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The Mystique Of Motherhood Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2021 1:00 am

The Mystique Of Motherhood Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 6, 2021 1:00 am

Some think ideal women have perfect hair or complexions. But we should forget the airbrushed profiles and focus instead on the Bible’s description of a truly godly woman. The ideal mom, exemplified in Proverbs, draws strength from the Lord, living a life of faithfulness to her calling as a wife and mother.  

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

Go to a supermarket and check out the magazine counter. There you'll see the qualities the world thinks makes the perfect woman. Well, let's forget the fashion magazines and focus on the Bible's perfect woman chapter. Here, we'll see what really matters when God evaluates each woman and mother.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, motherhood is so important in the Bible that an entire chapter is devoted to what makes a woman a great mother. And you know, Dave, I can say this without exaggeration that when I read that chapter, I'm reminded of my own mother, but I'm also reminded of my wife. What a wonderful mother she has been to our children. What a wonderful grandmother to our grandchildren.

And you're absolutely right, it has to do with the qualities of godliness, leadership, instruction, love, and all of those qualities that are so important for motherhood. How grateful I am for God's mercy toward me. Recently, I gave an interview to Pastor Philip Miller entitled The Past, The Present, and The Future. You know, I feel that throughout the years here at the Moody Church, the last 50 years, I've had a seat, so to speak, as I have watched changes in the evangelical church. And in the interview, I delineate those changes and what our response to them should be. I gave this interview so that I might be able to pass on some ideas, but also some encouragement regarding where people are at and to show how God leads his dear children along. For a gift of any amount, this interview can be yours, either as a CD or a DVD. The past, the present, and the future.

What you do is go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the past, the present, and the future. I think again of my dear mother out on the farm with a wood-burning stove. The house would get so hot during the summer when it was used. She used to get up at about 4 o'clock in the morning, bake bread, so that when we as children got up, the fire in the stove could already be put out so that it would not be too hot for us in the house during the day, all taken care of. Always thinking ahead, always sacrificing, always considering opportunities for her household.

When it says in verse 18 that her lamp never goes out, it doesn't mean that she's up all night necessarily. What it means is she's always thinking of the future. To her planning, whether it's for winter or for the days ahead for school, is always on her mind because she is a woman who really sacrifices and lays down her life for her family.

Cold weather does not cause her panic. When she clothes her children in scarlet, it obviously means that she clothed them well, but I would think also that she clothed them modestly. And if she did, she would instruct her teenage daughter regarding modesty, what is appropriate and what isn't appropriate. And when the teenage daughter says, yeah, but everybody's doing it, she would smile and say, you know, but we're not everybody. We're different.

We can be countercultural in an age that no longer has biblical standards. So she's rightly related to her husband. She's rightly related to her children.

She's rightly related to herself. I want you to notice that her self-esteem, her self-esteem comes from her character. It says in verse 17, she dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Also in verse 25, strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come because she's so well prepared.

It's strength and dignity. If you ask her, why do you feel good about yourself? It is because of what she's been able to accomplish, the kind of character that she has, the clear conscience that God has given her because of her integrity. And because of this, she has a sense of well-being. She believes that she has accomplished something when she's taken care of her household.

She's rightly related, yes, to herself. She has wisdom to share. It says in verse 26, she opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. You say, well, where does she get this wisdom to teach? Well, the whole book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom. If we as parents want to know what to teach our children, we could begin in Proverbs chapter 1 and then work through because there are various themes that are taken up, themes that have to do with conduct, themes that have to do with friendships, who you run around with in school. Sometime I'm going to preach a whole message on that, the impact of an example, the impact of a positive example and the impact of negative examples. The history of many, many a child who's gone astray can be very easily written.

He chose the wrong friends. So you work through the book of Proverbs and you can see here the wisdom that we can pass on to the next generation. This woman has that kind of wisdom. I can imagine her taking time to discuss with her teenage daughters sexual temptation, what to do when a boy harasses them in school, how to take care of herself, what to do when she's in a situation where she is tempted or where she is compromising her values. This mother, I would think, would work through those kinds of situations and help the child to know how to cope in a world that has lost its way. So she's rightly related to herself.

She's also rightly related to God. It says in verse 29, many women have done excellently, but you have surpassed them all. And this is a verse that should be written on the mirror of every teenage girl who is listening to this message.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. I cannot tell you how devastating it is to our society to have this present emphasis on fitness and beauty. Yesterday, I was speaking somewhere else in the country and in the morning after I saw the headlines in the news, scrolling down the television stations, all of them had to do with either how fit you can be or eating the right diet and having a beach body.

