Summary: The sermons I used to preach years ago on Mother's Day just don't fit very well today. So let me suggest some things that describe what I think motherhood is, & what the home ought to be. (Powerpoint Available - #303)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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NOTE: This message contains a number of illustrations and ideas gleaned from many sources that I no longer remember. But my thanks to all those who have enriched my sermon preparation!)
ILL. An elementary teacher was teaching her children about magnets & how they work. She showed them that by moving the magnet close to metal objects, it would pull them & even be powerful enough to pick them up.
After she had finished the lesson, she decided to see how well they had learned about magnets. So she said, "I have a question for you. My name begins with ‘M' & has 6 letters & I pick things up. Who am I?"
To her surprise, more than half of them answered, "Mother," rather than "magnet." Is that what a mother is? Is she someone who "picks things up?"
ILL. A 16 year old daughter came into the kitchen on Mother's Day & found her mother doing the dishes. Horrified, she said, "Mom, you shouldn't have to do dishes on Mother's Day!"
Touched by her daughter's thoughtfulness, the mother started to hand her the dishcloth, when the daughter added, "Why don't you wait until tomorrow?"
Mothers pick things up. Mothers do dishes.
ILL. Dennis the Menace was talking to Margaret & said, "I don't know what to get my mom for Mother's Day." So Margaret began making suggestions. Maybe for a change he could surprise his mom & clean up his room.
Maybe he could eat all of his vegetables. Maybe he could wash his hands before meals without having to be told. Maybe he could go to bed when his mother told him to without arguing about it.
Dennis thought about those suggestions for a moment. Then, with a scowl on his face said, "No, I mean something practical."
A. A survey a few years ago revealed that since 1970, 30% fewer people are getting married, & 50% more people are getting divorces. There are more & more homes with single parents, & more & more single people. One in 8 in the U.S. will never marry at all.
We ask, "Why? What has contributed to such changes in our lifetime?"
ILL. Following WW 2 our soldiers came marching home & married the girls who had been waiting for them. They moved into little tract homes & started having children. They cooked barbeques in the backyard. They went on family vacations. They did all the traditional family things.
But as some of you may remember, in the early 1950's Hugh Hefner came out with the first issue of Playboy magazine. In it he announced that "Man is a sexual being, & he should not feel inhibited or guilty about his sexual desires."
Gradually, almost frighteningly, things started to change. Hefner said that marriage was "passe," & that we shouldn't be bound by a marriage relationship any longer. We must be free to express ourselves sexually.
ILL. Closely on the heels of Playboy philosophy came the Women's Movement. Gloria Steinheim, Betty Friedan & others retaliated by saying, "You are not bunnies. You are not playthings. You are intelligent human beings. If you have the opportunity, you can compete with the best that men have to offer."
"But don't be bound by marriage. You don't want a bunch of kids hanging onto your skirt. So don't get married. Compete in the work place & prove your worth without the encumbrances of husband or children."
B. Playboy Philosophy, Women's Movement - & the result has been that fewer & fewer people are wanting children. The whole atmosphere in our world has changed. We are materialistic. Many are now more concerned about things than about families.
Our culture tells us that if we aren't tied up in marriage, if we don't have to buy clothes & school books for kids, then we can have it all. And our modern culture has reached out to grab it.
Our times have changed. Who is a mother today? What is a family today? What are the relationships shared between parents & children?
The sermons that I used to preach 30 years ago on Mother's Day just don't fit very well today. So the only thing I can do is suggest to you some things that describe what I think motherhood is, & what the home ought to be.
C. In 2 Timothy 1:5 7 are words that arouse our curiosity. Listen as I read what Paul wrote to the young preacher, Timothy.
"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois & & in your mother Eunice &, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.