Summary: The infamous illustration of Solomon’s wisdom depicts the MORALS OF MOTHERHOOD.

Now this is not your usual Mother’s Day text so please pay close attention:

1 Kings 3:16-28 (NIV)

Now two prostitutes came to the king (Solomon) and stood before him. One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son - and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne."

The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours."

But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.

The king said, "This one says, ’My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ’No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’"

Then the kind said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."

The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!"

But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"

Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."

When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.


But do you know what one of the problems is with classic Bible stories? We often learn the primary lesson and fail to see the rest of the story.

This incident is used of God to show He had given Solomon the wisdom he had requested as king. It proves that wisdom comes from God.

The story also provides MORALS OF MOTHERHOOD from an unlikely source.

The first MORAL OF MOTHERHOOD from this story:


I do not 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.

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!

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.


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!

These women were not living up to God’s ideals - yet He still loved them! 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 ones among the rest of us. And if there’s anyone in whom we should be willing to overlook faults, it should be our mother. Why? Because they’ve overlooked so many of our faults.

We need to lighten up on mom a little, and moms need to lighten up on themselves a little.

Moms need to laugh and have a good time. Here are a few good laughs for you. These are some experts from the "Children’s Letters to God" series, actual authentic letters written by kids to God:

"Dear God, I read the Bible. What does ’begat’ mean? Nobody will tell me. Love, Alison."

"Dear God, did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?" - Norma

"Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?" - Neil

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Ben Clements

commented on May 9, 2009

Wow!! What a great sermon ("Will The Real Mother Please Stand Up")!! I have searched the heart of God in and through His word for a way to properly honor mothers in our worship service. I found it hear!! Thanks for your study, preparation, and the heart to share your labor with us! I hope I can use your notes as part of my own study and preparation to honor mothers. Great Job!! All to often we rake mothers over the coals on "Mothers Day", or we use the pulpit as a whipping post for mothers on "Their Day". This message is a great vehicle to honor them while we share the mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness of God in Christ with our congregations. I can''t praise your efforts enough. Again, thanks!

Joseph Steeves

commented on May 8, 2014

Thanks for this message it is inspiring me for my mother's day sermon. Thanks.

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