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

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2024 4:00 am

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

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 27, 2024 4:00 am

Scripture is clear that motherhood is a sacred calling—although it may not feel that way when you’re making lunches, driving to and from soccer, or doing loads of laundry. Explore God’s purpose for wives and mothers, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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This listener-funded program features the clear, relevant Bible teaching of Alistair Begg. Today’s program and nearly 3,000 messages can be streamed and shared for free at thanks to the generous giving from monthly donors called Truthpartners. Learn more about this Gospel-sharing team or become one today. Thanks for listening to Truth For Life!


The Bible makes it clear that motherhood is a sacred calling, although it may not feel that way as you're packing lunches or driving back and forth to soccer practice or getting the kids ready for bed. Today on Truth for Life, we'll look at the purpose and priorities God has established for wives and mothers. Alistair Begg is teaching from Titus chapter 2 verses 4 and 5. 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. 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, 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 him 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. Well what are these priorities? I spent too long on that. I always spend too long on the first point.

You know that anyway by now. So let's hasten on. What are the priorities?

Well just four that we can identify right there in the text. The older women are supposed to be reverent in the way they live. There's to be a decorum about them. They're not loose. They're not squanderson. They're not slanderers. They're not giving it a lot of chat.

You can't find them in the local wine bar needing a wheelbarrow to take them home. But instead they are teaching what is good. Teaching what is good. The word here is both that which is intrinsically good and that which is good and attractive at the same time. An injection is intrinsically good.

A nurse who can do it very nicely makes it both callous and agathos, both intrinsically good and attractive at the same time. And what is being suggested here, taught here, is the fact that when this instruction takes place woman to woman, then one, they will learn to love their husbands and their children. Training the younger women to love their husbands and their children. Now elsewhere the Bible directs husbands to love their wives. And here, wives to love their husbands. Taught to love. Taught to love.

That's a counterintuitive notion as well. How can you be taught to love? Isn't love just something that you feel? I feel it and therefore if I feel it, we go with it. If I don't feel it, then it doesn't matter.

No, no, no. We need to be taught how to love. We have to be taught the difference, the huge difference between the superficial philosophy that is offered at the checkout counter in the local supermarket and the transformational truth which is offered to us in the Bible.

If you spend too long there waiting for your groceries, you may actually start to believe some of that stuff. And the people who teach it, of course, are the ones who seem to be involved in a sort of a form of serial monogamy whereby they move from partner to partner to partner all the time. And it's a kind of Barry Manilow approach, you know, doctor, doctor, can you please help me? I'm trying to get the feeling again.

Right? I don't suppose you listen to him. You shouldn't listen to him. But he had a song. And I remember I used to think it was such a load of nonsense, trying to get the feeling again. Goodness gracious. If most of us operated on the basis of our feelings in relationship to these things, the men would buy Harley Davidson bicycles and ride off into the sunset and they would Harley bell the door before their wives had beat them to it and headed off somewhere down south into the sun.

Let's forget it now, right now. No, I need somebody to teach me how to love my wife. I need someone to teach me how to love my husband and to love my children. And where such instructed love is missing, the gap, the gap cannot be filled by career.

It cannot be filled by your house. It cannot be filled by your looks or your commitment to go to the gym or a host of other useless substitutes. Barnes in an earlier generation says, mutual love between a husband and wife will diffuse comfort through the obscurist cottage of poverty.

The want of it cannot be supplied by all that can be furnished in the palaces of the great. If this is true, it is never too late for a refresher course in the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual aspects of love. I played golf yesterday morning with a young man I'd never met. He said, what advice do you have for a 33-year-old single man like me? I said, get a wife and get her as fast as you possibly can. What should I look for? I said, somebody that is a Christian girl, somebody that is able to take you on, somebody that you would like to wake up beside in the bed. And if you find her, then marry her.

It's fantastic. He said, how long have you been married? I said, 34 years. He said, well, then I guess you probably know what you're talking about.

I said, well, no, I wouldn't go that far, but I suggest. Secondly, to be self-controlled and pure. What do we need in the mothers of our land? First of all, mothers that are learning to love their husbands and their children who are self-controlled and pure. That's required of all Christians, isn't it?

