Mothers, Blessing Or Blight!

Proverbs 4: 23; 25-26

One day Queen Victoria was officiating at the Royal Academy of Sciences.
Somewhat overwhelmed, she turned
to her Prime Minister, John Bright, and whispered,
"Where do all these learned men come from?"

John Bright replied, "From babies, your Majesty!"

Brilliant men do come from babies, but so do all kinds of men.
For good or bad, our destiny is shaped in large measure in our homes.

And the most important person in a child's life is his or her mother.

The most important decisions that determine a person's basic character structure
are usually decided upon by age two or three.
Most of the rest occur by the age of 6, while other decisions
may be made through adolescence and some even later.

Before the age of 6, a child may gather inappropriate fears, anxiety,
a deeply rooted sense of guilt, inferiority, overdependence, obsessions,
insecurities, strange worries.

By carrying these through the years the abundant life is regressed, thwarted,
submerged, and so the abundant life is almost impossible.

Mothers have an awesome responsibility.
They can be a blessing or a blight.

A mother can be a blight.

2 Chronicles 22: 3 tells us of a mother who was a blight.
The passage speaks of Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah who reigned as king in Judah.

But he only lasted as king for one year because of his wickedness. (22: 2)
"He did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab." (22: 4)

His mother, Athaliah was his worst affliction.
2 Chronicles 22: 3 declares that she was "his counselor to do wickedly."

It's bad enough for a man to be wicked, cruel and perverse,
but it's even more tragic if his mother influenced him to be that way.

A mother can be a blight or a blessing.

Jezebel was a terrible blight.
She was guilty of "whoredoms" and ";witchcraft." (2 Kings 9: 22)

There are many Jezebels today.
They are living in sinful indulgence without the benefit of marriage.
We see them everywhere -- sensual, immodest, profane, and boisterous.

No wonder their children turn out the way they do.
God says in Exodus 16: 44: "As is the mother, so is her daughter."

But thank God, most mothers do not counsel their daughters to do wickedly.

Mothers can be a blessing.

I do believe every mother, deep in her heart, wants to be a blessing.

Sarah, the mother of Isaac and the wife of Abraham,
called by God "A mother of nations." (Genesis 17:16)
Sarah was a mother of faith.
Isaac manifested that faith in his life.

The mother of Moses was a blessing.
She protected him.
She risked her life for him.
She taught him of God.
She taught him how to be responsible.

And Moses revealed these things in his life.
How proud she must have been,
when later Moses "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season
." (Hebrews 11: 24, 25)

Moses, mother did her work well,
and so does every mother who teaches her children to hate sin!

Susannah Wesley spent one hour alone with God everyday,
though she had 19 children (including John and Charles Wesley).

In addition, she took each one aside individually for a full hour each week
to discuss spiritual things.
She taught them to pray as soon as they could talk.
She truly was a blessing.

Many here can thank God that had a praying, Bible reading mother
who showed you love and took you to Sunday school and church,
and taught you what was important.

Such mothers are blessings!
"Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her
." (Proverbs 31: 28)

When 600 university students were asked to write on a piece of paper
the most beautiful word in the English language,
422 wrote the word, mother, and 112 wrote the word, home.

Mothers can be a blessing or blight.

Thank God for mothers who are a blessing.

They are the hope of our civilization.

This responsibility is not for mothers alone.
Fathers must also take equal responsibility to be a blessing or a blight.
It is sad and tragic when fathers leave this responsibility totally to the mother.

We must have Christian homes.
We must have Christian homes where mother and father
by word and example teach their children
the importance of God, His Word, and of His Son, Jesus Christ.

We must have Christian homes where affection is put into love.
We must have Christian homes where discipline is an expression of caring.
We must have Christian homes where fatherly love gives companionship,
which engenders trust and confidence in the child.

We must have Christian homes where motherly love kindles the child's idealism and esteem.

We need Christian homes!
We need homes with Jesus Christ in them.
We need homes where members of the family
can find resources in which to live life victoriously.

We make our best adventures into the unknown
from a dependable base of love and trust.

Young people push out into the wide world with confidence
when they know their homebase is secure.

The mother of a small boy was planning a trip.
"If you go," the small boy said to his mother,
"who will I show my homework to."

The boy was able to do his homework,
but there was a need for someone who cared to approve his work.
It added something to his security and confidence.

Our youth must be able to leave the nest with rejoicing,
but their rejoicing is conditioned by the possibility of returning.

We must remember, that our business as parents is to make our children
adequate to stand on their own feet without fear of failure or defeat.

A home with God in it is a place where members of a family lay foundations for the future.
The ideas, attitudes, prejudices, and feelings
that grow in our homes inevitably shape the future.

Unfortunately, we have a way of indoctrinating our children
with the ideas and opinions that were native to our particular generation,
often confusing abiding values with passing opinions.

We pass on our prejudices, quite intact, as if they were ultimate truths.
And yet, our task is not to make our children think the way we do.
Our task is to make them think and to arrive at their own judgments
in the light of abiding standards which shine in the person of Jesus Christ.

We must show our children, Jesus in our lives.
This is our task!

Do they see His love, forgiveness, and gentleness?
Do they see His patience, compassion, and truths?
Do they see His Word?

This is a difficult task for we are so full of "self."

We live in a society that is so immoral.
We live in a society where entertainment conspires against Christian chastity.
We live in a society were young people have a degree of freedom
for which they are not prepared.

We live in a society where the meaning of the word, "love,"
is largely determined by unchristian influences.
We live in a society where commercial interests
attempt to seduce young people into careless and harmful indulgences.

Against such odds, we call upon ourselves, the mothers and fathers
of our land to communicate the life of Christ to our children.

This cannot be done without Christ in the hearts of mothers and fathers.

Parents have an awesome responsibility.
I can almost imagine that when we stand before God,
this will be the first thing for which we will be judged.

Parents who show their children Christ truly have a glory.

"So long as there are homes to which men turn at close of day;
So long as there are homes where children are, where mothers stay --
If love and loyalty and faith be found across those sills --
A stricken nation can recover from its gravest ills.

As long as there are homes where fires burn and there is bread;
So long as there are homes where lamps are lit and prayers are said;
Although people falter through the dark -- and nations grope --
With God Himself back of these little homes, we have sure hope
."

Proverbs 4: 23, 25-26:
"Keep your heart with all vigilance;
for from it flows the springs of life.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Take heed to the path of your feet,
then all your ways will be sure
."

On the front of the Knoxville News Sentinel some years ago was a picture of a family.
The picture was of a father and mother from Nigeria.

This family had come to attend the graduation of their daughter
from the University of Tennessee.
This was the seventh daughter to graduate from the University of Tennessee.
She received two degrees.

In the article the father said:
"Education is the most important thing a father can give a child."

This is a great gift to give to our children, but it is not the greatest gift that we can give.

The greatest gift we can give to our children is Jesus.

In Jesus they have eternal life.
In Jesus they have divine guidance.
In Jesus they have a light that directs their path.
In Jesus they...

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White