Summary: Our text offers an insight into the wide-range of responsibilities that a mom shoulders. Moms often cringe when they hear Proverbs 31 is going to be read on Mother’s Day. Who can live up to that laundry list of responsibilities? Some suggest that it ha
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
Family Classics Series 2006
The Worth of A Mom
Moms have to be tough! For one thing, mothers have to survive Mother’s Day. Consider these Mother’s Day experiences. Eight-year-old Mary wrote her mother a note for Mother’s Day. "Dear Mother, here is the box of candy I bought you for Mother’s Day. It is very good candy. I know because I already ate three pieces.”
Billy Graham says his favorite story is about a husband who was not very attentive to his wife. Mother’s Day rolled around. He started feeling guilty. The guy usually never bought her anything. After all, he argued, “She’s not my mother!” Bad reasoning! This particular year he decided to make Mother’s Day different. On his way home from work he bought a box of candy and some flowers to surprise her.
He arrives at home, walks up to the door and rings the doorbell. She opens it. He stands there, candy in one hand, flowers in the other, crooning, "I love you truly, truly, Dear." Instantly she starts crying. It’s not tears of joy, but deep heartbreaking sobs. "Oh, Harry!” she cries, “This is the worst day of my life! The dishwasher quit. The toilet backed up. The kids have been fighting all day. The house is a wreck. And now you come home drunk!"
Moms have to be tough! As we all know, it’s a good thing, a very good thing, that God designed women to be mothers. If men had been given the task, life wouldn’t be a pretty picture!
Our text offers an insight into the wide-range of responsibilities that a mom shoulders. Moms often cringe when they hear Proverbs 31 is going to be read on Mother’s Day. Who can live up to that laundry list of responsibilities? Some suggest that it had to be a man who wrote this chapter. I can understand the sentiment. The list does seem overwhelming. Let me suggest another way to read it.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic. The twenty-two verses correspond to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the original language, each of the twenty-two verses begins with a different letter of the alphabet. This was a common from of Hebrew wisdom poetry (cf. Psalm 119 which twenty-two stanzas of eight verses each. Each stanza begins with a successive letter of the alphabet). The form illustrated the truth. In this case, the writer was describing his wife’s contributions to his life from A-Z. This was the whole picture. I don’t think he intended it as a to-do list for women. Instead, it is a poetic tribute of a grateful husband who recognizes the contribution his wife and the mother of his children makes to his life. He couldn’t get by without her and he knows it!
Times haven’t changed that much. Today’s mothers carry a load that most of our grandmothers wouldn’t have believed possible.
Today’s mother does not have an easy task. Most of you have modern conveniences that your grandmothers never dreamed of. But along with the micro-wave, the dishwasher, frost free refrigerators, self-cleaning ovens
and no iron clothes come a host of responsibilities that make today’s moms busier and more stressed than any other time in history. Today, many a mom is expected not to cook the bacon; she helps bring it home as well. Even though she may work forty hours plus, she is still expected to be the main housekeeper. Most moms keep the house, cook the meals, wash the clothes, and take care of the children. Even if she has a husband willing to help with such tasks seldom is it an even split. Motherhood isn’t easy!
I know from personal experience that my mom never had it easy. She passed away in 1997. She worked hard all her life. She worked right along side my dad on the family farm. When her kids were school age, she took a job in town. She worked in a department store for several years then moved to a factory job. She worked on an assembly line making vacuum sweepers for over twenty years until she finally retired. Even when she worked outside the home, she still had the responsibilities of a homemaker and wife. For several years before my dad quit farming and they moved to town, she did triple duty—job, home, and farm. It wasn’t easy.
Many of you know what that’s like. Like the woman in Proverbs 31, your worth is greater than rubies. You deserve the praise and honor of your husband and children.
Husbands how much is the mother of your children worth? Can you afford her? Children, if you suddenly had to pay your mom for all that she had done for you, what would the price be? Grown ups, what’s the bill? How indebted are you to the woman who raised you and sent you on your way?