What is this all about anyway? Have we really come to the point where these TV shows that are absolutely devastating, devastating, the idea that you can meet someone and almost instantly you know whether or not you are meant for each other by the level of attractiveness. We're living in a society where beauty has supplanted character and charm of some sort has taken the place of wisdom.

Parents, teach your children that their value is not tied up with the exercise machine, however important that may be on its own. Even diets, which are good, but if they're done only to enhance sexual attractiveness, plastic surgery, we're living at a time when all that matters is how you look, not who you are. This woman knows that beauty can be deceitful. What good is it to marry a beautiful woman if she's bitter, if she's hard to please, if she's impossible to live with, and yet that's where the emphasis is today. And then it says, but a woman who fears the Lord, she is to be praised. You say, well, this is Old Testament. We don't have to fear the Lord today in the New Testament times because we live under grace. Oh, someday I'm going to preach a message, a series on the fear of the Lord and show you all the times in the New Testament that it tells us as believers to walk in the fear of the Lord. You say, well, that doesn't mean that we should actually fear him.

Yeah, I think it does. I think it actually means that we should fear him. A wise parent teaches the child why sin is not a good idea even under grace and that it is never safe to sin because sin has repercussions.

It's like touching a series of dominoes that begins and pretty soon it goes from one thing to another. A wise parent teaches the children the fear of the Lord and this woman fears God. I'll make one more reference to my mother. She really did try to teach us as children the fear of the Lord. She told us verses about how our sin would find us out, how that God was watching when no one else was, and I still remember some of those lessons that she taught us as children.

The impact of a mother on children. Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Is it any wonder that her children, verse 28, rise up and call her blessed and her husband also praises her? Now she's the ideal woman and you say, well, Pastor Lutzer, my children have not turned out well, you may tell me.

Or maybe you've gone through a divorce and the ideal seems to have passed you by. In order for us to understand God's message of hope, I'd like to make a few comments about our first mother, Eve. Eve, by the way, is a mystery.

It's hard for us to understand why she sinned and why she was anxious to disobey God. Just imagine Eve for a moment, no insecurities. She didn't have to compete with supermodels, pictures of supermodels at the counter as she bought groceries. Never had to put up with the woman on Self magazine. She never had to worry about whether or not her husband was spending too much time with a woman next door.

Never had to worry about that. Didn't have to complain about his laziness. Imagine Adam wasn't lazy. Was she hungry? She had lots to eat. Did she have a pension for beauty? There was the garden, the flowers, and yet she sinned. Why?

Because curiosity. I remember a young woman who went with a man in an immoral relationship. She said, the reason I did it is because I thought if I don't, I'm always going to wonder what it would have been like.

That's what she told me. Bitter consequences. Bitter consequences. But Eve sinned, but God didn't leave her there. He supplied grace, supplied grace. Her two children, the first two, one turned out very well, Abel. The firstborn Cain, not so good.

Cain killed Abel. So in the midst of this heartbreak of a broken family, God shows grace, first of all to Cain by keeping him and protecting him when really he could have been killed. That mark of Cain was a mark of grace. But then also God gave her another son, Seth, and it says that after Seth was born, people began to call on the name of the Lord. Her son Seth was a blessing. He became a righteous man with a righteous line. And then of course Eve was a part of the plan of redemption.

She gave birth to children who in turn gave birth to children and on and on it went until Jesus was born and Jesus is known as the seed of the woman. Jesus came to repair the irreparable. What I'd like to challenge you with today is no matter where you're at at the spectrum of the family, whatever your heart need is, whatever brokenness you have brought to this congregation or to this message, there still is hope because God works in and through and in spite of human failure, human difficulty, and human regret. God is here for you today.

God is here for you today to meet you in your need. Back in the previous century, there was a woman who was walking through some mountains in South Wales with a little child in her arms, but she was caught in a snowstorm. And if you've ever been in a snowstorm, you know that these blizzards cannot only be blinding, but the wind can be relentless. And the woman died. Her body was found in the snow and next to her body was the little child who had been wrapped in the woman's outer clothes. She had taken off her coat and her clothes and her sweater and had wrapped the little baby in her own clothes. So she froze to death, but the baby lived.

That little baby was David Lloyd George, who for 16 years was Prime Minister of Great Britain and, according to my sources, one of the greatest international statesmen that Wales had ever produced. But he always knew that his mother had died for him. The love of a mother, yes, but also the picture of the love of Jesus for sinners. Jesus dies for us to cover our sins. He is the God of new beginnings, and we offer him today to mothers, to fathers, to children, to all those of us who always need a fresh start. He's the God who forgives, the God who covers us with his righteousness.

