Praising the Lord for Godly Moms

Stefan Nitzschke May 12, 2024 Proverbs 31:26-30
Outline

I. Praise the Lord for a Mom Who Fears the Lord

Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

A. Whose true character is apparent

B. Whose greatest beauty is on the inside

C. Whose fear of the Lord makes her wise and trustworthy

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

1. Controlling her actions

2 Chronicles 19:6-9 - He said to the judges, "Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.” In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers' households of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Then he charged them saying, "Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and wholeheartedly.”

Proverbs 16:6 - By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.

2. Controlling her thinking

Proverbs 23:17 - Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always.

Proverbs 15:16 - Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Romans 10:9-10 - If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

II. Praise the Lord for a Mom Whose Speech Is Full of Wisdom and Kindness

Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

A. Because wisdom offers safety and security

B. Because kindness builds relationships

III. Praise the Lord for a Mom Who Cares for the Home (v. 27)

Proverbs 31:27 - She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

IV. Praise Your Wife and/or Mom for What They Do that Is Right (vv. 28-29)

Proverbs 31:28-29 - Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

*thankful for the work put into the day

Each of these special holidays can come with a mix of receptions

For some, it can a be a difficult day—either due to a strained relationship between parents and children, the loss of a mother or maternal figure, or the unfulfilled longing to be a mother

We want to be sensitive to what this day can mean for some—I’ve been praying for you in the days leading up to today

Additionally, I recognize that it’s not just moms in the room today—but the Word of God that we’ll be diving into shortly contains relevance for each one of us—men and women, alike

And finally, a sermon on a day like today can have any number of tones—anything from charging mothers, to convicting them for their shortcomings, or any other number of possibilities

While conviction may be present, our tone for this morning will certainly be more celebratory

I’d invite you to open up to Prov 31 as we focus on Praising the Lord for Godly Moms

As many of you know, the Book of Proverbs falls within the category of “wisdom literature”

Much of the early portion of the book is from the perspective of a father speaking to his son, providing insight on how to prioritize God and follow lady wisdom, as opposed to lady folly

The middle section contains a lot of practical wisdom—“live like this, and expect these results,” treating topics such as the fear of the Lord, humility towards others, diligence in work, and so forth

This final chapter in the book serves as a fitting book-end

Proverbs began with the words of a wise father, and concludes with the words of a wise mother

Verse 1 says:

Proverbs 31:1 – The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.

The bulk of this chapter describes the ideal woman / wife / mother—a superhero, of sorts

I’m not that much into superheroes, but I’ve had a favorite one since I was little

He’s the obvious pick for the greatest—the people who thought him up took effectively every possible superpower and applied it to him

They made him so powerful that they needed to give him a weakness; something that reduces him to the strength of us mere mortals

The item they chose for this task was… a rock…

I’m talking, of course, about the Man of Steel: Superman

And he’s very appropriately named: he can fly, shoot laser beams out of his eyes, see through walls, absorb the impact of a meteor-strike, and possibly most impressively, put on a pair of glasses to conceal his identity

And Superman, or “Clark Kent,” winds up falling in love with a gal named Lois Lane—apparently each of them were into alliteration

But imagine you’re not Clark Kent (aka, Superman)—imagine you’re just a regular guy

But when things end up going south between Superman and Lois Lane, she begins to take an interest in you after she’s moved past the Man of Steel

Reading a passage like Proverbs 31 on Mother’s Day runs the risk of this very same sentiment—being the guy who gets compared to Superman all the time…

You’d be reduced to tactics like the rest of us: “Sorry I can’t get it open: maybe if you try tapping the top of the pickle jar with a knife, that’ll do the trick”

Or “Sorry I’m late—I flew here as fast as I could… I mean… drove”

*had to throw some dad jokes in there…

While each of us may be convicted by our own shortcomings when talking about the “Supermom” presented in Proverbs 31, let’s take time to celebrate God’s goodness in the lives of those mothers who are seeking to live for Him

*follow along with me…

Text

Proverbs 31:10-31 – 10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above 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 evil all the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. 14 She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 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, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

This is God’s Word, and let’s begin by…

I. Praise the Lord for a Mom who Fears the Lord

Each of us have a guiding principle, a “North Star” that we’re following

How we choose to live usually reveals what it is that we’re striving towards

Jesus said it like this in Matthew 6:21 – …where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

The wisdom taught by Lemuel’s mother says it like this…

Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

First, it can be a temptation to pursue the approval of others—to set that as your “North Star”

But praise God for those

A. Whose true character is apparent

Those who are living for the approval of others will typically show that in the way they charm those around them

And while charm is certainly better than the alternative, the motivation makes all the difference

A women pursuing the Lord may be charming, but it’s not so you’ll like her, necessarily

In the end, her desire is to live in a manner pleasing to God and loving towards others—for their sake and not her own

