Can We Really Understand The Influence Of Mothers?


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Can We Really Understand The Influence Of Mothers? Adapted from a Troy Borst sermon

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Can We Really Understand The Influence Of Mothers?

  1. 1. Adapted from Troy Borst sermon
  2. 2. As Mother's Day turns 100 this year, it's known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation. But the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.
  3. 3. It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women's organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna's mother—held Mother's Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.
  4. 4. In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother's Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one—best known as the composer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"—issued a widely read "Mother's Day Proclamation" in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.
  5. 5. Around the same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother's Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state. But it was her daughter Anna who was most responsible for what we call Mother's Day—and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become. (Brian Handwerk, National Geographic)
  6. 6. At a memorial service for her mother on May 10, 1908, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation (her mother’s favorite flower) to each person who attended. Within the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity, and Mother’s Day was observed in a number of large cities in the U.S. PHOTOGRAPH BY BETTMANN, CORBIS
  7. 7. On May 9, 1914, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. He established the day as a time for "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.“ And so began the holiday of “Mother’s Day.” It is a day to reflect. If your mother is still alive, it is a day to give her a small gift and say thank you.
  8. 8. If your mother is not, it is a day to praise God for the gift He bestowed to you in the form of your mother. I do realize, this may be a bittersweet time given that some have lost their mothers. Yet, I would in honor of this day, like to speak about motherhood with reference to the influence they have. I do not think that we can ever really understand the influence of our mothers. Scripture agrees with me.
  9. 9. 2 Timothy 1:1 ESV Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
  10. 10. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
  11. 11. The books of and are some of the most special books in the New Testament. I say that because we are given the chance to peek into a special relationship. Paul and Timothy were extraordinary evangelists and the church spread by leaps and bounds because of their efforts in the Lord.
  12. 12. We read time and time again how Paul and Timothy converted people to Christ and then later Timothy strikes out on his own and ministers to churches as they have need. Paul was the older man with experience. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles! Timothy was the young man, beginning in the ministry and looked to the Apostle Paul for guidance.
  13. 13. They were companions. They were friends. Perhaps there was some father-son feelings there as well. There was definitely a mentoring relationship between the two that was both important and special. And so we have a look at Paul’s advice to Timothy.
  14. 14. Paul wants to encourage his young friend in the ministry and first helps him remember his roots. Paul wants Timothy to remember where he came from and who has influenced him. Note that Paul does not say that he influenced Timothy in any way. He never claims to have taught Timothy anything… he places that influence on someone else.
  15. 15. Paul never claims that he led Timothy to the faith… that influence lies elsewhere. Paul specifically points out the “genuine faith that is in you” (v. ) and recalls that this faith was transmitted to him by his mother and grandmother. Timothy was a tireless worker for the Lord and changed many lives and ministered to many people because of the faith instilled into him by his mother.
  16. 16. Many scholars have concluded that you cannot really understand John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, unless you understand his mother Susanna Wesley. She was so instrumental in his life that she inevitably affected the movement and its direction.
  17. 17. Americans know that Abraham Lincoln led this nation through perhaps its time of greatest crisis; but who was it that made Abraham Lincoln the man that he was? I know what Lincoln thought. He said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
  18. 18. I would submit to you this morning that there is not a person sitting here that in one, five, ten, a thousand different ways has not been forever influenced by their mother. I firmly believe that you cannot understand who a person is and what motivates them until you understand their past. And you cannot understand a person’s past without understanding the source that co- created that person along with God— their parents.
  19. 19. Can we ever really understand the influence that mothers have on their children? I do not think so. The Apostle Paul realized that his fellow worker, Timothy, began his journey of faith at home with his mother and grandmother. And let me make a side note here: grandmothers listen!
  20. 20. You are still so very important. I realize that you have raised your own children and now are enjoying having little grandbabies running around, but never forget that you too have influence. Paul notes that Timothy’s strong faith came from his grandmother as well. She was an important part of his spiritual development. Grandmothers are a special influence in our lives as well.
  21. 21. “If A Child Lives” (from a sermon called The Divine Family ) If a child lives with criticism, HE learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, HE learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, HE learns to be shy.
  22. 22. If a child lives with shame, HE learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with tolerance, HE learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, HE learns confidence. If a child lives with praise, HE learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, HE learns justice.
  23. 23. If a child lives with security, HE learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, HE learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, HE learns to find love in the world.
  24. 24. What am I saying to you today? Be thankful for your mother. If she is living, make sure you make the effort, no matter what, to thank her for her influence. If she has passed, make sure that you praise God for the blessing your mother was in your life. Be mindful of your influence, everyone, not just mothers.
  25. 25. Take a look at the effort King Lemuel’s Mother made to influence him. Proverbs 31:1 ESV The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: 2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
  26. 26. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
  27. 27. 8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. 10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
  28. 28. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
  29. 29. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
  30. 30. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
  31. 31. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.