothes, & all the other things they may want then take the time to teach them that life does not consist of the abundance of things we pos¬sess.
Teach them that there are other things much more important, eternal things we can't see that will last forever & ever.
ILL. Jean Barron spent several years living in a little mobile home that was pretty dilapidated. She tells about raising her kids in that environ¬ment. Then one day her son came home & announced that his best friend had run away from home.