The charm she displays is not the kind that draws attention to herself, but one that shows a genuine interest in you

I’m sure you’ve met women like this—when you’re interacting with her, it’s obvious that she’s forgotten about herself and is deeply concerned about what you’re saying

Contrast that with the charm that accompanies a person who seeks to draw attention to themselves—you may not be able to explain it, but I’d guess you typically leave those interactions feeling a bit uncomfortable

That’s because selfish charm seeks to consume those around them for their own benefit

Conversely, a mother displaying selfless charm does the complete opposite—it’s an allure that refracts attention off herself and onto God and others—just as the first and second greatest commandments call her to do

Praise God for mothers who set the Lord as their highest delight, and…

B. Whose greatest beauty is on the inside

Much like charm, beauty is not something to be outright rejected

Also like charm, beauty can be used to draw people

*Esther (Xerxes was drawn to her b/c of her beauty—God used it to save His people)

But there’s also a supposedly beautiful gal in the Bible named Jezebel

We can’t go into her full story this morning, but to summarize, she was an idolater, a conniver, a liar, and a murderer…

Beautiful on the outside, rotten on the inside

But praise God for mother’s whose greatest beauty is on the inside

As 1 Peter 3 puts it..

1 Peter 3:4 – …let [your adornment] be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

These are women who have worked tirelessly to cultivate a particular type of beauty

Typically, someone beautifies herself for the sake of another—highlighting particular features that are pleasing to that person (e.g., eye shadow to contrast eyes, etc.)

This gal has adorned herself to look beautiful for her Savior

This often comes about in ways that make her look unattractive to the world—thus, this type of beautification has come at a high cost

But once again, she’s living for the approval of One, and this makes her beautiful in ways that far outlast any external adornment

Praise God for women who adorn themselves with righteousness for the sake of their Savior, and

C. Whose fear of the Lord maker her wise and trustworthy

This is a repeated theme throughout the whole book:

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

You all knew it was coming on Mother’s Day—“we’re obviously going to be talking about the fear of the Lord…”

But in all seriousness, what is the fear of the Lord?

For the Christian, it’s not the type of fear that has to do with judgment or destruction—after all, 1 John 4 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear”

But we also know that it’s stronger than a mere reverence, as the fear of the Lord is often equated to

There are passages that call us to tremble before the Lord, such as Psalm 114 & 119, Isaiah 66, and Philippians 2

In effect, the fear of the Lord seeks to increasingly see God for who he really is

And the more a Christian strives to know and love God, the appropriate fear of Him will be a natural outcome

While it’s an incredibly difficult concept to explain, like trying to describe the color green to a person who was born without sight, it’s obvious to those who know experientially what it is

And in Proverbs 1:7, the one who fears the Lord is described as persisting on the path of knowledge

On the contrary, the one who does not fear Him (or, the “fool”), despises wisdom and instruction

The mother who fears the Lord will abide by His Word, thereby…

1. Controlling her actions

This might seem like a non-sequitur to some: “what does the fear of the Lord have to do with actions?”

But, in fact, the Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the correlation between fearing God and living righteously

Remember, that’s the central theme of our section of Scripture, leading to our title this morning: Praising the Lord for GODLY Moms

While their godliness is seen in their actions, it has to begin with the fear of the Lord…

Proverbs 16:6 – By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

How does a Christian mother practice righteousness?

By fixing her eyes on God, and adorning herself with a beauty that is intended for Him

You likely know godly women such as this—their deeds shine brightly in such a way that you’re left looking at the same Lord to whom her eyes are fixed

This is reminiscent of what Jesus said in…

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven

She’s looking at her heavenly father, which shows in her actions, leading us to look in that very same direction

But what are her eyes turned away from?

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.

The godly mother hates evil

If you’ve been a child, you know the look…

I think if we’re all entirely honest, there were times in our childhood where we were the embodiment of evil to our parents—whether it was our pride, arrogance, the evil way, or our perverted mouth

And that look momma gave you?

Well, you forced her to take her eyes off Jesus for a minute and look at sin’s manifestation

While your godly mother didn’t hate you, she sure hated the evil you had chosen to practice—and she let you know about it, didn’t she??

That’s because the one who fears the Lord hates evil; and she hates it because GOD hates it

But not only does this fear lead to righteous living; the godly mother persists in…

2. Controlling her thinking

Why does she avoid evil?

Because she controls her thoughts, and fights to ensure they are pleasing to Him

Proverbs 23:17 – Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always.

Evil isn’t attractive to her—she knows the danger of gossiping, coveting, worrying, and complaining

Those who engage in each of them may seem free to think, say, and do whatever they please, but those thoughts, words, and actions have severe consequences

The greatest of these consequences deals with their relationship with their Savior!

