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Mothers Day 2022

Proverbs 31:10-31


Speaker 3: Thank you for that, ladies. Mister, you did great. You got all the words out. I know. That's. Got to be hard to say. I don't know. I mean, I'm not even that great of a singer. Well. I don't think I could make it through a song like that. I would just put it like that. To talk about your mom that way. I'm so grateful for my mom. And she's not here with me today. But my brother Mike is here with me today. So I guess, you know, that's kind of not the same, but I'm glad he's here. Mom sent him to check on me and Joe to make sure that we're behaving ourselves. And so he's probably taking notes to make sure I don't tell any embarrassing stories about my mom while I'm up here. So I had to be on my best behavior. I don't know if I told you this or not before, but me and my brothers were home schooled growing up. Yeah. And so, you know, mom was mom and teacher and administrator and sometimes principal and school board and all of that stuff. And so I spent a lot of time with my mom. But then I think about all of the things that we got to do with Mom. You know, she wanted us to have as as normal of a school experience as possible. And so we did field trips regularly every year. And she would load up me and my three little brothers and take us to, you know, the East Texas Oil Museum or the dairy museum or the GM plant or Mrs. Baird's bakery. I'm trying to think of some other places that we went. Well, we toured and Albertson's one time, you know, back behind. We still all kinds of stuff. And she would do all of the work to get those things lined up for us. And, you know, when you're when you're the oldest of four and I know some of you are like just four, I would, you should say, in my family, okay, that's fine. You got a story than me. But I always felt like we were a clown car, you know, getting out. We drove this big old conversion van, you know, the kind with the seat in the back that folded down into a bed. We were the home school family, for sure. Anyway, so. So we'd show up somewhere and it'd be like, you know, somebody would start playing really fast organ music as all of us. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Walked out of the car. And, you know, it's just so embarrassing. At that age. But I'm thankful for my family and I'm thankful for a mom that invested in my life and taught me not only school stuff, but how to follow God and to know God. And like the lady sung about, like my brother Matt mentioned, demonstrated a love, a nurturing that doesn't find its end in mom, but is meant to point us to someone who loves us and nurtures us perfectly. That is God. We talk a lot about how fathers are to be an example to their families of of godly leadership. But moms, you have just as high a calling in, demonstrating to your families the love that God has for all of us. Unfortunately, in our day, Christians get a bad rap as if we are anti women, that we're against strong women. And and God's going to set us straight. If you do have that mentality here today, you won't be able to hold on to that. After we look at this passage and the message that I want to present to you this morning is hopefully going to change your thinking because that's that's what we're after. We're not just trying to change your behavior. We want change the way we think. But I hope it will also be kind of a celebration of the the women, the mothers that we have had in our lives. You know, Jesus said that and I'm glad brother shared and you mentioned this, if any will leave father and mother, sister and brother houses and all this other stuff, he will receive a hundredfold in this life. And so there have been women in my life, and I'm sure in your life who were not my biological mom, but filled the role that my mom would have filled if she had been there. And the Shawna, as you sitting right here on the center aisle mission, when we lived in Virginia, she helped fill that position for my family. You know, when you couldn't go home to be with mom and dad for Christmas, Jerry and Shawna would invite us over and include us with their family. And I'm not the only one who has stories like that. Many of you have been in the military. You've traveled, you've lived other places. You know what that's like as well. And so I'm so grateful for all of the godly women in my life that have invested in in me, as I'm sure you are as well. I want you to take your Bibles, and I hope this isn't too cliche, but turn to Proverbs 31. We forgive me for going through this passage. Thank you. Proverbs 31 If you're there or you find your place, if you wouldn't mind standing in honor of reading God's word. And read this very well-known, very powerful picture that God paints for us of a strong. Successful, entrepreneurial, virtuous woman. Bible says in verse number ten. Who can find a virtuous woman for her. Price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband does safely trust in her so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good, not evil, all the days of her life. You see Keith Wall and Flex work it willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants. Ships bring us her food from afar. She rises also, while it is yet night, give it meat to her household and a portion to her maids she consider as a field, and by it that the fruit of her hands plants a vineyard. She girded her loins with strength, strength and with her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good or candle go with not out by night, lay at her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. She stretches out her hand to the poor yei. She reaches forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household. For all her household are clothed with scarlet. Make it herself. Coverings of tapestry. Her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She make his fine linen and sell with it and deliver a girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing. Clothing. She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She look as well to the ways of her household, Edith, not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed. Her husband also. And he prays with her. Many daughters have done virtuously. But thou excel us them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman that with the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands. And let her own works. Praise her in the gates. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for this special day. Thank you for the time that we can set aside here together at your house to thank you and praise you for the ladies that have been an example to us. Lord, I pray that you would bless every lady that's here today that seeks to follow you and honor you with their lives. May they be encouraged and celebrated for their testimony here today. Lord, we love you so much and thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. If you don't mind, we're just going to jump right into it. It's a long set of verses, and I want to get you out of here in time for lunch. Starting in verse number ten, if you'll look there with me, there is this question that is presented to us out of the writer. Here is the King, Lemuel. There's a lot of discussion as to who this might be. Could be another name for Solomon, we don't know. But this man, Lemuel, as he presents the question, who can find a virtuous woman? The virtuous woman that Lemuel is going to describe for us represents one of the most valuable treasures on the whole earth. The phrase you can find may apply to scarcity. It may say, you know, it's hard to find a virtuous woman. There aren't very many of them out there. But I don't know if you've ever thought about this. Another way that you could interpret that phrase is to say this Who can afford a virtuous woman? Guys. Are you familiar with the yearly endeavor to put a price tag on all that a mother does? You've not heard of this before. Every year they update the number this year, salary.com released yesterday, the average salary for all of the things that moms do. And it's up to $184,820 a year. So I say with one earl who can afford a virtuous woman. Our price is far beyond rubies. It can also apply to the willingness to look for these things. Who can find? Who could afford? Is there really a man in here that's brave enough to go and look? For a virtuous woman. So why is he talking to the men? This is Mother's Day. You see the women, the woman that's in these verses is an invaluable asset to her family. But she is strong. She is independent. She is capable. And if her husband dropped off the face of the earth, she'd be just fine. A week or an insecure man is not deserving of the virtuous woman. The weak and insecure man is threatened by the virtuous woman. She is strong, smart and capable. She is not locked in the house waiting to serve her husband. She is busy advancing the prospects of her family. Now, you don't have to be married with children to be a virtuous woman. But Lemuel is going to talk here about a woman who happens to be married and has children. Most likely, if Lemuel is synonymous with Solomon, which is is somewhat likely, then he is talking about his own mother and the testimony that she had. You might be familiar with Solomon's mother. She was a lady by the name of. Bathsheba. Bible tells us here in verse number 11 regarding this lady's relationship with her husband, we see that her husband is confident in her and her abilities. The Bible says the heart of her husband does safely trust in her. He trusts her that she is on his side and by his side for the good of the family. They're not at odds at each other with each other, trying to pull their own separate ways. They are an unstoppable force, unified for the advancement of their family. She is not a detractor, nor is. I didn't say she's not a tractor. Okay, just. I know we're in Oklahoma, but let's not get mixed up here. A detractor. She does. She doesn't detract from the families. Anyways, she's not a liability, but because of her resourcefulness. Her husband knows that she is a safe person. We all need people that we can feel safe with, don't we? So one that we can be open with. Someone that we can reveal what we would not reveal to anyone else to. If