Summary: A Mother’s Day sermon on Proverbs 31 written around 1928.
Proverbs 31:10-31 Vol. 1, page 51
This is called Mother’s day, but there is no reason why we should especially celebrate it in the church. It is not a church festival commemorating any great even in the salvation of mankind, neither a national festival decided this shall be mother’s day and it is to be feared that this celebration is fostered most by florists and postcard manufacturers for material profit. A Christian should honor and love his mother all the days of the year and not seek to patch up sinful neglect by a few flowers or kind words on Mother’s Day. We will at least deviate this much from our normal course this evening in honor of our mothers to consider
Scripture’s Praise of the Virtuous Woman
In asking this question: Who can find a virtuous woman? our text seems to say that virtuous women are very rare and hard to find. Surely they cannot be found either man or woman without fault and the picture described to us here of a virtuous woman is ideal, but it is well to strive after that ideal and compare ourselves with it, that a woman may know her place in life, the honor for which she is created. Surely the blatant jokes made on women general in newspapers find no room in Scripture!
Of the virtuous woman He says, her price is far above rubies. The good that she does cannot be paid for with money. Neither can she be bought with money, but is a gift of the Lord, as Scripture says. These marriage contracts we read of now occasionally in which a husband buys a wife for a certain stipulated sum, are not virtuous by any means. The woman who sells herself for a price cares little about being a true wife and mother, but only seeks the material advantage of the marriage vow.
The virtuous woman is trustworthy. Her husband doth safely trust in her. He need not worry that she will be unfaithful to him when he is away from home. The serpent of jealousy need not destroy the peace of his mind in his work. The Turks have many wives and can trust none of them, therefore they are kept as slaves and a stout eunuch watches over them as a guard, lest they be unfaithful. But the virtuous God fearing wife does good to her husband and no evil all the days of her life. She is more concerned about her husband’s and children’s welfare than she is of her own. Thanks to God we also have many Christian women and mothers of whom this can truthfully be said. It is a sign that the Spirit of God still dwells among us. What dreadful results it brings when a husband cannot safely trust his wife. The papers have broadcast in the recent Snyder murder case, a woman intriguing behind her husband’s back with another man to murder him, while she conferred that her husband trusted her and gave her 85 of his weekly earnings of 115. Oh the wickedness of sin that can blind a human heart to its own destruction!
The virtuous woman is industrious. Scripture does not picture her here as a society woman who has nothing to do, but to yard (?) about, but both the rising and the setting sun find her busy serving, cooking, buying, planting. Want of work and occupation breeds many sins, as Franklin says, Trouble springs from idleness. Any general of an army knows, that if he can keep his soldiers busy, he has a contented army, but if they must lie idle in camps, he has trouble enough and they are ever hatching out plans of revolt and discontent. When the late Kaiser of Germany wanted to praise his wife in a speech he said in three words, Kirche, Kuche, Kinder. Those are the three fields in which she excels, in the church, in the house, among his children. They are her pride.
The virtuous woman is merciful. She has a quick eye for the poor and needy. This was the praise of Tabitha whom Peter raised from the dead at the please of many who showed the garments she had made for the poor and other acts of mercy she performed. And who is as tender or considerate at the bed of the sick as a woman. No matterhow distant a son has become toward his mother, when he is laid helpless on the bed, there is no one he would cherish more than the loving hand of his mother. During the (?) war Florence Nightengale took it upon herself to forsake home and care for the wounded soldiers. Her kindly eye soon made great and comfortable changes in the camps of the wounded and as her light steps heard between the beds the eye of every soldier was upon her and worshiped the very rustle of her dress as it were an angel from heaven. When rich Nabal hardened his heart against David when he was in great need in the wilderness, it was Abigail, Nabal’s wife, who took pity and without the knowledge of her husband sent ample provisions for David and his men.