They know that sin and holiness do not cohabitate, and that (according to Habakkuk 1:13) “[God’s] eyes are too pure to approve evil, and [He] cannot look on wickedness with favor”

Desiring to maintain fellowship with Him, the godly mother controls her thinking and sets her mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth

But let me pause here for a moment

Perhaps, as we’ve been surveying “Supermom” (and I’m sorry for the bad pun), you’ve found that all this is new to you

You came because it was a special day, or because mom wanted you to come to church, and you can’t say ‘no’ to mom on Mother’s Day!

It’s possible that you aren’t familiar with the fear of the Lord, or seeking to live righteously

I’ve intentionally used a phrase a number of times to describe who the godly mother is looking at, this morning: her SAVIOR

She hasn’t been looking at some non-specific higher power that some might call “God”—we’ve been talking about someone very specific

In the same book that claims “perfect love casts out fear,” it also says…

1 John 2:23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

The only way to fear the Lord is by “confessing the Son”—Jesus

And to accept Him, one must go to the CROSS (*that’s where our evil was paid for…)

Let me also say—it’s possible that a brief look at “supermom” has led to a bit of conviction

You recognize that you don’t allow the fear of the Lord to control your actions and thoughts, or you have other “North Stars” that are directing your path

A survey of your life would show an appetite for evil— gossiping, coveting, worrying, complaining, cursing, or living to please others, just to name a few

It’s possible that if you were given the option between external beauty or internal beauty without the possibility of both, you would honestly take the external beauty

Allow today to be a Mother’s Day to remember—one where you fixed your gaze on Jesus and began allowing the fear of the Lord to direct your ways

Perhaps you are aware of what this would look like—asking Christ to forgive you of your ways and committing to beautify yourself for Him

Or maybe it’s a bit more complicated than that, and you would benefit from some additional help

The Lord has gifted dozens of women in our church family as counselors and mentors—we would be delighted to connect you with one of them to get you back on the path towards righteousness

And by the way, the same goes for all the rest of us who aren’t mothers…

But let’s continue celebrating godly mothers by…

II. Praise the Lord for a Mom whose Speech is Full of Wisdom and Kindness

We get this from verse 26 of our passage…

Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue

It’s a whole lot easier (and frankly, more natural) for each of us to do the opposite, isn’t it?

But thank God for mothers who dispense wisdom when they open their mouths, and who allow kindness to direct their instruction

There is so much power in the tongue – it takes us 5 minutes to remember what we had for breakfast, but 5 seconds to recall the most encouraging or hurtful thing that has been said about us

In Scripture, the tongue said to be a “tree of life” (Prov 15:4), a fountain of evil (Prov 15:28), an object containing “the power of life and death” (Prov 18:21), a sword or salve (Prov 12:18), the source of praise (Ps 119:172), the source of strife (Prov 18:6), a rudder to a massive ship (James 3:5), a restless evil (James 3:8) and a fire set ablaze by hell (James 3:6)

Yet the godly mother wields this potent weapon—the tongue—for righteousness

She understands that God set two protective layers in front of it (the lips as a door and the teeth as a gate)

Under the guidance of Spirit-led self-control, when she determines to deploy her tongue, it’s done in service to her Savior and intended to give life to those around her…

A. Because wisdom offers safety and security

This world is dangerous

It’s chalk-full of fiery blazes, set on course by the tongues of the foolish

But the rare words of wisdom serve as a guide through the flames

Mothers have a potent role in the lives of her children—her voice carries a particular weight

Like in Proverbs 1, when the world says: “come and make an easy dollar off of weak people,” the godly mother instructs her children about where the path of the violent leads

Like in Proverbs 2, when the world says, “come and take a look—its just people doing what’s natural,” the wise mother warns that the house of the adulterous sinks into death

Or in Proverbs 3, when the world says, “follow your heart,” the wise mother knows that we cannot lean on our own understanding, but instructs her children to trust in the Lord

And that’s just a small bit of the first three chapters!

There’s great safety and security in wisdom, and praise God for mothers who faithfully open their mouths to share it with those around her

But we also see that…

B. Because kindness builds relationships

We all mess up

I’d argue that apart from Jesus, moms see people messing up most often—after all,

Proverbs 22:15a – Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child…

And praise God for mothers who build up her children with strong words of kindness

It’s easy to feel inconvenienced by the sin or folly of others and take it out on them with an angry word

Mothers who fear the Lord want their children looking at Him as well, and know that discipline with kindness is going to win them long before a harsh word

But turning to verse 27, we see our third reason to praise God on this Mother’s Day…

III. Praise the Lord for a Mom who Cares for the Home

You’ll notice a particular motion to these points

The first one started with the heart of the godly mother—she fears the Lord with a focus on internal beauty

This leads to righteous thinking, which is shown in what she says and how she says it

Here, we see these attributes of a godly mother displayed in what she does:

Proverbs 31:27 – She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Mom’s have that indefinable ability to turn a house into a home