It's not just unique for mothers or for women. We're all supposed to be self-controlled and pure. The whole instruction of the Bible, the help of the Holy Spirit pushes us to that conclusion. I don't know what Paul has in mind, but when you think in terms of self-control, presumably it has to do with finances, you've got to make sure that your wife is not out of control when it comes to credit cards, self-control in relationship to the discipline of children, self-control in relationship to the cleanliness and ordinarliness of a home, dare I say, self-control in relationship to the things that a lady might read, because even that which is allowable is not necessarily helpful.

Beware of those silly romance books with that man with the long blonde hair and the gigantic chest. Read your Bible far more than you read such things. Thirdly, to be busy at home and to be kind. To be kind, busy at home. Now this is clearly an emphasis on the unique privilege and prerogative of a mother in relationship to home life. Tremendous amount of ink has been spilled offering explanations as to why this doesn't mean what it says. I think it means what it says. And husbands have a unique privilege and role to learn how to help and to honor and to affirm our wives so that they can live in the awareness that there can be no greater contribution to their children, to their husband, to society than such selfless activity in relationship to the home.

It's remarkable, isn't it, how demeaned it is, how marginalized it all is. I once said this and I'm about to say it again and I'll probably get another letter, but I said, why would you want to be a dental hygienist when you can stay home and look after your little ones? And I got this letter from a dental hygienist saying, I hope all your teeth fall out.

And I wrote her back and I said, well, I hope they don't, but I wasn't targeting you. It just so happened that of course, if it's demanded because of the nature of finances and other things is every family must work it out. And those years pass so quickly, you'd be better just to have two chairs and no couch and those first five years with your children than an extra bedroom and another half bath and five years that will never be back, squandered at the idol of materialism, self-control and kindness. Kindness.

Why kindness? Well, because the challenges of the home can squeeze the last vestige of human kindness out of the saintliest mother. You see a mother, she eventually goes to the bath.

In fact, I have two books that I've kept since our children were tiny. One was called Five Minutes Peace and the other was Five More Minutes Peace. And it's the story of a mother who eventually goes and she gets herself in the bathroom. It's the only place she can get away, and then eventually one of them comes knocking on the bathroom door and comes in. And eventually the final scene is of the mother in all her resplendent nudity sitting in the bath with all of her children hanging off every piece in the bathroom. And at the bookend she goes, I guess I just can't get five minutes peace. To be kind.

Yeah, we need God's help to be kind, don't we? Your children will not remember you because you read the classics. You should read the classics. They won't remember you because you graduated from a good university. That's good to do.

They will actually remember you for kindness, for kindness. And the fourth and final priority is there, isn't it, in the text? To be subject to their husband's, good, I've run out of time, I don't have to do this one. It's not difficult to live as God intends without paying heed to this.

It's actually impossible. Society in spiritual standing before God as brothers and sisters does not negate God's creation ordinance concerning the role of a husband and wife within the family. If you've ever found yourself totally lost, and then when you retraced your steps, you came in perhaps in a rural area to a signpost and realized that some enterprising 17-year-old and his friend had decided it would be a wonderful thing just to spin the poll 180. Still has the right name on the sign, but it only needs a slight deviation to send everybody in the wrong direction. The signposts have been spun in our generation.

You can't tamper with the directions without bringing in confusion and disappointment and discord and heartache. Finally, you will notice that the purpose that Paul gives to Titus in this is also very clear. That's the significance of so that, so that. What is this? A manual of a self-help book in order that people will be able to be better equipped in the family and so on?

No, it's clearly not that. The purpose of this kind of living, you will see, is so that no one will malign the word of God. In other words, when the non-Christian looks on, they may not come here to listen to a sermon preached. They may not come to your evangelistic venture as you come and have a lady in to speak to some women who've come for coffee and so on, but they will observe you. What the Bible is saying is that the practical effect of such living on the part of wives and mothers will be such that people will have no basis to malign the word of God. They will not have reason to say, well, I don't think the Bible is worth looking at.

They won't have reason to say it's just full of a bunch of bunk. They will have occasion to say, why are you the way you are? Why do you treat your husband with such respect?

Is he the perfect husband? Clearly no. Then why do you? Because I should.

Do you feel like it? Most times no. Then why do you? Because the Bible says, then the person will say, you seem to pay an awful lot of attention to that Bible.