Give your family, your children, give them to God. Let's pray. And our Father, we do thank you today for our mothers. Thank you so much for those of us who have godly mothers, and we do not take that for granted. But for those who look back today recognizing that their mother was less than the ideal, we pray that your grace and your strength and your forgiveness will make that up, both to the mothers who are listening as well as the children. And we ask, oh God, today that the ideal that you have established might be what we strive toward, and to always honor what you honor, and to love what you love. And we ask that many precious children shall be born into godly homes, raised for your glory, perpetuating your word in generations to come. Now before we sing together, is there something that you need to say to God today?

Whatever it is, would you say it please? Father bring forgiveness to those who need it, and grace to those who need it, and encouragement. Be to us what we need today. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. You know my friend, when I was a boy out on the farm in Canada, I used to get on my knees and pray that Jesus would come into my heart. I prayed that prayer over and over again, and had no assurance whatever. You say, well Pastor Luther, how did you come to assurance of faith? Well those are the kinds of stories I tell in an interview I gave recently entitled The Past, The Present, and The Future. I talk about my calling as a preacher, and how God led me. I talk about the present, the future. It's a way in which I want to convey to people the faithfulness of God. And I believe that this interview is going to be a great encouragement to you as parents, as single people, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey.

For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to RTWOffer.com.

By the way, thanks in advance for helping us, because together we are making a difference as running to win touches thousands upon thousands of lives. Go to RTWOffer.com, or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the past, the present, and the future as I talk about the way in which God led me, talk about the changes in our culture, and what I foresee as I think about the future of this great nation. The past, the present, the future. Go to RTWOffer.com, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for helping us. It's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Today's question comes to us from Alex, who lives in Connecticut. Here's his story. Although I was raised a Roman Catholic, I was saved and ended up joining a Baptist church, which I later found out was a fundamentalist church. I didn't even understand what that meant at first, but eventually found myself walking on eggshells in the midst of the fundamentalists and in some ways worse off than when I was a Catholic. I am studying for the ministry and feel a strong call to it, but when I wanted to marry a divorced woman, this church objected.

They advised me to find another woman. I have tried to rationalize my engagement because my fiancé has strong reasons to believe that when she was still married, her former husband was cheating, but there is no real proof and she is unwilling to find out. There certainly is no shortage of sin around, but Christ died that we might live despite our sins. My fundamentalist church says that an elder or pastor should never have been divorced or married to a divorced woman based on 1 Timothy and Titus. But since I have never been divorced myself and she will be my only wife, don't I meet the qualification to be the husband of one wife, as the Scripture says? Would I be sinning and therefore an adulterer if I marry her? And if I do marry her, should I not try to enter the ministry?

Well, Alex, you have asked many questions. I'd like to begin by saying that there could be worse things than attending a fundamentalistic church, as you described it. You know, fundamentalism itself is usually a defense of the Scripture.

It is usually you find churches that love God's word and preach the gospel, but some of them, yes, it's true, become legalistic and that is a danger, isn't it? Now, in your case, however, I'd like to suggest that to marry a woman who's been divorced, I don't think that that would disqualify you based on what the Bible says in Titus and in Timothy, because there it does say that you should only be the husband of one wife. But since you have not been previously married, you are indeed the husband of one wife, whether she was divorced or not. But the more fundamental question is this, should you marry her? When you marry her, would you commit adultery? Now, you say in your letter that she is not willing to investigate her former husband.

That strikes me as a little strange because why wouldn't she be willing to? Has he been married? If he has been married, then in my mind, that bond would be broken and you would be free to marry her.

Perhaps he is living with someone. It seems to me that it would be worthwhile to investigate that fact. Then you ask the question of whether or not you can enter the ministry. Well, it depends, of course, in what denomination and what church.

There are some denominations that have no rules at all, and so they would indeed welcome you no doubt with open arms into the ministry. I cannot answer that question because of the difference of opinions. But getting back to the bottom line, I believe that if you marry her and her divorce was not legitimate in God's eyes, you may indeed be committing adultery. Now that's tough news, but I suggest that you do some investigation regarding her former husband, and then, based on wise counsel, you make your decision. I pray that God will give you both the grace and the strength to choose wisely. This is a huge decision, and it does not have a simple answer. Next time, we'll learn about the amazing extent of a father's long shadow, why your dad's impact is so important. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 15:46:26 / 2023-08-13 15:54:38 / 8

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