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The High Calling of Wives and Mothers (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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May 24, 2024 4:00 am

The High Calling of Wives and Mothers (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 24, 2024 4:00 am

Motherhood is often marginalized in cultures that value career advancement. Scripture, however, has much to say about the high calling and privilege of embracing biblical motherhood within a confused culture. Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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If you or someone you trust a mom, we'll time out. We need to look at what the Bible has to say about the high calling of motherhood. Today on Truth for Life, Alistair Begg is looking at the unique privilege of embracing biblical motherhood in a confused culture. of Titus 2.

And you will quickly see where we're going in this. Perhaps just verse 5 to give us a context. Paul writes to Titus, the reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town.

And then he outlines the importance of leadership in the church. And in verse 10, we pick up his argument. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced because they're ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of their own prophets has said, Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.

This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and their consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny Him.

They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slenderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God. Now, Father, we pray for the help of the Holy Spirit so that in turning our attention to the truth of the Bible, we might be enabled both to think and to respond in a way that bears testimony to the fact that you conduct a divine dialogue when your word is preached, so that beyond the voice of a mere man, you speak through your word. And this is our earnest expectation and our humble desire and longing as we pray in Jesus' name.

Amen. I don't think it's a number of years, a good number of years have passed since on a Sunday morning that was Mother's Day. At our other campus, we have actually addressed the issue of Mother's Day. And I was sort of ripe for Mother's Day this year because of that.

And so coming to you here, I determined that we would at least pay attention to something that would be in accord with where in some measure the mind of the nation has turned. I come to you as someone who lost my mother at the age I was 20. My youngest sister was 11.

Our sister in between was 15. She died of a massive coronary in our family home on a routine evening entirely unexpected. And in a moment, she was taken from us.

All of my life since then have been lived without the benefit that some of you continue to enjoy. And many things in life come in twos and threes, but you only have one mother in the whole world. And therefore, it is a matter of some significance that it was not a matter of significance that it was America that led the world in acknowledging the unique role of mothers within the home. Many of us, I think, will have assumed that Mother's Day was invented by Hallmark or by American Greetings.

And we might be somewhat cynical in that, but there would be a measure of understanding in such an analysis. I was intrigued to discover what some of you will know, namely that it was about eight weeks before the outbreak of the First World War that someone brought before a joint session of Congress the idea of having the second Sunday in May devoted to mothers. The president at that time was Woodrow Wilson, and so it was that the bill was signed and brought into being. And as I say, America led the world in appointing the significance of the mother's role within the home. Who could have imagined that within less than a hundred years, resolutions would be entertained, laws would be passed, and perspectives would be adopted, which now erode the structure of family life and challenge the role of the mother? Here in America, we have within less than a century exalted the place of womanhood and motherhood and then begun just as quickly to dismantle it. It is for this reason that we do well to pay attention to what the Bible has to say, because you will notice as we read that the purpose of Paul in urging Titus in this way is to ensure ultimately that in these most practical of areas, and Titus is a very practical book constantly concerned about the importance of doing good and being seen to do good, not as a measure of gaining acceptance with God, but as an indication of the fact that these individuals have responded to the grace of God. And one of the testimonies to that was going to be seen in their conduct of life within the culture, and not least of all within the framework of the home. And you do not turn to Titus only to discover that the Bible clearly affirms the place of the family as the foundational unit of society, makes it clear that parents are worthy of the highest honor because they are parents, and that mothers have received a high calling and a sacred duty in being entrusted with these responsibilities. Now, I recognize that every mother that is here and is represented here may not have been thinking this past week about their responsibility and privilege as a mother in terms of high calling and sacred duty. After all, the daily routines of lunches and laundry, of being a Shafuz, of offering a food service, may not immediately fall within the category of sacred privilege as you think about it.

And we bemoan the passing of Irma Bombeck for her ability just to put her finger on things like this in a way that is perfectly understandable. And I quote to you from this fine lady of the past, it hits on a dull overcast Monday morning, she writes, I awake realizing that I am out of bread and I have a dry skin problem. So I say aloud to myself, what's a nice girl like you doing in a dump like this? The draperies are dirty and will disintegrate if laundered.

The arms of the sofa are coming through. There is Christmas tinsel growing out of the carpet, and some clown has written, go calves, in the dust on my coffee table. It's these rotten kids. It's their fault I wake up feeling this way.

