A Vision for the Task of Mothering
Topic: Mother's Day Verse: Proverbs 6:20–6:22
Theme: A mother’s task is a most vital opportunity in the home to bring glory to Christ.
I. The Vulnerability of Mothering – 6:20-21
A. The Possibility of a Child Forsaking Maternal Training – v. 20
- The job of parenting is truly designed to be a team effort between a father and mother.
- As men have their strength, so also women possess an ingredient that provides children with great resources and benefits.
- If either partner in this team is absent through death or divorce, God has indicated his willingness to step in and minister to the needs of children – cp. Psalm 68:5-6
- However, the contribution made by a mother is far different than that of a father.
- In the days of greatest formation, the mother primarily molds the character of a child.
- Here, children are encouraged to “not forsake the teaching of your mother.”
- As diligently as a mother can be, here we are told that children often need encouragement to refuse to forsake the valuable contribution made to their upbringing by a mother.
- Especially as boys begin to grow into manhood, great conflict often results as maternal authority is called into question by immature young men.
- In such times mothers, always remember that “Almighty grace delights to manifest itself in weakness; and oft the echo of a woman’s voice, rising up in the deep recesses of memory, has put a whole legion of devils to flight.” (Arnot – Studies in Proverbs, p. 141)
- However, even when a mother does all she can to properly teach her children, the children can forsake her instruction and even her tender heart of devotion – cp. Matthew 23:37
B. The Possibility of a Child Forgetting Maternal Training – v. 21
- Another area of great vulnerability to a mother is a child’s passive neglect of her instruction.
- That is, they don’t deliberately and wickedly rebel against what they’ve been taught, they merely allow it to be squelched by various other voices and influences.
- In this passage, the counselor advises a child to take the teachings of a mother and “bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck.”
- If a person allows the valuable teachings of one’s mother to hang loosely without much care or attention, it may either be stripped from us by ne’er-do-wells, or lost – cp. Hebrews 2:1
- ILLUSTRATION: Wallet being almost picked in NY, NY
- At such times as children wander away either from deliberate rebellion or by neglect, a mother’s heart is broken and greatly grieved - cp. Proverbs 10:1
II. The Value of Mothering – 6:22
A. It Provides Guidance
- In that children are compelled by God to embrace the teachings of a mother, instruction or an example that is not of God can be of great benefit to the Adversary.
- However, if a child does embrace the law of God taught by one’s mother, “binding them continually on [their] hearts,” then a lifetime of benefit can result.
- The first of such benefits is that “when you walk about, they will guide you.”
- Hence the first great value of mothering is the provision of guidance.
- Repeatedly we are warned against allowing ourselves to follow after the “way that seems right to a man” – but to yield to the wisdom from God as taught through a mother – cp. Proverbs 29:15
B. It Provides Protection Guardianship
- The second benefit of remaining attentive to a mother’s teaching is that “when you sleep, they will watch over you.”
- If we walk in such a way each day as to faithfully follow after the way of God and taught to us by our mothers – all day, every day – then when we are able to peacefully find shelter under the promises at night.
- Particularly relevant is that peace prevails in the heart of those so devoted to wisdom and truth – cp. Proverbs 3:21-26
- Again, this confidence in God’s protective care results from a proper fear of the Lord – cp. Proverbs 19:23
C. It Provides Companionship
- The third benefit provided here is that “And when you awake, they will talk to you.”
- This reveals that the truth of God’s law, given by a godly mother, will provide a child with considerations throughout their day.
- The companionship of God’s law will provide two very important elements to a godly walk:
- It constantly reminds us of our deficiencies which underscores our dependence upon the grace of God; and,
- It constantly reinforces us in our victories – affirming what has been accomplished in us by the grace of God.
- Hence the most happy, fulfilled, and well-adjusted person is one who embraces the instruction of their mothers, allowing the Word of God to permeate their outlook, attitudes, and values.