Parents -- Partners with the Lord

Proclaim Sermons
Homily: Mother's Day
May 8, 2022
Reproduced with Permission
Proclaim Sermons

Summary : Even though Mother's Day is not a religious holiday or spiritual observance in origin, the Bible certainly gives evidence that motherhood and parenthood are God's training ground for Christian values.

Parents have frequently become the favorite whipping posts of psychologists and clergy persons, truant officers and school principals everywhere. If little Billy goes a step astray, we can blame it on his parents, because they are not very stable themselves. If Susy gets caught with something "naughty", it's because her mother dyes her hair and smokes cigarettes. If Junior runs into somebody with his tricycle, it's probably because his dad is known to drive with a "heavy foot" and the "pedal to the metal." Just about every time some interested group meets to try to solve a community problem, someone suggests that the problem and the real blame can be clearly traced to the parents! One sometimes gets the impression that if we could just find a way to eliminate parents, the world would be a better place in which to live! Yes, folks, parents regularly take it on the chin! Someone has said that new parents, especially, are so ill-equipped and inadequate for the task of child-rearing that the first child should be plastic !

Mother's Day, too, regularly "takes it on the chin" as nothing more than a capxADitalist promotion. Some suggest that Mother's Day was invited by florists, chocoxADlate candy makers, and the American Restaurant Association. Even amongst the clergy it has sometimes been sarcastically referred to as "St. Mother's Day," an allusion to the reality that the day is often devoted to a syrupy eulogizing of mothxADerhood - to the embarrassment of mothers-and the benefit of no one.

Perhaps you heard the quip about a teacher who was trying to teach her class about magnets. When she had completed the lesson, it came time for the question period. The teacher thought she would start with a really simple question: "My name starts with an "M", I have six letters, and I am always picking something up. What am I?" A little tyke in the front row raised his hand and burst forth with an answer instantly. "I know ... you're a Mother!"

To put it on a biblical track, lest we, too, tend to disparage Mother's Day or motherhood, forget not that in His final moments on the cross, Jesus' mission was so global in its purpose that He had no time to waste on simply earthly concerns. Yet, one of His concerns while on the cross, strong enough to pierce through His incredible pain and suffering, was His love and concern for His mother! It is from our Lord, Himself, that we can take the example to pay special tribute to our mothers as partners with the Lord. And regardless of how we came to be parents, our children are gifts of God, and it is by God's purpose and design that as parents (mothers), WE, TOO, ARE PARTNERS WITH THE LORD.

Hannah, the mother of Samuel, is an example of a woman who wanted to be a parent so badly that it seems she could think of little else. It's almost as if she is in mourning before Samuel was born. In fact, she prayed so fervently to become a mother that Eli, the High priest, accused her of having too much to drink!

God answered Hannah's prayer with a "yes," and she did not forget she was a partner with the Lord when she became a mother. She named her child "Samuel," which means, "I have asked him of the Lord." (I Samuel 1:20)

Hannah didn't think just giving her son a godly name was keeping her part of that partnership, either. As soon as Samuel was old enough, she took him to the high priest, and said, "I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he shall belong to the Lord."

There are still many Hannah's to be found. In spite of the high abortion rate, and regardless of the increasing number of couples who choose not to have chilxADdren, many people are thrilled to be able to be parents. Believers and unbelievers alike have the desire to marry, have children, and to care for them. However, it is normally only believers who have the vision that they are partners with God, and that they are actually sharing their children with the Lord. When believing parxADents realize that partnership they can pass on a glimpse of the Lord to the chilxADdren. For example, it is safe to say that most of us got our first glimpse of the Lord from our mothers. The vast majority of us first heard of Jesus as our Savior from our mothers.

In most cases, the Holy Spirit of God used our mothers to teach us to give, to love, and to pray. St. Paul urged young Timothy to hold fast to the faith that his grandmother, Lois, passed on to his mother, Eunice, who, in turn, passed that faith on to St. Paul.

When Paul was a prisoner because of his Christian faith, he warned Timothy that he would have to suffer, too, but he was sure he could endure it because, Paul wrote, "From a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which lead to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (II Timothy 3:15)

Probably every mother has looked at her child and seen all sorts of dreams - -mental images -- of their child growing up to be the President, a doctor, a Pastor, a professional athlete, an accomplished musician. But there is no greater future you can have for your children than them kneeling at the bedside of their own chilxADdren, as they lead them in talking to their Heavenly Father in prayer.

