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Motherhood: The toughest job you’ll ever love

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As I see it, motherhood is a complicated relationship and an awesome responsibility. The stakes are high. And, for lack of a better term, the grunt work that accompanies it is often repetitive and sometimes mind-numbing. It is at the same time one of the toughest jobs in the world, but also, perhaps, the most rewarding.

President Theodore Roosevelt said this about motherhood: “When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls, who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as a more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of the national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist."


            1. when I think of moms, I am reminded of the slogan of the Peace Corps: "It's the toughest job you'll ever love."
            2. comedian Bill Cosby, speaking of motherhood after watching his wife raise their children, says, /"I've seen the job—and I don't want it!"
            3. moms have a tough job!


            1. from the day they're born until the day they die mothers worry about their kids
                1. when we're babies you fret when we have the slightest sniffle, cough or sneeze
                2. when we're toddlers you worry about all the things we can get at, fall over or crash into and you busily chase us around all day
                3. when we're young children you worry about our nutrition and make us eat yucky things like Brussels Sprouts, spinach and turnips
                4. when we get to grade school you worry if we're making friends or not and if we're eating the things you've packed in our lunch bag or trading our apples for Twinkies
                5. when we're teenagers you begin to worry big time
                    1. you worry about the drug and alcohol scene
                    2. you worry about our emerging sexuality
                    3. when we begin to drive you go into a mild panic, and the first time we're twenty minutes late your ready to call out the National Guard
                6. when we're adults you worry about our career choices and indebtedness
                7. when we're parents you worry about how we are raising your grandchildren!
            2. Worrying Is a Tough Job for Moms, but its Not the Toughest Job


    • ILLUS. Franklin Roosevelt, while he was governor of New York, said, "The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight."
            1. good citizens seem hard to come by these days
              • ILLUS. In October 2009 an Armored Truck accidently dropped bundles of cash containing $2 million on a busy street in downtown Indianapolis. A passing car hit one of the bags, and money started flying out..That prompted a dash for cash, with people grabbing as many $20 bills as they could. But one man decided to guard the money till police arrived. Tim Wentworth and his wife dragged three large bundles to the curb, called 911 and guarded them until the police arrived.
                1. here were twi good citizens!
                2. don't you know that somewhere there are two mothers who are proud of their children for doing the good, and right and honorable thing?
            2. in a "ME-oriented" society, it's tough to raise a child who thinks of others first
            3. in a materialistic society, it's tough to raise a child who places principle over pleasure
            4. Molding Children into Model Citizens Is a Tough Job for Moms, but It's Not the Toughest


            1. in a secular society which pulls and tugs and your children's affections and loyalties, it's tough to raise your children to love, honor and obey God
                1. and let's be honest, it's even tougher if your husband is not a Christian or is a Christian, but uninterested in spiritual things
                2. and, what’s astounding to me, is the fair number of teenagers who regularly attend our church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings who have neither parent attending church
                    1. they are to be commended and much prayed for
            2. Raising Your Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord Is a Tough Job for Moms, But It's Not the Toughest


            1. let me explain what I mean by that
                1. there comes a time in the life of every mother where you must let your children go
                2. they have a right to their own life
                    1. as your child grows you must relinquish more and more control to them as they prepare for adulthood
                    2. not doing so invites disastrous results
                      • ILLUS. As a young child, Victoria, the future queen of England, was totally dominated by her mother, the Duchess of Kent. The Duchess clearly had ambitions to be the power behind the scene once Victoria ascended the throne. Victoria was never out of her mother’s or her governess’s sight. She was made to sleep in her mother's room. She was never allowed to talk to anyone except in the presence of her German governess or the Duchess. Every aspect of her life was controlled by her mother. The Duchess of Kent, was, to say the least, a domineering mother! One the day that King William IV died and Victoria ascended the throne, the Duchess of Kent came to Victoria after all the state dignitaries had departed and inquired if there was anything she could do for her daughter—now the most powerful monarch in the world. The Queen's icy reply was, "I wish to be left alone." Their relationship was seriously strained for many, many years.
            2. it is tempting to assume that our children are ours to raise how we please and do with what we want
                1. the problem is that is not a Biblical viewpoint!


            1. according to our text Hannah was barren--she had been unable to give her husband any children
                1. this greatly distressed her
            2. so Hannah began to pray earnestly to the Lord
                1. in her prayers she vowed to give her child to the Lord for Godly service if He would bless her with a son
                  • “And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11, NIV84)
                2. God heard her prayers, and she gave birth to a son
                3. she named him Samuel which mean heard of God
            3. when Samuel was three, Hannah did the hardest thing she probably ever had to do in her life
                1. she kept her promise to God and took her young son to the Lord's House at Shiloh, dedicated him to God and give him to the Prophet Eli to raise
                2. Hannah gives parents--but particularly mothers--a pattern for Godly motherhood


            1. Godly Mothers Recognize That Children Are God's Gift
                1. Hannah recognized this v 27
                2. the Psalmist confirms this viewpoint
                  • “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3, NIV84)
                3. upon reading that passage a parent's initial thought might be, "Then let God pay the grocery bill!"
                    1. the Biblical truth is a profound one and one which our society has forgotten
                    2. men and women may come together in the act of lovemaking, but it is still God who has priority over the creation of life
                      • “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” (Genesis 4:1, NIV84)
            2. Godly Mothers Surrender Their Children to God Early in Life
                1. Hannah took her son to the Jewish center of worship, offered a sacrifice in thanks to God and left him with the High Priest to be raised in God's service
                2. surrendering your children to God means abandoning your rights to your child
                    1. it means that God's will for that child's life is more important than your will for that child's life
                      • ILLUS. Bertha could not give up her youngest daughter. Darlene had felt God's call to missions. Ultimately, she would spend two years in Taiwan. But getting there was hell. Bertha opposed her daughter every step of the way. Her will for her daughter's life was to get married, give her grandkids and never live more than ten miles away from home. This was not God's will for Darlene's life. God had bigger and better things in mind.
                3. Bertha was unwilling to surrender her children to God
                4. can you imagine what would have happened if Hannah had reneged on her promise to God?
                    1. what would have been the results if she had not let God do with Samuel as He wanted?
                    2. the nation of Israel would have lost one of its greatest prophets and leaders and the scope of biblical history may have been different
                    3. notice the Bible says that she gave her son to God "for his whole life"
                5. God's hand is the best place to leave our children!
            3. Godly Mothers Teach Their Children about God Early in Life
                1. the last sentence of the chapter says, "And he worshiped the LORD there."
                2. at a very early age Samuel's mother told him of her prayer, God's answer and her commitment to give him to the Lord's service
                    1. even at the tender age of three or four, I do not believe that Samuel felt surprised or abandoned when his mother left him at Shiloh with Eli
            4. Godly Mothers Rejoice When They See Their Children in the Center of God's Will for Their Life
              • “Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1–10, NIV84)

Moms have lots of tough jobs. You worry about us—that's a tough job. You seek to mold us into good citizens with sound character—that's a tough job. You seek to influence us toward Christ—that's a tough job. But the toughest job you'll ever do is to abandon your rights to your children to God. But ultimately, that's the best place to leave them.

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