Today is "Mother's Day"! It's a day I've always had a problem with. It's not that I don't like Mother's Day ... or that I disagree with it... or that I dread it. My problem is that I don't know how to preach a good Mother's Day sermon. As a preacher, there have been times I could step into my office after a sermon and tell myself, "Yea, I nailed that one!" In thirty-two years of pastoral ministry, I've preached thirty-two Mother's Day sermons, and never once have I gone away thinking, "Yea, I nailed that one!" Mother's Day is perhaps (for me) the most difficult sermon to preach all year.
Why is it so hard to preach a Mother's Day message? Because, while Mother's Day can be a very happy, joyous day, I know that it can also be a very sad day—a day of pain and grief. Not everybody looks forward to Mother's Day.
- Maybe you have recently lost your mother... and you are experiencing the pain of your loss.
- Maybe you have lost a child ... and your heart grieves on Mother's Day.
- Maybe you are having difficulties with your Mother... your Mother wasn't the ideal Mother we like to preach about, and you have bad memories of your Mother.
- Maybe you have some guilt feelings about your own motherhood ... and you see yourself as a maternal failure.
- Maybe you were never able to have children ... and Mother's Day isn't a joyous occasion for you.
- Maybe you never had a real mother... and were raised in a foster home, or by relatives.
- Maybe you are a single Mom ... and are struggling with being a good Mother to your children.
Not every home is like the "Cleavers," or the "Brady Bunch," or "Father Knows Best," or the "Nelson Family". Maybe your home is more like the "Ozz'e Osbourne Family" than it is the "Ozze Nelson Family"\ Some of you have been raised in good Christian homes, had wonderful parents or are wonderful parents. I thank God for you, and you should thank God, too, AMEN?
This morning, I want to encourage all of our parents, but especially the Mothers. Each of us has been affected by Motherhood in some way or another—for good or bad. Everyone here either: HAS a mother... HAD a mother... IS a mother... or is MARRIED to a mother.
This morning, on this Mother's Day, I have a message for you. I want to bring to you "A Mother's Day Card Sent From God". Most Mother's Day Cards always have a little message printed inside of them, don't they?. Most of us take great care to pick out one that matches our sentiments for our mother. If you buy a Christian card, there is usually a verse of Scripture printed in the card. The Bible is God's Mother's Day Card to the ladies this morning. He's given you His Word: To encourage you, To help you, To bless you, To comfort you, and To give you direction.
This (hold up the Bible) is God's Mother's Day Message to you. Pick out the verses that apply to you, as a Mother—it's God's message to you:
I. WHEN YOU FEEL DISCOURAGED GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- mothers, have you ever been discouraged?
- motherhood isn't for the weak or faint-hearted, is it?
- mothers need a lot of encouragement, and on a daily basis
- listen to what God writes on the inside of His Mother's Day Card to you:
- "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31, ESV)
- because God understands
- He is an everlasting God
- He is the creator God
- He is an unflagging God
- this unflagging, everlasting creator God understands everything about your life
- are their times when you can identify with verse 40?—when you are faint and you feel like you have little or no might?
- it's at those moments when God provides gives power and increases might
- even youth and young men grow weary
- but the good news is that if we wait for the Lord He renews our Spirit and empowers our bodies
II. WHEN YOU FEEL ANGRY GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- mothers, have you ever gotten angry with your kids?
- if you haven't, then we need to nominate you for sainthood!
