Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Role of a Mother - Luke 2:39-52

The Role of a Mother
Date: May 9, 2009
Text: Luke 2:39-52

- Mother’s Day is a day we remember our mothers
- This may be a happy day for us, or it may have some sadder overtones to it
- Your mother may have passed away, and you miss her
- You may have bad memories of your mother - the Bible records a few of those
- You may have longed to be a mother and were not able
- Maybe you are a mother but are not able to have contact with your children
- So we may have different perceptions on this day
- This sermon today is not just for the ladies in our program, but also for the guys
- We are going to examine some of the roles that mothers play
- “For the hand that rocks the cradle, Is the hand that rules the world” - William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)
Women in the Bible
- Miriam who led the people in praising God after the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex 15:21),
- Ruth who put God first and became the ancestress of King David (Ruth 1:16;4:17),
- Deborah, a judge in Israel (Judges 5), who was known as a “mother in Israel”
- Hannah who 'lent to the Lord' the child of her prayers (1Sam 1:28),
- Esther who took her life in her hands to plead for her doomed people,
- The widow whose obedience sustained the prophet Elijah (1Kings 17:9-16),
- The captive maid who told Naaman's wife of the man of God who could cure Naaman of his leprosy (2Kings 5:2-4),
- The woman who anointed Jesus with the expensive ointment (Mk14:3),
- The poor widow's gift of two mites which won Jesus' praise (Mk 12:43),
- Mary who gave birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Luke 1:28),
- Martha who served and Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42),
- Mary Magdalene who brought spices to anoint Jesus, who first greeted the risen Lord and who received the first commission -'Go tell' (Jn 20:17-18; Mk 16:9),
- Lydia one of the first converts in Macedonia (Acts 16:14),
- Dorcas - full of good works (Acts 9:36),
- Phebe & Priscilla - servants of the church (Ro 16:1-4),
- Lois and Eunice who had sincere faith (2Tim 1:5),
- Persis 'the beloved' and Tryphena and Tryphosa who laboured for the Lord (Romans 16:12).
Women are equal with men
- Many of these women were women of responsibility
- Women in the Bible were not incapable, or second-rate citizens
- They led the nation, they brought their children up to be God-fearing adults, they showed great courage, they taught the Word, they exercised faith, they served the church and the people around them
- Down thru history, women have been relegated to the back seat
- Christianity has lifted women to equality with men
- Jesus honored women in his teachings
- Women were not playthings to be disposed of or divorced when a man tired of them – marriage is for life
- Paul tells us in Gal 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Lord Shaftesbury - 'Give me a generation of Christian mothers, and I will undertake to change the whole face of society in twelve months.'
- Women have a profound influence on the course of history, through the way in which they raise their children
The role of the mother
- The influence of a mother in her home upon the lives of her children cannot be measured.
- The mother-infant bond is an intense relationship of unparalleled human affection.
- It is the foundation of the child's emotional and physical survival.
- Psychologists say that the bonding of baby with mother in the first few minutes of life is vital for the stability of the child and that that bonding through childhood has greater importance than the input the father has at that time.
- The mother provides an atmosphere of protection and care
- The mother teaches the young child skills it needs as it grows up
- The mother is usually more accessible to the child and the one to whom it will go when faced with hurt or danger or uncertainty
- As the young child is developing, the mother’s role is totally important
The role of the father
- This does not mean the dad’s role is unimportant
- When the child reaches adolescence the mother's role diminishes and the father’s role becomes vitally important.
- He helps to affirm his son in his manhood, in a type of informal initiation.
- The Jewish culture places importance on the Bar-mitzva
- But the father 's role with his daughter is also of great importance as the adolescent girl grows up.
- She desperately needs to hear from her father that she is attractive and capable.
- She trusts her dad and it is essential that the dad affirms and values and protects his daughter
- When daughters have not had this male affirmation, they will seek it elsewhere, and this can have disastrous consequences
- God’s intention is that both the father and the mother work together in the upbringing of their children

The mother’s role can be painful
- Part of the role of a mother is to nurture the young child during its early years
- During this time the child needs the close bond that exists between a mother and her child
- The mother provides the protective environment the child needs in which to grow up
- As the child grows up, it starts to develop in its independence
- The father is more important in helping the adolescent child grow up into adulthood
- As the child grows up and eventually leaves home, the mother wants to keep that bond with her child intact
- This is why it is so painful for mothers when their children leave the nest
- Our children have been lent to us for just a short time, then they will go and start a family of their own
The single parent family
- Now not all of us have a marriage where both partners are present, where the child grows up with both a mom and dad
- Where the father is not present, the mother has to play both roles
- She has had to be there for the child, usually at the same time as holding down a job to provide for the family
- She nurtures and has to be there for the child, whatever things may happen
- As the child grows up and becomes an adolescent, she now needs to add to her mother role, that of the father as well
- She has to teach the child to stand on its own two feet, to be responsible and become an adult
- This involves a letting go of the reins
- It is an enormous challenge to be a single parent
- It can be done, but it requires enormous wisdom to help our children grow up to be dependable, responsible adults.
A Mother’s Creed

A Mother’s Creed
- I will worry less about my children and trust God more.
- I will commit them into the Lord's care
- I will love my children unconditionally and let them know I do.
- I will believe in them constantly and encourage them often.
- I will pray for them daily.
- I will teach them responsibility for their own actions.
- I will try to be an example of godliness, but I will be unafraid to let them see my faults.
- I will give them generous doses of laughter, interspersed with fun.
- I will release them when they are grown but they will always be my own.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.
- I believe in the love Mary gave her Son, that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his cross as he died.
- I believe in the love of all mothers, and its importance in the lives of the children they bear.
- It is stronger than steel, softer than down, and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside.
- It closes wounds, melts disappointments, and enables the weakest child to stand tall and straight in the fields of adversity.
- I believe that this love, even at its best, is only the shadow love of God, a dark reflection of all that we expect of him in this life and the next.
- And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights in the world is a mother who lets this greater love flow through her to her child, blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch and the tears of her joy.
- Thank God for mothers, and thank mothers for helping us understand God!

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