you happen to be here this morning and you happen to be married, then your spouse should be that safe person. That you can be completely open with. This virtuous woman. Her husband trusts her. We go beyond that. The Bible says not only does he trust her, but because of her, he has no need of spoil. Spoils, if you think about it, or the gains gotten from war, the the the virtuous woman makes it possible that her husband doesn't have to go looking for more resources, more material goods to try and make up for the loss that he has experience he doesn't have to go after another word for this would be filthy. Lucre is not trying to find other avenues to be lucrative because as we're going to find out, this lady is. Far and above anything. This guy is going to find somewhere else. A Godly woman will display this type of teamwork and virtue on a consistent basis. First, number 12 says she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. There is a consistency here. Not only she is safe at the beginning or at times in the relationship, but she is a safe individual all the days of her life. And she will do right by him, all the days of her life. It's a short little section in this passage, but we see that. The virtuous woman. If she is married, she has a healthy relationship with her husband. But look, look, look with me if you would invest number of 14 because Lemuel is going to spend several verses talking about the business acumen of the virtuous woman. Let me well details the virtuous woman's business ventures in an ascending manner. He's going to start very small with a humble beginning. But by the time we get to the end, we're going to see that this virtuous woman has built an empire in her business dealings. And it's really awesome to watch how this works. If you just read it quickly, you wouldn't really catch this. But hopefully after today you'll have a new appreciation for this woman and what she was able to do. We're going to start with some small and simple tasks, and we'll end up with large, complex successes. Big successes, though, come from consistency in the small. Right. You don't get from those. You just don't start at the big. You start small and you have to grow up and this woman is able to do this. Notice that she starts out working alone. She's completely of herself and the items that she's working with are common. The Bible says in verse number 13. She says Keith wool and flax and works willingly with her hands. Wool and flax are not high end items. You know, there are certain brands that we we like to think that we can afford to just buy those brands all the time. This lady, she's not worried about the high end brands. She's starting with the basic of the basic. She has no servants. And so any produce that will come must come from the labor of her own hands. And so she does this, according to the verse, willingly. She was not coerced or forced into service. Her industriousness springs from within herself and the desire that she has to better her family. This was not something that she was she was forced into something that she was threatened into. This is something that she wants to do for herself. Because of her hard work, we see her horizons widening. Verse number 14 Look what it says. So she is like the merchants ships. She bring it her food from afar. She begins to feed her family better than the rest of the local families. This lady, because of her hard work, because of her ingenuity and industriousness, she begins to open up doors not only for herself, but for her family. You see, you and I don't understand verse number 14, because we live in a day and age where we can have access to foods from around the world just by going to Sam's. I remember when we were living in Virginia, there used to be a store called H Mart. H Mart was a Asian food grocery store, and we had several folks in our church there in Virginia that were actually from China. And so one of the ladies, Miss Kim, had my wife over one day to to make eggrolls and teach you how to actually make them. And we just buy the frozen ones still. But but she knows how to do it, but she was going to learn how to make egg rolls. And so they went together to H Mart and bought all of the authentic Chinese ingredients to to make these egg rolls. And I think we had fried rice, all kinds of other great stuff. But we can do that. I mean, you can go to a Latin grocery store. You can go to a Chinese or an Asian grocery store. Even if you just go to Razer's, ah, Walmart, you can find all kinds of exotic things to eat. I mean, how many of you have ever bought a packet of seaweed? Okay. I mean, who would have thought? I mean, we're so blessed. We're so lucky. Back in this day when you all wrote this, there was no there was no opportunity for that. If it wasn't grown locally or if you didn't grow it in your own backyard, you didn't get to eat it. You know, so their diet was very simplified and narrow. But not this lady. She bring it her food from afar? Her family is experiencing all the tastes and all the cultures from the surrounding countries because she has made connections, she's made contacts with vendors that