- listen to what God has written on the inside of His Mother's Day card to you:
- "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger," (Ephesians 4:26, ESV)
- God doesn't say it's wrong to be angry, but He does say that you need to control your anger so that it does not lead you into sin
- God's message is don't stay angry
- you're supposed to get angry over disobedience, or a lack of respect, or insolence
- if you didn't get angry over it, but permitted and encouraged it, you wouldn't be much of a Mother
- but deal with it, and turn it into a useful tool, not a destructive weapon
- "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32, ESV)
- don't let your anger control you, let God control your anger
III. WHEN YOU NEED HELP GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- ILLUS. After dinner on Mother's Day a mother was washing the dishes when her teenage daughter wandered into the kitchen. Horrified to see her mother at the sink, she exclaimed, "Oh, Mama, you shouldn't have to do dishes on Mother's Day." The mother was touched by this seeming thoughtfulness and was about to take off her apron and give it to her daughter when the daughter added, "They'll keep till tomorrow."
- mothers, do you ever feel like you're in the motherhood business alone?
- most of you probably get lots of help from your own mother, or your mother-in-law, and even your husband
- but, do you ever feel like you need more help?
- open up God's Mother's Day Card to you, and see what He's written in it to you:
- "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV)
- your Heavenly Father is always there to help you (He's got lots of experience in this area)
- Ps. 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."
- Ps. 46:1 - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
- Ps. 27:14 - "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord."
- Phil. 4:19 - "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
- Gal. 6:9 - "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
IV. WHEN YOU FEEL ALONE GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- mothers, you can have a houseful of children—all wanting your attention at the same time—and still feel alone; Amen?
- you can be in the middle of Wai-mart, with kids hanging off the shopping cart, and still feel alone; Amen?
- open up God's Mother's Day card, and see what He has to tell you this morning:
- "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV)
- "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18, ESV)
- God tells you in Hebrews 13:5 - "I will never leave you; I will never forsake you."
- when Jesus left this earth to return to His Heavenly Father, He left this promise for you
- "And, to, am with you always, even unto the end of the world."/ (Matt. 28:20)
- whenever you feel lonely, just open up God's Mother's Day card to you, and be assured that He is just a prayer away
V. WHEN YOU FEEL TIRED GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- sometimes a "stay-at-home Mom" will be asked this question: "Do you work?"
- you're first impulse is probably to punch them in the nose
- your second impulse is to laugh hysterically until you cry
- ILLUS. I don't know who figures these things out, but it's been said that if the typical mother were out in the business world, doing what she does at home and actually getting paid for it, she would be worth $700,000 a year.
- ILLUS. Anthony Campolo, in his book, "The Power Delusion," writes that, "... too many times women are made to feel that they should apologize for being mothers and housewives. In reality, such roles can be noble callings." Then he gives a powerful illustration. He says that "... when I was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, there were gatherings from time to time to which faculty members brought their spouses. Inevitably, some woman lawyer or sociologist would confront my wife with the question, "And what is it that you do, my dear?" My wife, who is one of the most brilliantly articulate individuals I know, had a great response: " am socializing two homo sapiens in the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they might be instruments for the transformation of the social order into the teleologically prescribed utopia inherent in the Eschaton." When she followed that with, "And what is it that you do?" The other person's "A Lawyer"just wasn't that overpowering."?
- "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, ESV)
- "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1, ESV)
- you won't find "rest" by hiding in the closet, or by locking yourself in the bathroom
- you'll find "rest" in Jesus
VI. WHEN YOU ARE WORRIED GOD HAS A CARD FOR YOU
- mothers worry—it's part of being a Mother
- you worry about whether-or-not we're making friends in school
- you worry about the kind of friends were making in school
- you worry about our health
- you worry about our grades
- you worry about the number of vegetables we're eating
- ILLUS. God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. —Hebrew proverb
- "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)
- "casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7, ESV)
- mothers have very broad shoulders, but they don't compare to the broad shoulders of God, your Heavenly Father
- He can tote a lot more than you can!
- don't deny Him of the privilege of carrying your burdens for you!
Mothers, God has sent you a Mother's Day Card. And He has written some personal messages in it for you. Take it home with you, and take it to heart. Open it up when you need it the most. You will find everything you need to know in His Word, the Bible.
Remember you're not alone in Motherhood. You can count on your Heavenly Father to be active in raising your children with you.