And you say, yes I do. And they say, why is that? And you say, because God's word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path and God's way is perfect, absolutely perfect. He hasn't put anything in the Bible to spoil us. He puts everything there in order to point us to the fact that although as our songs have said, we're broken, we're sinful, we're turned in upon ourselves, we make ourselves the center of the universe a thousand ways, a thousand times a day.

And yet here he has given to us in the person of Jesus, a savior. That savior comes, forgives our sins, turns us upside down. And since we were upside down, he's now turned us the right way up. And now that we're the right way up, we're able to see what we couldn't see before. And we discover that this is a great privilege to be a wife and to be a mother.

And there is little doubt I feel that one of the greatest apologetics at the present time for distinctive Christianity is to display, not in an ostentatious, pugnacious way, but it's to display ironically and humbly the difference that Jesus makes in our hearts and in our homes so that by our lifestyle we commend the Lord Jesus Christ. This is very different, moms, from producing perfect kids. They're not going to do it, or becoming perfect wives, or in being perfect mothers. Now, what is necessary is just being honest enough to admit our defeats, to acknowledge our struggles, and to bow down before the Lord Jesus and say to him, Lord Jesus Christ, here I am, my life is short, my days are numbered. Imagine some young mothers that are here, do the math now, and imagine that you will only have 11 years with your daughter as my mother had with her youngest.

And ask yourself how well you've invested the years so far. And then don't be depressed by discouragements, but use them to spur you on to say, I want to devote my life, I want to devote my body, my mind, my talents, the arts and graces that God has given me to seeing my unbelieving children become the followers of Jesus. And then for them to love Jesus more than I could ever love them.

Think about it. What do you think Jesus would have said on a mother's day? I thought maybe I'll close with a poem.

I could find a nice sentimental poem. Mothers like that, you know, but then I thought, no, that's not the thing to do. And so I went to my Bible again, and I remembered that in Luke chapter 11, Jesus was speaking and all of a sudden a lady called out in the crowd, blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.

That's a nice thing to call out. In other words, she looks at Jesus and she says, your mother was a great lady. Blessed be your mother who nursed you and gave you birth. Jesus would never have been dismissive of that, but do you know what He said in reply? He said, rather are those who heed the word of God and obey it. Blessed are those who listen to the Bible being taught, who read the Bible and to take it on board. I am so encouraged by you to think of all that God purposes to do through you in this community and on this particular day.

It is without contrivance that I say to you on behalf of my gender, we honor you. We value you. We pray for you. And under God, we believe that one day, sooner or later, your children will arise and call you blessed and will bless God for you and for your memory. And that my dear sisters in Christ will be your greatest and your best legacy.

There could never be a more significant investment than that. You're listening to Truth for Life, that is Alistair Begg, concluding a message he's titled The High Calling of Wives and Mothers. Alistair returns in just a minute to close today's program, so keep listening. Well, if you are a mother or a grandmother, or if you spend any time with young children, let me encourage you to get copies of books we're recommending called Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer. These are available as a special offer from Truth for Life. It's a bundle of three books designed to teach children between the ages of four and eight how to pray, what to pray for, when to pray, and also why to pray. The bundle includes a storybook, a coloring book, and a devotional. The devotional is for the whole family to read together, 15 lessons that tell the story of God's plan of salvation, beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden. Each lesson includes a scripture passage, a prayer, and questions you can discuss together.

Again, the three-book set is titled Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer. It's available for our cost of just $8. You'll find this online at slash anytime. Now our offices are closed today because our staff is observing Memorial Day, a special day in the United States where we honor those who died while serving in the military.

We'll return to the office tomorrow. In the meantime, you can make a donation or purchase the children's books we've talked about online at Now here's Alistair to close with prayer. God, our Father, we thank you for the Bible. We thank you that it always turns us to Jesus, the one who forgives our sins, who heals our broken hearts, who enables us to face the challenges of a new day with the promise of his help and his strength. We thank you that we have in Jesus one who is wonderful, one who is kind, one who is merciful, a wonderful friend. And we pray that the friendship of Jesus may be our portion so that we then in turn may be a friend to our children and in turn to those who are around us. For we pray in Christ's name, Amen.

I'm Bob Lapine. There is a sense in which it does take a whole village to raise a child, but the greatest responsibility for raising children still lies with parents. So what should be our focus in the home? We'll look to the scriptures for the answers tomorrow. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life, where the Learning is for Living.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-27 09:11:05 / 2024-05-27 09:19:42 / 9

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