have opened doors of opportunity to her family to be able to enjoy things that most families don't get to enjoy. Her husband didn't do that. She did that. The virtuous woman opened doors for her family. So her family benefits. This kind of success and increase in resources and income. It takes hard work. There's no room for laziness in the life of a virtuous woman. We see this in verse number 15 when it says she rises. All rise is also while it is yet night. She gets up early. The Bible shares with us that she has two responsibilities to attend to. First we see that she gives meat to her household, but then also she gives a portion to her maidens. You understand what that's talking about? It means that she is not only feeding her family, but now she also has employees that she is responsible for. Z. Her business has grown. Her her her ability to manufacture, her ability to to make money has increased so that now she is not only providing for her family, but now she is also providing for these other families. Then she's giving other maidens an opportunity for employment. I know we've talked about it before, but a great real life modern example of this is Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. They were had one of their steaks. I've had one very, very impressed. You know how Ruth's Chris Steakhouse got started? As a single mom. Single mom who bought Chris's steak house. That's why it's called Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. But it was Chris Steak House in Louisiana. She bought it and she began to work hard at rebuilding this restaurant that had at one time been wildly successful, not really that successful, but mildly locally. A lot of times Ruth would spend the night in the in the kitchen, in the restaurant so that she could be there in the morning when the deliveries were made because she couldn't afford to hire anybody else to do it. She couldn't afford expensive machinery to cut the meat. And so she would cut it by hand. As she began to develop a wider audience for her food, she used her increase in income. Hire a bunch of men. No. That's not what she did because as a single mother, she understood that she was dependent upon this income to feed her family. And she knew that that that that level of responsibility burdened her to work harder at her job. So she went out and she hired other single mothers who were just as diligent as she was. And it was this collection of ladies that that were working together and building this restaurant and then starting to open other restaurants that made Ruth's Chris Steakhouse into what it is today. And it all started with the ingenuity of. Virtuous woman. Now as her employer employment abilities grow, that doesn't mean she isn't still willing to work with her hands. She's not the person that climbed the ladder and said, All right, I'm going to sit I'm a sit down. I'm going to kick back and I'm just going to watch everybody else do everything while I take it easy. Let me well goes on and tells us in verse number 16, she's always looking for the next opportunity. She says it says she considers a field and by is it. You see she goes out and if she she realizes if she owns the field, she can grow her own flax and raise her own sheep for wool. What was it she was doing back in 13? It wasn't growing. It wasn't raising it. She was looking for it. Just trying to find it. She didn't have her own supply chain. She was dependent upon others. Well, now that she's grown in her ability, she says, No, we're not playing that game anymore. Go find a field, a little plant, my own vineyards. I'm going to have my own flocks of sheep. She's cunning in controlling her own supply chain. She plants the vineyards and manages these through increase of her own work. All that we were reading here. Was uncommon in the wider culture of their day. I do not believe anyone who tells you the Bible is anti female empowerment. This is a picture of what God sees as virtuous womanhood. Christianity does not weaken womanhood. Instead, if you look at verse number 17, the Bible says that the virtuous woman girds her loins with strength and strength in her arms. So this is why I said a virtuous woman is not a good fit for a weak or insecure man. He will be intimidated by her success. I mean, think about it. This guy is probably going out and plowing a field. Maybe he's a carpenter, working with his hands all day long while his wife is out there selling and making business deals and buying up property and and meeting with, you know, merchants that are coming from far off, distant, exotic places. This is not the relationship for a weak man. She's not successful, though, at the expense of her family. She is successful for the advancement of her family. And look at this, too. Verse Summer 18. She knows. The value of what she's doing. She perceives that her merchandise is good. Have you ever. Okay. So I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan. And you know how it goes. Being a Cowboy fan, they start off really strong. And then they fall apart in December. If I've heard it once. I've heard it a hundred times. Somewhere along the line, they