If only they'd let me wake up on my own way, why do they have to line up along my bed and stare at me like Moby Dick just washed up on a beach somewhere? Well, if there's any testimony that is representative of that, that is true, then it is imperative, it is imperative that we turn frequently to consider what the Bible has to say about the privilege and the priorities and the potential of being a mother. Those are my three points. First, the privilege. Second, the priorities.

And thirdly, the potential, or if you like, the purpose. It is a privilege that is to be exercised, first of all, we acknowledge, in the face of a confused culture, in the face of a confused culture. It is surprising how quickly time goes by and how it is etched into the consciousness of a nation ideas that we thought were phenomenally funny or at least interesting from a sociological perspective 15 and 20 years ago. Do you remember the movie Three Men and a Baby?

I'm sure you do. You probably remember Mr. Ma. You probably remember Mrs. Doubtfire as well. All of them suggested to us as just harmless forms of humor looking, as it were, at the nature of marriage.

But let us not be so naive. Those were very clear expressions of a worldview that runs absolutely counter to all that the Bible has to say. A worldview that challenged and undermined the unique place of motherhood. A view of the world that suggested, at least by implication, that the role of a mother has little, if anything, to do with gender. I don't think it would be possible for us to be observing such a cataclysmic collapse in relationship to the nature of marriage as given to us by our creator were it not for the pseudo humorous softening up process of the previous decade and a half.

First, we have been made to think that this was funny and humorous and largely marginal and irrelevant. And then suddenly, once the door of opportunity has opened, a gigantic steam engine comes pounding through and we discover that marriage itself and the place of a mother is completely under attack. The fact that a mother's body is the producer of not only the child but the necessary nourishment for the child is viewed as an evolutionary happenstance and is definitely not regarded as the infinite work of a personal creator. We stand at this point in history with two views of the world in collision in collision with one another. One, that substance, mass, energy existed in and of themselves through a chance process, the eventually produced stuff, the eventually produced humanity, and humanity then invented God. That view stands in direct opposition to what the Bible says, in the beginning, God created everything. And having created man and woman in the image of himself, that same creator God established the way in which family life would be created.

This has been challenged and continues to be challenged. And I want to quote to you from the 70s and I will move on from culture to the Bible quickly. But this is Jesse Bernard writing in the 70s.

Some of you weren't born. And this was what was written in sociological papers under the heading of the future of motherhood. It was billed as an ultra provocative forecast of the psychological, political, social, and economic states of women in the next generation. So in the 70s, she writes and she says, this is provocative, I recognize it, but this is where it's going. And this is how she writes, what we see today, 70s, is the tail end of a comet, the tail of a model of motherhood that began to disintegrate when it struck the 20th century. Our society is engaged in rewriting the script for the role of women as mothers.

This is no sideshow, no minor concern. It is the heart of the matter, one of the most momentous projects relevant for the future of our species. And here we are 30 years on and all the chickens are home to roost. And here, loved ones, is what makes it so profoundly disturbing. From the pulpits and pews of too many of our churches, there has emerged a growing army of individuals who seek to actually reinforce those godless views by themselves refusing to bow beneath the authoritative and liberating dictates of the Bible. Oh, if you push them, they would say, no, we are divorced from such a perspective as that. But by their living, they call in question just whether they are prepared to allow the Bible to be their lamp, to be their light, to be their guide, to be their map, to be their authority. And that's why it's always important to have one foot, as it were, in the newspaper, whether it is the Akron Beacon Journal or the Cleveland Plain Dealer or the New York Times or the Washington Post or whatever it is that you like to read, to have one foot firmly there and one foot firmly in your Bible so that you may be able then to read your newspaper in light of your Bible because of what you know concerning biblical truth. So, let us then notice that if there is cultural confusion, there is biblical clarity. Biblical clarity. The role of a wife and a mother is not left to conjecture. It's not a matter of personal preference.

It is clearly established and it is unfolded from the very first book of the Bible and all the way through. I can never remember the name of this movie. It involved Cher and I can only remember one scene. I don't think I even saw the movie.

Maybe only the one scene. But she is in a discussion, and I use the word discussion guardedly with her teenage daughter. It's not going particularly well. They're in her bedroom and she, the mother, she, the mother is absolutely frustrated and as they dissolve into an argument and tears with one another, she screams at her teenage daughter, how am I supposed to know what to do with you?

You did not come with instructions. And that is the cry of secular women today. As they look out on the panorama of events and they find themselves completely bereft of any kind of framework or structure. Well, if we will turn together to the Bible, the Bible makes it perfectly clear. By the time the New Testament was written, by the time Jesus had made his mark on history, by the time the apostles had written their letters, it is clear that the scriptures, that the gospel was challenging the tendencies of the Roman Empire and of the Greek philosophical structures, challenging their repressive and their chauvinistic tendencies.

