Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mom, Take Your Kids to Church!!!

Mother's Day and thoughts of my Mom evoke a lot of different emotions for me, and I bet they do for you, too. Our Moms are our Moms, with all their quirks, idiosyncrasies, personalities, likes and dislikes. And it wasn't until I was a Mom that I understood that all that went into making her who she was, went into making me who I am; quirks, idiosyncrasies, personality, likes and dislikes. The older I get, the more like my Mom I hope I am becoming.

On Mother's Day, David and I were privileged to worship with our son, Jeff, and his family, at Dripping Spring Baptist Church in Logan County, Ky. We heard a very timely messsage, enjoyed the special singing of our daughter-in-law Dana, and Kristi Holloway, and were blest when Mrs. Kathleen Cox, church pianist for many, many years played "Whispering Hope" for offertory. That song brought back many good memories from my growing up years in Nelson Creek Baptist Church and my Dad, who was our song leader, often lead our congregation in singing that Baptist classic, "Whispering Hope." After the service, Jeff took us to Shady Cliff restaurant on Lake Malone, and it was a very enjoyable Mother's Day for me!

Just before Jeff preached, a godly woman in his church, Mrs. Gayle Brown, asked if she could say a word to the church. This is what she said; "The reason I am in church today is because of my Mother. She brought me to church when I was a little girl." How simple, yet how profound.

If you are a Mom with small children, please hear the godly wisdom of this godly woman; "Bring your children to church with you, and when they are adults, they will be in church." Now I know what some of you may be thinking; "I know of lots of women who took their kids to church and their kids don't go to church now." And I say, "Yes, I know families who went to church when the kids were small, but their adult children have no interest in church today." But oh ladies.....there is so much more that goes into taking kids to church than just, well, taking them to church.

One of the young Moms in my Sunday School class often shares this with our class; "When we were children, we went to church, but what we heard at church wasn't "lived out" at home."

So, what can I do today to insure that what I am putting into raising my kids, will bear abundant fruit when they are adults?

Get you Bible, and turn to Proverbs 31. I know, she used to scare me, too, but don't be afraid of her, she is just a woman. She was married, she had children, she had a home, she had a job, she is you, she is me. God did not place her within the pages of holy script for us to fear her, nor is she a standard we cannot possibly hope to live up to. She is there to encourage us, to lift us up, to teach us the "how to's" of being the woman God created us to be. Because you see, the "abundant life"(John 10:10) the best life, we could possibly live is not found in a fashion magazine, the who's who of Hollywood, keeping up with the cool Mom in our Bible Study class or our best friend from High School. The abundant life is having God as the center of our life and every other thing of value flowing from the Center.

I have given her a name; Lady Virtue. She doesn't seem quite so daunting when I call her Lady Virtue and not "that Proverbs 31 woman". So...what are some practical, yet extremely important lessons you and I can learn from Lady Virtue?

Look at verses 10-31.
In these verses I found 9 things this remarkable woman did while raising her family that every Mom can do. And when you add these things to attending a good, Bible believing, Bible preaching, evangelistic church with your children every single Sunday, you can expect the same results she received. (hint: v28!!)

1. Be sure your husband can trust you with his heart. (v11)
That means he knows you will not "discuss" (criticize, belittle) him with your friends or........your Mom. It also means we keep private things private, and he can trust us to be discreet and "virtuous" in the presence of other men. Because you see, his heart needs to know that you have eyes for him and him alone. You may think you are "just being friendly" but other men get a different message. And too much "friendly" can create a lack of trust in his heart.
2. Don't be lazy. (v15)
Lady Virtue worked and she worked hard to see that her family was well fed, well clothed, and warm. And she got up early in the morning  to make sure of that. No hitting the "snooze" on the alarm clock for her!! She didn't just feed them any ole thing that was handy. Not Lady Virtue. She took the extra time and patience needed to provide the very best for her husband and children. She even found the time to create beautiful garments to sell in the marketplace to add to the family income.
3. She used good judgment in making decisions. (v16)
She wasn't impulsive, she thought things through, she "considered" every detail and looked at it from every angle.
4. She "kept the home fires burning." (v18)
She created a place that her husband and children actually wanted to come home to.
5. Her children knew she had compassion for the poor and witnessed her care for them. (v20)
6. She was organized and prepared. (v21)
7. She took the time to look attractive (wore silk and purple) and dress modestly. ("coverings")
(vss 22, 23)
In fact, she showed so much respect and honor for her husband that he was "known in the gates." To be "known in the gates" meant that he was a community leader and a man who was sought out for his wise council. Please never under-estimate the value of your influence on your husband and children. How we treat our families, speak about them, and care for them will influence how others respect them and what they think of them. Here's a little test to prove my point; listen to what other women (even strangers at the Mall) are saying about their families (husbands in particular) and see how that affects your opinion of them.
8. She was a woman known for her kind words. (v26) That's a blog post for another time, but oh ladies, we need us some virtuous women with some kind words today in our homes, in our churches, and everywhere else!! The words we speak define us more than anything else about us.
9. Her family was her top priority, and they knew it. Her kids didn't have to wonder how Mom felt about them....they knew from her actions. Her husband didn't have to wonder where his wife was, with whom, or what she was saying or doing.....he knew that his heart was safe with her.

What will children do who have a Mom like her?___________________
How many times are her hands mentioned in these verses?_______________
What is the most important gift you can give your husband and children?________________(hint: v30)

So....a Mom takes her children to church and protects the heart of her husband.
She takes her children to church and works hard at home to take care of them.
She takes her children to church and makes wise decisions.
She takes her children to church and creates a lovely home for her family.
She takes her children to church and shows compassion to the poor and needy.
She takes her children to church and takes time to take care of herself and set the example for her daughters.
She takes her children to church and speaks kindly to everyone she meets.
She takes her children to church and lives out her faith at home.

That's the total package girls, and it works. God says it will! And when you put it all together, one day, on Mother's Day, someone may stand and say about you.....
"The reason I am in church today is because of my Mother. My Mother brought me to church when I was a child."

Thank you, Mrs. Gayle for that godly counsel. I needed the reminder; "I am in church today because my Mother, also, took me to church."

Let me hear the answers to the questions. I just love Bible study, don't you????

Blessings in His name,

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