say they started smelling themselves. You know, they started believing the hype. Today after the service is over, ladies, we're going to be giving you soap from Bob's soap so you can sometimes more than one lady has asked. Are you trying to give us a hint? Oh. I just thought she would like soap. It smells good. Brother Matt has been having a great time storing it in his office for the last month. Go in there, you're like, Ooh, wow. Smells good in here. But she knows that what she's doing is valuable. She knows that she is capable and able to to to sustain herself and her family. She knows where her strengths lie. And so she leans into those areas, whether it's her ability to work longer than others or the skills that she possesses and her craftsmanship. She is aware of what she does well, and she owns it. She doesn't apologize for the fact that she is good at what she does. All of this success, though, is not just for her own comfort or advancement. You'll get first number 20. And we see that she is active in charity. Yes. Her family is increasing. Her family is reaping the benefits of her hard work. But it's not just for her family. She begins to, ah, we see that she is also active in charity. She stretches out her hand to the poor. She reaches for her hands to the needy. She shares what she has. She leverages her economic power to give others a leg up. Perhaps these poor, these needy are some of the maidens that she has hired to work in her business. Uses it for charity. She uses her increase to protect her family. So she is not afraid of the snow. All her household is clothed in scarlet. She make it herself. Coverings of tapestry. Her clothing is silk and purple. She is. She's. She's increasing the protection of her family. Her family's not afraid of the cold weather. You know how kids will run out in the snow with shorts on? My wife was gone for a few days at the beginning of this week, and I'm just so ready for it to be summer and warm and, you know, just quit having to wear coats and all that stuff. So I think it was Tuesday. I got the boys ready and I put shorts on all of them. And short sleeves. And we walked out the door and it's like. 48 degrees outside. You say, Oh, well, you're a good dad. You went back in the house and put coats on them, didn't you? Sure. Think that. If you want. Lee. My exact words were, It'll warm up. You'll be fine. The virtuous woman is not afraid of the snow because she has her family properly equipped for the cold. And then as we read in verse number 22, she herself values her own appearance and clothes herself in silk and purple. You read, just do yourself. Read verse 22 again. And understand this isn't the picture of a man dressing his wife like a doll. This is a successful woman that is not afraid to look the part. She's doing pretty good. And yes, she's given to her family and she's giving to the poor and she makes sure her kids are clothed. But then she's like, you know what? I think I can dress nicely. I think I've earned enough money here that I'm going to go and I'm going to get some nice clothes. So she gets the things that she would like to wear. Strength and honor. Are her clothing. She or she'll rejoice in time to come. I want you to go back to her husband for just a second. This is really interesting to. She's known for her wisdom and kindness in the way she speaks. Verse number 27. We see that or I'm skipping ahead. Where am I supposed to be? Yeah. 23. Thank you. Says her husband is known in the gates when he Siddharth among the elders of the land. Many of you have experienced this. Somebody will come up to you and say, you're so-and-so's dad. You're like, no, so-and-so is my son. Unfortunately, sometimes. Ladies, you probably relate to this. You become more known as so-and-so's wife. Then as the individual that you are. This couple. He is known in the gates because of the advancement of his wife. She has in many respects surpassed him. And he's okay with that. You see how it's brought him advancement? He's sitting in the gates of the city. That's like city council mayor. I mean, he has increased in his position. Because of his wife. This is where the leaders of the people gather. The husband of the virtuous woman is known by his connection to his wife, not the other way around. Finally we see the grand success and advancement of the virtuous woman. She's graduated from simple garments of flax and wool. First 24. She make a fine linen and sell with it. Deliver the girls under the merchants. See? She's over here, toiling with her own hands, starting small, starting at the bottom. By the time we get to verse number 24, we see she's not selling flax, she's not selling wool. She's got fine linen. She's selling complex garments to the merchants that will be taken throughout the region. This is a great success story. Far removed from the secondary slavish status of other women of her day. The virtuous woman is characterized as strong and honorable. It's getting ahead of myself there. But in verse number 26, we see that people come to her for counsel. Out of her mouth comes wisdom. She is known for her kindness. She's also successful at