Do you see that, parents? Grandparents? Of all the things we can give to our children, the one thing that will help them most is to know Jesus Christ -- personxADally, as their Savior, Shepherd, and Friend.

Beyond that, of all the values and valuables you can bequeath to your children, what good will a million dollars and a "million dollar personality" be if, someday, when Jesus comes to call this age to a close and takes you to himself in heaven, you look around for your children, and they are nowhere to be seen? That is why the Bible states that " in godliness has eternal value ..."

For many of us, and hopefully for you, too, the greatest comfort of being a partxADner with the Lord lies in this reality: He takes all of our sins and shortcomings upon Himself, and we share in His perfection! That is what the Gospel means! Just as we said that the first child should be plastic, because parents get no time to practice, nor are there any pre-game warm-ups for parenthood, God. in His love and mercy, takes our failures as parents and lays them upon His perfect Son. There is not one parent here present this morning who does not count on the Lord's forgiveness -- even in our task and calling as parents!

Consider, for your comfort that if Mary and Joseph were not perfect, model parents, don't expect yourself to be, either! That chosen-of- God couple had a perxADfect child to work with, and they still "blew it," probably many, many times. Jesus was their Savior, too! He died on the cross for their sins and shortcomings, and, yes, for their failures and "blind spots" as parents, too.

There are no perfect parents! Even though Hannah gave her child a godly name and gave him back to the Lord, she was far from perfect. If you read the Old Testament, you will soon see that wonderful, godly mother that Hannah was, her life was riddled-through with jealousy and petty bickering and many, many imxADperfections. But Hannah gave her child and her motherhood over to the Lord, Who is good and perfect, and who "... delights in showing mercy ..." as the PsalmxADist writes.

Don't expect your children to be perfect, either! They have a Savior, too! At a recent conference of clergypersons, the Presenter told a story about himself and his parenting that I doubt I shall ever forget. Permit me to share it with you:

"I will never forget how I fussed over our little Ned, over how he ate and drank and drooled while we were in the car on long trips. His mother thought eating enroute was a good way to pass time for him. To this day I still slip and grouse about our car being a "travelling kitchen"; a sort of "mobil high-chair" for Ned. The mess he made in the car upset me very much! I made certain both he and his mother were aware of my position on the issue, too!!

"Let me tell you something," he went on: "The day came when I would go out to that car, look at the stain or two from grape juice, which he spilled on the seat, and I would praise God for that stain! I also inspected the little tear his port-a-xADchair made on the seat. I rejoiced in that, also. You see, Ned died suddenly at the age of four, and tears would go down my cheek as I inspected the "damage" his eating and drinking exacted on the car. I'd say to the Lord, silently, 'Lord, I'd let him spill grape juice and apple juice and orange juice all over the seat if I could just have him back. He could even reach over the front seat and pour it on my head, and I wouldn't care, Lord. IF I COULD JUST HAVE HIM BACK!" You see, God does not give us children to make them perfect. but to love them and bring them to a knowledge of His love and grace!

Children, don't expect your parents to be perfect, either. Remember, as diffixADcult as it may be to imagine, they are no more than children who grew up and "got big." There was only one perfect parent. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father, too. He had but one child. It was a boy. Yes, he was and remained an only-child. The Father gave up that only child to a cross, for the sins of all --even for the sins of parents who are not perfect. Remember? " ... and they shall call His name 'Jesus,' because He shall save His people from their sins..." Yes, even the sins and failures and mistakes of parents!

Why don't we all resolve anew to let God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be the one and only perfect parent -- ever -- in all the world. And why don't we all dedicate ourselves to being partners with Him in our parenting. You see, God needs more Hannahs! Folks who have the wisdom and the grace to be partners with God in their parenthood! AMEN!!!


Even though Mother's Day is not a religious holiday or spiritual observance in origin, the Bible certainly gives evidence that motherhood and parenthood are God's training ground for Christian values. Parenthood is a partnership with the Lord. In the Old Testament, Hannah served as a model for how the faith is to be commuxADnicated and passed on. She certainly took seriously her role in the spiritual nurturing and training of her son, and demonstrated how mothers, in particular, were partners with the Lord in the raising of their children.

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