Will The Real Mom Please Stand Up?
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1 Kings 3:16-3:28 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV)
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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.
QUITE A CLASSIC STORY!
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:
1. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT MOTHER.
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.
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!
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
"Dear God, thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy." - Joyce
"Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up." - Bruce
"Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different camp this year." - Peter
"Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying." -Elliot
"Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love everybody in the world. There are only 4 in my family and I can’t do it." -Nan
"Dear God, I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool. -Eugene
Those authentic letters would make any mother smile!
And just in case they don’t, find something to smile about and make it a regular habit. Life is too short and God is too good to go around frowning all the time.
Here’s another MORAL OF MOTHERHOOD from out story:
2. 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.
Once again, this is not mentioned to discourage anyone. There is good news! God is willing and able to assist moms in the problems they encounter.
God didn’t give Solomon wisdom so folks would stand around the palace and say "ooh" and "ahh". He gave His wisdom for a purpose. God not only loved those two prositute 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 responsibities today. He can guide and provide for mothers in all kinds of life situations - single moms, adoptive moms, step-moms, moms with special situations, you name it!
Kids today have special needs. That’s okay. God has the wisdom to give you for the task. He can teach you what to do and what to say in every situation.
Like the mom who was tucking her small boy into bed one summer night during a violent thunder storm. She was just about to turn out the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"
The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can’t, Dear," she said, "I have to sleep with your daddy."
A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: "The big sissy."
Here’s the third and final MORAL FOR MOTHERS from this story:
3. 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. No mother’s child ought to get over that sacrifice!
Our mothers fed us, nourished and protected us with their own bodies before we even saw the light of day. I don’t know anyone else who loves me enough to carry me around for nine months.
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 is sacfricial and giving. He gave His only Son for a world of wayward children.
That kind of love should not go unnoticed and unappreciated. Respond to moms with great love and appreciation. And respond to the God who created motherhood the same way.