The gospel was actually a liberating power in the lives of women who had been regarded as chattels, who were regarded as things to be used, whose lives many of them would make the events of contemporary culture seem pale in comparison. And the verses before us now are in accord with all of the rest of the Bible, because Paul is recognizing the role of mature women who are able to bring advice and counsel to less mature women. Now, don't get hung up on whether you're an older woman or you're a younger woman. You are both an older woman and a younger woman. If you're 20, you are a younger woman than a 30-year-old woman, but you are an older woman than a 17-year-old girl.

So you are both older and younger. So you play the role both, if you like, of a female Paul to some, and you play the role of a female Timothy to others. But clearly what Paul has in mind here is the individual is the woman who has reached a significant age in life, and as a result of the chronology, life has brought to her experience and sympathy and understanding.

And it is that experience and sympathy and understanding interwoven with a solid knowledge of the Bible that puts that lady in a position to be a good and a godly influence on younger women, and not least of all in the realm of motherhood. Now, you will notice from the text that this teaching clearly is in the warp and woof of life. There is the instruction that is taking place in a way that is spontaneous and is natural and is unprogrammed. In other words, this is the encouragement that takes place at the baby's crib rather than in a class. This is the instruction that takes place at a sink rather than in a study.

This is the kind of influence that is found in a nursery, not in a seminary. I want to say that for the encouragement of many, many women who are not ever going to be doing anything in classrooms, standing up front and giving talks, who are not giving instructions within the framework of a seminary or anything else besides, and they may be tempted, you may be tempted to say to yourself, well, you know, what can I really do? I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I make sure everybody's on the bus.

They come home in the evening, and I try to have things tidied up and ready to go. But what am I really doing? And what can I really offer to anybody? I want to tell you, you can offer a tremendous amount, a tremendous amount. And the influence that such a lady brings to bear upon other women is absolutely vital, leaving the young mother in no doubt that for her there can be no greater task, responsibility, or privilege in the world than to make a home. No greater task, privilege, or responsibility in the entire world than to make a home. Now, you're sensible people, go and read your Bibles and see whether the clarity of scripture does not, as I suggest to you, challenge the confusion of our contemporary culture.

And if from the pulpits of our churches there is not a solid trumpet sound in relationship to these things, it is no surprise at all if in a subsequent passage of time, another decade out from now, our framework will be a lot more alarming than it presently is. Who would ever have thought that there would be a number that could be called by our children, a 1-800 number, to call directly into some attorney's office to let the attorney know that they would need to hire them? This is your seven-year-old boy who's been picking his nose and slapping his sister and being a downright disgrace. And you gave him the pow-wow treatment, you powed and he wowed.

And somebody told them, if you phone 1-800 you can get a lawyer and you'll be able to get your father out of the house. It sounds stupid, doesn't it? It just sounds inane.

It's where we live. You're listening to Truth for Life, that is Alistair Begg reminding us of the high calling and sacred duty of motherhood. We'll hear more on Monday. I trust you are enjoying these select messages from the series titled Parental Priorities If you missed any of the teaching or you'd like to listen to the complete study, you can catch up online. Alistair's entire teaching archive can be heard or watched for free using the mobile app or on our website at Again, the name of our current series is Parental Priorities. As we work our way through this series on godly parenting, we are quickly finding out that being a mom or a dad is an awesome privilege.

It also comes with a lot of challenges. That's why we put so much thought into selecting books we can recommend to you that will help you and your spouse lay a framework for how you raise your children. The book we're recommending to you today is entitled Parenting Essentials, Equipping Your Children for Life. The authors are a married Christian couple. They've raised four children who are now adults who love and follow Jesus. They specifically instruct parents how to be realistic, how to balance discipline with relationship building while focusing on the high priority of establishing your child's character. One of the reasons we love this book is because it equips parents with tools they will need to raise resilient, responsible, and compassionate children. Ask for the book Parenting Essentials when you give a donation to support the ministry of Truth for Life. Visit slash donate or call us at 888-588-7884. And while you're online or when you call, ask about the children's book bundle titled Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer.

It's available today for just eight dollars. I'm Bob Lapine. I'm glad you have opened your Bible with us this week. We trust you will enjoy worshiping with your local church this weekend and then join us Monday when we'll hear why being a godly mom doesn't mean being a perfect mom or raising perfect kids. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-24 05:21:24 / 2024-05-24 05:29:25 / 8

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