Let me put it another way

*FWMH tour apartment—always a gal’s apartment

That’s not to say that a mother’s role is limited to the home—you don’t have to look outside of Proverbs 31 to see that her scope stretches far and wide

And the other side of that equation is true as well—fathers can’t be neglectful of what’s going on in with the family dynamic

Raising children is a joint effort that requires both parents working together, when possible

But I can tell you from experience—remember, we have a one-month old baby—Alexandra does the lion’s share of work in keeping that little guy alive

Praise God for mothers who give of themselves rather than “eat the bread of idleness”

You’re alive right now because you had a mom who worked hard

Childbirth isn’t as easy as it looks…

Nursing is not always convenient

And I’ve found that no amount of pleading is sufficient to convince a baby that parents need to sleep too…

Proverbs 31 gives us a lot of reasons to rejoice in the incredible gift of godly mothers

The final point that we’ll bring up for our time today is a reminder to…

IV. Praise Your Wife and/or Mom for What They Do that is Right

Please hold the accusations of blasphemy a moment—let’s read the passage and see what it says…

Proverbs 31:28-29 – Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.”

Each point that we’ve discussed so far has compelled us to praise the Lord for His work in the lives of godly mothers—and it’s certainly right to do so

But Romans 13 compels us to give “respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed…”

And here in our passage, we see a mother’s children and her husband bless and praise her for the many ways she nobly carries herself

This is certainly not worship—that belongs to the Lord alone—but this is an acknowledgement of what the Lord has chosen to do in them

So, children: do you take time to thank and bless your mother for the ways she sacrifices and models herself off of Christ?

Anything from a phone call, to a personal note, to a thoughtful gift—even a heartfelt wink!

If you have no place for gratitude in your heart towards a mother who has even only one redeeming quality, that might say more about you than it does about her

Plus, mothers (like the rest of us) enjoy hearing a “thank you” every once in a while to know that they’re loved and valued

Husbands: do you praise your wife?

You don’t have to be as articulate as an author of Scripture or even Shakespear to express your appreciation towards her

What does she value? What makes her feel loved?

Take time to ensure—especially on Mother’s Day—that you’re making efforts towards this end

And simply ask—what could we do, now and consistently, that would bless you?

…but then actually seek to do those things

Conclusion

So let me pull us back up to 30,000 feet to apply some broad take-aways out of our passage:

Husbands/fathers—we need to be modeling what it looks like to bless the mothers/wives in our lives

Certainly for the benefit of those ladies, but also for the sake of our children and a watching world

I guarantee that none of us are batting 1,000 in this department—I’ve come to find that the men who are most aware of their shortcomings in showing honor to their wives are the same men who have been married for decades and are much farther along in their sanctification than I am…

When I think I’ve got it all down, that’s more of a reason for concern than an opportunity for a self-initiated pat on the back

But to each of us—make sure you’re honoring your mother

Not only is it an expectation in God’s Word (Eph 6), but if you’ve got a Proverbs 31 mom, you better be heaping on the praise

To the single guys who desire to marry one day

This advice was given to me long ago: if you want to marry a Proverbs 31 kind of gal, you can’t be a Proverbs “32” kind of guy

This left me scratching my head—you’ll notice that there’s nothing after 31…

That’s because the person doling out this advice was referring to Proverbs chapter 30, verse 2 (or, Proverbs 30:2)…

Proverbs 30:2 – Surely I am more stupid than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man.

In other words, if you want to land a wise woman, you need to be a wise man

Make sure you’re living in the fear of the Lord—not to look attractive to others, but to please Him alone

And lastly, to the ladies

I hope this message from Proverbs 31 has been an encouragement to you

But I recognize it’s also a challenge, in many respects

It may reveal the areas in your life where the fear of the Lord is not directing your thoughts, words, or actions

It may have shown a desire to look beautiful on the outside with little care towards internal beauty

Or perhaps it highlighted times when the bread of idleness looked a whole lot better than the fruit of labor

But that’s where each of us—men, women, and children—need to look to Christ

When we focus on Him, He enables us to grow in each of these shortcomings, because He’s making every Christian look more like Him day by day, until one day we will be like Him in a much more final sense

And when we focus on Him, He enables us to show honor to whom honor is due, since He Himself encourages us as we seek to please Him

So happy Mother’s Day—and praise God for giving us YOU as this marvelous gift…

**PRAY**

Authors

Stefan Nitzschke

Roles

Pastor of College Ministries - Faith Church

Director of Faith West Community Center - Community Ministries West

Bio

B.S. - Management Information Systems, Iowa State University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Stefan has been serving on the pastoral team at Faith Church since 2016. He and his wife have a passion for discipleship and evangelism and are the blessed parents of four carefree boys and one sweet girl. Stefan is certified as a biblical counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.