1 Kings 3:16-28
Both the Bible and church history are witness to the significance of mothers in the lives of faithful believers. For example, in 2 Timothy 1.5, Paul tells his young apprentice: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
The fifth commandment requires that we honor our mothers as well as our fathers. The Proverbs, likewise, remind us that children are to please their mothers and give them joy as they labor to teach and raise them to love the Lord.
God shows us how important mothers are as Hannah devotes her son, Samuel, to the Lord’s service. And Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. And of course Mary was a godly woman and faithful mother.
BUT IN THIS CLASSIC STORY, THE WOMEN ARE ANYTHING BUT FINE AN UPSTANDING!
But do you know what is wrong with classic Bible stories? We often learn the primary lesson and fail to see the rest of the story.
This incident is used by God to show He had given Solomon the wisdom he had requested as king. And it proves that wisdom comes from God.
BUT THE STORY ALSO TEACHES US OF MOTHERHOOD FROM AN UNLIKELY SOURCE.
The two mothers in this story were prostitutes! Their babies were evidently conceived under sinful circumstances. That grabs you! It makes you sit up in your church pew and take notice!
How many of you remember the old TV show called To Tell The Truth. It was a show where the contestant would try to figure out who was lying and who was telling the truth. At the end of the show, after the contestant had made their pick, the host would say would the real so and so please stand up.
The first teaching of MOTHERHOOD from this story:
I. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT MOTHER.
I don’t say this to drag mothers down but to build them up.
No one needs to be treated with more tenderness than our mother. Perhaps no one is more caring and conscientious than our mother. Sometimes we are too hard on them. Sometimes they are too hard on themselves.
Why did Solomon, king over God’s chosen people, even take the time to worry with two prostitutes? These women, and the sinful men who paid for their services, were living out of God’s will.
SOLOMON WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THESE TWO WOMEN BECAUSE GOD WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THEM!
I don’t have to convince you that the church should stand for moral purity. But the church should also stand for forgiveness and restoration!
DO WE KNOW THE TYPE OF PEOPLE OUR MISSION MONEY SUPPORTS?
IF ANY OF US HAD TO WAIT FOR GOD TO LOVE US BASED ON OUR PERFORMANCE WE WOULD ALL BE OUT OF LUCK!
No, there is no such thing as a perfect mother, just like there aren’t any perfect children.
And if there’s anyone whose faults we should be willing to overlook, it should be our mother. Why? Because they’ve overlooked so many of our faults.
Here’s another teaching on MOTHERHOOD from our story:
II. GOD HAS ANSWERS FOR A MOTHER’S PROBLEMS.
Don’t look for stress-free motherhood, it doesn’t exist. From the pains of giving birth, to the empty nest, to grandchildren and beyond, motherhood is stressful.
God not only loved those two prostitute mothers, He also loved the little baby in this story. God dispatched His wisdom to Solomon to save the child.
He has wisdom to spare for parenting responsibilities today. He can provide for mothers in all kinds of life situations - single moms, adoptive moms, step-moms, moms with special situations, you name it!
Here’s the third teaching on MOTHERHOOD from this story:
III. THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A MOTHER’S LOVE!
The real mother in this story would rather see another woman raise her child than see it split in two.
You have to be willing to give up some things to be a good mother.
Personal sacrifice is a pivotal part of motherhood. It begins by sacrificing their own bodies by carrying the child around in their womb for nine months.
Our mothers fed us, nourished and protected us with their own bodies before we even saw the light of day.
But a mother’s sacrifice doesn’t end there. They keep on giving. They give up sleep for the midnight feedings. They give up personal goals to help their children achieve their goals.
Ask yourself how many times you got a new outfit and mom wore the same old clothes, or how many times she gave you the last helping at supper.
We honor moms for all the giving they do. They remind us of God who gave His only Son for a world of wayward children.
That kind of love shouldn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.
In closing I want to use an illustration from WWII and the Jewish concentration camps.
This is a true story chronicled out of the concentration camps.
Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their two sons and his mother and father were arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a labor camp, and the rules were simple. “As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you are exterminated.”
Rosenberg watched his mother and father marched off to their deaths, and he knew that next would be his youngest son, David, because David had always been a frail child.
Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another, and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping, and praying. He said, “Joshua, tell me it’s not true.” Joshua turned and said, “It is true, poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him.”
“But where is your mother?” asked Mr. Rosenberg. “Oh poppa,” he said, “When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried. Momma said, ‘There is nothing to be afraid of, David, we will be brave’ and she took his hand and went with him.”
What an example of sacrificial love.