home. She's busy at home. Says in verse 2027, she'll look as well to the ways of her household and Edith, not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed. Her husband also. And he prays with her. This lady is busy in business, but she is also busy at home. And if I could just throw this in here too, men, you ought to be busy at home, too. And not just the exterior of the home, the the domestic side of the home. It wouldn't kill you to learn how to cook a few things. Really? Would it be that big of a blow to your manhood if you knew how to run a load of laundry? Or a dishwasher. I mean. How is she going to be able to do these things unless it's a partnership? If she's going to partner with him for the advancement of the family. Don't you think he can partner with her? I mean, if she is going to use the skills and the abilities that she has to to go out and do this for the sake of the family, shouldn't he be willing to help as well? She has the respect and praise of her husband. Many other women are doing well. But look at verse number 25, 29, thou accelerates them all. It's pretty cool. He wraps up in verse 30 and 31. We're making a connection here that I believe makes all the rest of this possible. Talks about the virtuous woman's relationship with God. He says Favre is deceitful and beauty is vain. These things can be misleading. Favre and beauty. Beauty is a poor standard by which to judge a person, wouldn't you say? But a woman that fears the Lord. We'll never lack for praise. We're sorry. One says give her the fruit of her hands. Let her own works. Praise her in the gates. And that's what we're trying to do today. Give praise to the women in our lives that have feared God. And have sought to behave themselves virtuous. Let them reap the benefits of their hard work. Let them enjoy the blessings of what they have labored for. As the virtuous woman deserves it. She has earned. This is an awesome story. Picture illustration of a virtuous woman. Men, sons, daughters. Your mom was a virtuous woman. Praise her for it. Let her children rise up. Call her blessed. Ladies. This individual happened to be married with children. Whether you are married or whether you have children is in. Consequential. Whether or not you too, can be a virtuous woman. You can take these these character traits. These are these. These pictures that we've seen and apply them to your life. One of our ladies just last week was telling me about a new business venture that they're going to be starting on. And they're going to start small. But they've already got dreams and plans of how that could grow and enable them to do more for their family. Alicia wouldn't want me to say this. I won't say it anyways. I remember when Alicia first started teaching piano in Florida. We had nothing. And I think she started with one or two students. You know. Not. Not a piano studio. One or two students. And you know, we've moved as you start small and. Things will grow. Some of you have started. I see some of our ladies with photography businesses, teaching experience, just all kinds of things. Maybe you make something and you sell it. We've had ladies that have done of vinyl decals and all kinds of stuff. Cleaning. Start with something small and you let God grow it. You work hard and you watch as God advances you. You don't do it to. Outshine a man. That's not the point. Do it because you fear the Lord. You love your family. And you want God to use the gifts that He has given you to advance the cause of your family. Virtuous Woman is an awesome picture here. It's an encouragement to me and makes me grateful for the virtuous woman that I have known. How many daughters? If I did, I'd want them to grow up to be virtuous women. I hope my sons will marry virtuous women. Some of you families with daughters get busy on that. Here on Mother's Day. Let's thank God for the virtuous women our life. Plus, great Heavenly Father. Thank you for this day. Thank you for the opportunity to look at Proverbs 31. To be reminded of the picture you have laid out for us of what it means to be a godly, virtuous woman. Thank you for her industriousness, her business, her love and care for her family, or the relationship she has with her spouse. Lord, I pray that you would help all of us to be grateful for the virtuous women in our lives. Lord, we ask that you would bless them today. That they would, as you said, receive the fruit of their hands, that their works would praise her in the gates. Lord, I pray that you'd. Use this to. Impact the hearts of our men. That they would. Not be threatened by the success of their wives or but they would encourage in and help them in whatever way they can to be successful. Lord, that our ladies would look at this as something to. Have as a goal in their life that they would grow in their relationship with you. They would then grow in their. And there there are efforts to. To better themselves and better their families. Or Thank you for this example. We ask that you would work during this time of invitation. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

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