Sermons

Summary: A sermon designed to encourage mothers

WHEN MOTHERING GETS HARD

Matthew 15:21-28

INTRO

An article in Forbes asks, "Think you can put a price on motherhood?" A yearly survey by Salary.com called the annual Mom Salary Survey attempts to put a salary on the work of American mothers.

First, they broke down motherly duties into the ten categories: Day Care Center Teacher, CEO, Psychologist, Cook, Housekeeper, Laundry Machine Operator, Computer Operator, Facilities Manager, Janitor, and Van Driver. Then they studied how many hours moms work in those categories and what the family would have to pay for outsourcing that duty. According to the 2012 survey, they determined the following:

• The average stay-at-home mom should make an annual salary of $112,962 (based on a 40-hour per week base pay plus 54.7 hours a week of overtime);

• The average working mom should make an annual salary (just for her "mom" role) of $66,969 (based on 40-hours of mothering duties and 17.9 overtime hours per week).

The article concludes, "The breadth of Mom’s responsibilities is beyond what most workers could ever experience day-to-day. Imagine if you had to attract and retain a candidate to fill this role?" {Source: Jenna Goudreau, "Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn a $115,000 Salary," Forbes (5-2-11); Salary.com, "Salary.com’s 12th Annual Mom Salary Survey,"}

Mothering is hard because of what is required. But being a mother really gets hard when things go awry; when things get out of control and out of her hands. That is when we see the stuff that a mother is made of.

“Questions”

An example of the stress that can cause can be seen in the unanswered questions of Martina Phillips, a mother with a wayward son whom she hasn’t seen for four years:

How?

• How does a parent, who has prayed daily, deal with the rebellion of a child?

• How does a loving parent accept the rejection of her child?

• How does a parent keep from giving up hope?

Why?

• Why do children see loving parents as their enemies?

• Why are these children choosing the wrong path first?

Where?

• Where is all of this chaos going?

• Where are the answers?

What?

• What is the parent of a wayward child to do?

• What does a mother do to dispel her fears?

• What is next?

{Edited for brevity. Source: Martina Phillips, Belleville, Ontario, Canada; submitted by Kevin Miller, executive vice president, Christianity Today International}

Martina does not give answers to these questions. But the Bible does. Sometimes the Bible does it with a story – a story from the most unlikely of places.

Matthew 15:21-28

21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

This little story is confusing in many ways and is therefore not given a lot of attention. But it does give insight into the struggles of a mother. This mom’s daughter was experiencing a hardship that was out of mom’s control and regardless of the issue, this always makes mothering hard. All of us can relate to the tests she went through and her success can give us all encouragement.

• SHE PASSED THE TEST OF PATIENCE DURING DIVINE SILENCE (23)

23 But He answered her not a word.

Has God ever been silent when you pray? If you pray much he has. God’s silence is not neglect. As my first District Superintendent was fond of saying “When nothin’s happenin’; somethin’s happenin’.”

God’s time table is not ours and God’s wisdom exceeds ours. I have a friend named Stan Toler who wrote a book titled “God Has Never Failed Me, But...: He’s Sure Scared Me to Death a Few Times.” We can all relate to that can’t we? God sees a bigger picture and seeks to fashion us into Jesus’ image. He hones our faith, trust, patience, etc. as he accomplishes this task.

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