While you may know the story of the wisdom of Solomon, it is not generally preached on Mother’s Day. I want to draw two truths from this story: (1) there are imperfect moms and (2) real moms sacrifice for their children
(1 Kings 3:23-25)
A. One of the difficulties in being a Christian is “feeling good enough.” Paul said he struggled with being conceited and God used a messenger from Satan to help him see his weakness. Peter and Barnabas, two great men, acted hypocritically and Paul had to confront them. Paul writes to two wonderful Christian women who worked side by side with Paul in the ministry but couldn’t get along at church. My point is, we are imperfect people and compare ourselves with the correct perfect guideline that God gives us and sometimes we feel like failures.
B. Now here’s the truth – we are. Like Paul who had not yet attained to the goal, we press on to goal of the upward calling of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14). We study, talk about and trust in the grace given to us through the blood of Jesus. We know it’s true and we all need it, but still, sometimes we “don’t feel good enough” in our walk.
C. Today is mother’s day and many of you will celebrate with your mom, give her a wonderful card, make her a great lunch or spend time with her doing something. But the truth is there is no perfect mom and some mom’s struggle with a sermon and they “not measuring up” to the idea mom that God gives us in scripture.
D. Let me start by saying to you mom’s out there, as a dad, I understand the feeling of my own imperfection and the guilt that can come by a sermon that is supposed to encourage me.
E. Several weeks ago, I sent out an email asking adults and kids to share with me the best advice they got from mom or some teachable moment their mom gave them. I got back one email and it was from a mom. I want to read it to you because email was worded well. (read note)
A Note From A Mom…
Hi! To be honest I can’t really think of anything that stands out that my mother ever said to me about being a mom. I have had a lot of good women, including my mom, show me different ways to be a mom, so I guess the way they acted showed me more than words. Just a thought, but maybe in your sermon somewhere you can add in ways to be encouraged as a mother. Sometimes as a mom, even with the greatest support system, you feel alone in worries, anxiety or issues with your children. Even though you know you are not alone and have support you still feel it is your duty to be the strong one, the one that solves all the problems, the one that has to act like everything is going to be ok, yet in the back of your mind you are wondering that yourself. I am sure you would have added this any way, but maybe someone I know might need more encouragement. Not naming any names.
To her note I feel like I should say, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. This sermon is in part based upon that note and I hope all moms and the rest of us are encouraged.
I. The Story
A. God offered to the new and young king, anything he desired. I doubt I would have asked for the gift that Solomon asked. This was Solomon’s request (1 Kings 3:9).
B. God loved that answer. God knew Solomon could have asked for long life, great wealth, or even the demise of his enemies, but instead of asking for self-centered requests, he asked for wisdom to lead God’s people.
C. Let me just start, moms, by saying, I believe you are the type of mom who wants more for your children than you do for yourself. You realize it’s not about you when it comes to being a mom, but about your kids and their lives. I would guess many of you, like Solomon ask for wisdom to lead your children closer to Jesus.
D. Our story today is simply an example that shows the wisdom and understanding that God gave to Solomon to govern the people. While it is strange that a king would even hear the case of two prostitutes, what it shows is how Solomon governed even the lowest of God’s people.
E. I cannot imagine the pain that comes when a person loses a child in death. One of the mothers accidentally suffocated her baby has he nursed during the night while the mother supposedly slept. One prostitute says that when that happened the other woman got up, took the dead boy and swapped him out for the living boy who was sleeping with his mother. The other woman absolutely denies anything happened. She contends that the living child is hers and this other woman is simply making up a lie to steal her baby.
F. The problem with this story is we are dealing with two women who because of the life are not considered trustworthy. Who do you trust? We simply have two women and one living baby and both claim the child is theirs.
G. Let’s read what Solomon does (Verses 24-25). Could you imagine the shock at such a verdict? Solomon appears ready to kill an innocent child simply to have two women with two dead children. It seems absolutely the wrong thing for a man of God to even propose. But watch what happens (verse 26).
H. God says the real mother of the child was filled compassion for her son. In her love she was willing to do the unthinkable, give up her child to another person who lied. The mother of the dead child appears cold and callused. She was content for both of them to have dead babies. Based upon the reaction Solomon gives his ruling (verse 27).
II. Qualities of a Real Mom
A. While this has to be a strange Mother’s Day sermon, let me again tell you some truths based upon God’s word for us today. First, moms are not always perfect. I loved my mom, but I could tell you her sin and I know she could tell you mine.
B. The second quality I want to highlight is that a real mom is willing to loves deeply. When children hurt, a good mom hurts right along with them. Good moms are filled with pride when their child does well, they life when their kids do funny things. In fact, it seems difficult for many good moms to let their kids become adults, because good moms want to fix all the problems, but know that adult kids need to learn how to be good adults.
C. The third, and final point, is that good moms sacrifice their heart for their child. I look that the real mom in this story and see that her compassion was so deep that she would allow a terrible woman to mother her child, than to let her child die. I will have to say that I learned to appreciate my mother more after I left home than when I was still growing up. I know as an adult how much my mom sacrificed for me and I appreciate that love in retrospect.
A. Thank you mothers, for holding our hands and walking with us in our darkest hours – for sacrificing convenience and ease so that we might know love. For this, we owe to you a great debt. We love you mom.
B. This morning we lift up each of you mothers in prayer. While you may be imperfect, we have been blessed by your love and sacrifice.
May God Bless You,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister