Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Mom’s Role in the Family (A Virtuous Woman)

Today’s message summary of May 14, 2017 from Elaine Brown:

Women are beautiful, unique and loving.  They have a very important role within the family, and God has appointed them to a role within it.

The design of the family is a male (man), female (woman–helper), and sons and daughters, who are brought up and mentored by their parents.

The man is the head administrator (CEO) of the family, while the woman is the COO of the household.

In contrast, society today has redefined family to different definitions that include a single mother or father, or even two fathers, two mothers, or a blended family.  When did this all start to happen?  It was a generational shift that began in the days of Woodstock.  The mantra of the day was “do your own thing.”  The misuse of alcohol and drugs, and protests became more prevalent.  Each of these things was a part of what became a moral decline as a society, and a gradual breakdown of today’s family.

Here is a startling statistic:  1,415,955 children were born out of wedlock in 2003.  It is hard to know if there are men involved with these children or not, but it is hard to ignore the generational impact of what happened a short time ago. In today’s census (2016), there are 10 million single mothers that are heading their families.  Daycare is now much more prevalent because of the need for mothers to work to earn a living, but the children, who are outside of the home for up to eleven hours a day, are faced with less time within a family unit.

The breakdown of the family has a profound effect on the emotional well-being of the parent and the child.  The need for a strong figure in the family, a mother, is extremely important, and God speaks of this woman in Proverbs 31:10-31:

Proverbs 31:10-31 NLT

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?

    She is more precious than rubies.

Her husband can trust her,

    and she will greatly enrich his life.

She brings him good, not harm,

    all the days of her life.

She finds wool and flax

    and busily spins it.

She is like a merchants ship,

    bringing her food from afar.

She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household

    and plan the days work for her servant girls.

She goes to inspect a field and buys it;

    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She is energetic and strong,

    a hard worker.

She makes sure her dealings are profitable;

    her lamp burns late into the night.

Her hands are busy spinning thread,

    her fingers twisting fiber.

She extends a helping hand to the poor

    and opens her arms to the needy.

She has no fear of winter for her household,

    for everyone has warm clothes.

She makes her own bedspreads.

    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

Her husband is well known at the city gates,

    where he sits with the other civic leaders.

She makes belted linen garments

    and sashes to sell to the merchants.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

    and she laughs without fear of the future.

When she speaks, her words are wise,

    and she gives instructions with kindness.

She carefully watches everything in her household

    and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her.

    Her husband praises her:

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,

    but you surpass them all!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;

    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Reward her for all she has done.

    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

 

This woman is one who fears (has reverence of) the Lord.  You may not have any children, but women are natural nurturers.  A woman with strong character is well-respected, and has the desire to please God.

The appearance of the woman is not mentioned.  It is much less important than her outlook on life and how she remains obedient to God.  You are a virtuous woman as you seek to please God.  God provides you with the strength and wisdom to accomplish many things.

Fearing God is having a heart to really know Him.  It’s more than just your feelings–it really is about learning more about Him and making Him the priority in your life.  It is about asking Him where He wants you to be, and leaning upon Him for strength, wisdom and encouragement.

If you are seeking God with all of your heart, you are a virtuous woman.  In order to break these generational issues, there has to be a teaching of the youth as to how to live in this manner:

Deuteronomy 6:1-11

This is the commandthe statutes and ordinancesthe Lord your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to enter and possess.  Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.  Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.  Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give youa land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plantand when you eat and are satisfied.

Needless to say, if there is no teaching, there is a lack of knowledge that is being passed on.  God provides the wisdom and knowledge to you in order to be successful, and that information needs to be passed on to the children.

The key to this teaching is a constant exposure to God’s Word–day and night–with prayer, family devotion time, and reflection upon what He is saying to you.

Mothers also teach their children by their words and their actions.  Children look to mothers for guidance and will follow it.

Even within a single-parent household, God can bring along others who will help within the relational development of the children and the family.

The virtuous woman referenced in Proverbs 31 had a number of duties (!).  She accomplished a great deal and worked inside and outside the household.  She had to be a very good planner, well organized, and be very diligent in running her household.  Her family was a priority of the day, and the additional things that she had to accomplish were done after hours, and she used good judgment.  These are godly character traits of a virtuous women.

Philippians 4:13

I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

A woman who fears the Lord is worthy of praise.

If you fix your heart to please the Lord, you are a virtuous woman.

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The Power of Mothers

A message summary of May 8, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Mothers sacrifice their own life, their own happiness, and sometimes their own well being for their children. Children sometimes don’t understand or appreciate the sacrifice, but over time, the child when they grow up, begins to appreciate everything that was done to help them through the years, and even how their mother protected them from the enemy. Mother in laws do this, as well. A woman, such as a foster parent, a grandmother, an aunt, or any person who steps into the care of a child’s life, is acting as a mother.

Being a mother is not an easy task. It is a 24-hour job, for sure. It may even involve a stepmother, for example, who steps in to assume the responsibility of caring and nurturing children.

Mothers don’t get a manual to learn how to raise their children. A lot of it is trial-and-error, and there are times when a mother gets advice even from her own mother on how to handle a difficult situation.

Mothers are the people who plant the impossible dreams in our lives. They give the children the ability to imagine, hope, anticipate, expect, and to dream big. One of the things that a mother wants to remove from their child’s life is a prevailing mindset of the words, “I can’t do it.” Mothers are to build in the reassurance that God is the One who will be the strength and provision that fulfills those dreams.

Moms create the climate in which faith and hope can take root and grow. Hope shapes the direction of out lives. A child with a vision becomes a bold reason for living. It becomes a badge of purpose that the bearer wears proudly and courageously.

Two examples of a mother–one is biological and the other is not:

Eunice and Naomi: two different women in two different situations.

Timothy’s father was Greek. Being a Gentile in a Jewish world was not all that pleasant. Timothy may not have been highly thought of. His mother was Jewish. Even with this, Timothy’s name means, “honoring God.” He was also well respected. Why?

Acts 16:1-5

Then he went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him. Paul wanted Timothy to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for them to observe. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily.

Timothy was the child of a Greek man, but his mother is the one who taught her son the Scriptures. She wanted her child to know wisdom and salvation. She also entrusted her child to those who were looking after him, and was agreeable to have Timothy circumcised in order that he could be a positive testimony before others in his ministry.

2 Timothy 3:14-15

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Raising Timothy was a team effort.

2 Timothy 1:3-5

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, when I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, clearly recalling your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also.

  • Have a team help you to raise your children.
  • Find a good teacher for your child.
  • Find a person who wants to help develop your child.
  • Find a person who knows that while your child is not their own, the person still accepts your child as their own.

1 Corinthians 4:17

This is why I have sent Timothy to you. He is my dearly loved and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

2 Timothy 1:1-2

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the promise of life in Christ Jesus: To Timothy, my dearly loved son. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Naomi

Why would anyone want to stay with Naomi? She had nothing. Her husband and sons had all died.

Ruth 1:19-20

“Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has pronounced judgment on me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

The name Naomi means “pleasant.” Mara means “bitter.”

Why did Ruth decide to stay with Naomi?

Ruth 1:6-7

She and her daughters-in-law prepared to leave the land of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to His people’s need by providing them food. She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah.

Ruth 1:16

But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

The name Ruth means “friend.” She was willing to forsake everything to be with Naomi.

Ruth determined that she wanted to be with Naomi through thick and thin. Naomi was indeed bitter, but it never was carried out on the remaining daughters-in-law. She was able to still provide wisdom and godly counsel.

Ruth 2:19-22

Then her mother-in-law said to her, Where did you gather barley today, and where did you work? May the Lord bless the man who noticed you.

Ruth told her mother-in-law about the men she had worked with and said, The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz. Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, May he be blessed by the Lord, who has not forsaken his[a] kindness to the living or the dead. Naomi continued, The man is a close relative. He is one of our family redeemers. Ruth the Moabitess said, He also told me, Stay with my young men until they have finished all of my harvest.’” So Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, My daughter, it is good for you to work[b] with his female servants, so that nothing will happen to you in another field.

Ruth 3:1-4

Ruths mother-in-law Naomi said to her, My daughter, shouldnt I find security for you, so that you will be taken care of? Now isnt Boaz our relative? Havent you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but dont let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where hes lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do.

Naomi provided good advice to Ruth with ongoing communication in the way that a mother would give her own child, and Ruth willingly accepted it. That trusting relationship was built throughout their lifetime together.

It takes love, knowledge and wisdom from God to raise a child. The child will know and understand that he or she is the heart of a mother’s life.


Mothering Through the Storms of Life

Today’s message summary of May 10, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

What is a mother to do when the dinner is burned, the children are fighting, and the fathers are sitting and watching television?

Mothers have a huge responsibility. Their duties are numerous, and it is work.

For some reason, some of us may think that once mothers get older, the job is done. Hardly. To be a mother is to be a nurturer all throughout life. A mother pours her life out to others for their benefit. Mothers are outstanding. A mother leads and cultivates young lives. Mothers teach. Mothers listen.  Mothers are sensitive to the cries of their children and are attentive to them.

Mothers and grandmothers weather the storms of life. It requires being at the top of your game. There will be occasions where a mother can be overwhelmed. We all need help. While mothers are capable of raising children, there will be times when they need help.

Exodus 2:7-10

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a woman from the Hebrews to nurse the boy for you?” “Go,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoah’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

 

Imagine the emotions that are taking place here. The natural mother of Moses nurses and nurtures him only to one day release him in order for him to survive. She held her son knowing that she could not be the mother that she wanted to be. While she could not keep him, she did the right thing in order for him to live.

Mothers, this can be a struggle at times–doing the right thing for your child order that he or she can live.

Hannah worshiped the Lord with her husband, Elkanah. They were prayerful to God for a child, for she was barren, and God remembered their prayer:

1 Samuel 1:20

After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”

 

She kept her promise once she had her son. She dedicated him to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:27

I (Hannah) prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he (Eli) bowed in worship to the Lord there.

 

She gave her son to the Lord in order for him to come under His care.

How many of you have submitted your child under God’s control–under His will, his pleasures? Mothers, you have to pray a child all the way through to the point where he comes under God’s care.

Mothers, remember to fight for your son’s rights.

Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, intervened to speak with David about his vow to make Solomon the king:

1 Kings 1:17

She (Bathsheba) replied, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.’

 

1 Kings 1:24

“My lord the king,” Nathan said, “did you say, ‘Adonijah is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne’?

 

1 Kings 1:28-30

King David responded by saying, “Call in Bathsheba for me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. The king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every difficulty, just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne in my place, that is exactly what I will do this very day.”

 

Mothers, learn to accept help from godly people in raising your child.

Acts 16:1-3

Then he (Paul) went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him. Paul wanted Timothy to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Greek.

 

Paul was entrusted by Timothy’s mother to travel with him. It was important in Timothy’s effort to learn and grow in the ministry. Paul had taken part in helping to raise Timothy. He was taught in the faith with the Jewish Scriptures, but it was important for him to be circumcised in order to be accepted in the faith by the Jews.

Sometimes you will need to do what seems to be unnecessary in order to do what is necessary. It is about looking at the bigger picture. Mothers, remember to teach your child those things that will be a real help as he or she gets older.

Mothers, you have an awesome task in teaching your child how to walk with God, but note that you cannot teach what you do not know.


The Godly Mother

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

[NBA Star Kevin Durant praises his mother during his MVP award speech.]

Lord, we want to thank you for every mother, and we pray that today will be a blessing to them. Let us also remember the grandmothers, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

While the bible does not speak specifically about single mothers, we know that they were indeed present. We know that there were single mothers and widows because of various circumstances. Today, we are keenly aware of single mothers and the trials of such parenting. We know that mothers are indeed honored by God.

A mother must decide how she is going to live before her children and her family. A mother who follows after God will be blessed according to how God honors and looks after them. A child will often not remember so much what a mother says, but they certainly remember her actions.

A child who has a mother that he is ashamed of will often have to suppress his or her feelings because they are trying to deal with their disappointment. It will eventually surface in a negative way because of all of the hurt that was experienced. Mothers need to be aware of how much their children are affected by what they do. There is a real need today for godly mothers.

What makes a real difference today is a mother who relies upon the Holy Spirit in living life and making decisions.

Can a nation rise or fall based upon motherly counsel? Mothers are to be mindful of what counsel that is provided to daughters and sons about the people they choose in marriage. Unwise counsel can lead to broken homes and marriages.

Mothers have difficult decisions to make today as to who they choose to associate with and how they live. It is important for a woman to not live sexually with multiple partners in the hopes of finding someone who they think will fulfill a family unit. This woman needs to repent and live in holiness under the Spirit and prevent the tragedy of broken families and children being damaged by multiple influences of men who have no desire to be involved with a family.

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

 

It is important that a child is taught how to honor their mother and father, for they need to understand what it means to respect them.

Leviticus 19:3

“Each of you is to respect his mother and father. You are to keep My Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.”

 

Note how the Scripture references the mother first in this passage (unlike the reference in Exodus 20:12). Note the emphasis here on the mother needing to be honored because of everything being accomplished within the family unit. The man typically had the focus in those times of being the head of the family, but God made sure that the mother was highly regarded for what she does for the family.

Moms are the cheerleaders and the encouragers. For all that they do, mom is to be respected.

God can do amazing things to bring mothers out of a bad situation and turn it into something amazing to behold. Note that God does not overlook the sin of the circumstances in the beginning (having children out of wedlock), but He can turn a woman who is sincerely seeking Him into someone that can honor Him with children that honor and respect her, and call her blessed.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For it was You who created my inward parts;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You

because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful,

and I know this very well.

15 My bones were not hidden from You

when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;

all my days were written in Your book and planned

before a single one of them began.

 

Mothers should know without doubt that they are highly favored as vessels of God’s creation. The mother gives of herself to others and reflects God’s grace and mercy in His divine privilege and purpose of nurturing children. The mother is also a teacher and instructor.

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.

 

While the father sets the tone for the household, it is the mother than often has to provide ongoing instruction. Hopefully, the children are learning about godly behavior through His Word.

Mothers need to ensure that the children are properly trained in the same way that God wants His children to be trained and educated. It is the desire of God that persons who are educated and trained up in the Word can eventually be used for Him and His glory.

Acts 16:1-2

1 Then he went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him.

 

The Jewish woman was learning about Old Testament law and principles. It was additional preparation that led her to a relationship with Jesus Christ. She was able to teach Timothy in the truth of the Word despite the Greek influence within the household.

The faith of a person such as Timothy can be seen in the support of his mother and grandmother. They were the foundation of his sincere faith and love for Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:4-7

4 Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, 5 clearly recalling your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also.

6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

 

The result of this is three generations of people who follow and honor Jesus Christ. Mothers indeed have a huge responsibility in developing and promoting legacies of Jesus Christ within families.

What kind of mother do you want to be? What kind of grandmother do you want to be? You want to set the example where your children will call you blessed.

 


Mother’s Day: God’s Message of True Beauty

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today’s message text for Mother’s Day as presented by Lynn Gaines: 

When Pastor Gus asked me to speak for the Mother’s day service, I thought he meant a supplemental reading—then he said no—he meant the main message!  So I regrouped and asked the Lord what He wanted me to talk about, and He gave me this topic: “What is True Beauty?” …so here it goes…

The Webster’s (Dictionary) definition of beauty is:

  • A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
  • A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

The definition of beautiful is:

  • Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically
  • Of a very high standard; excellent.

Type in a Google search for “beautiful women” and a flood of images come up – women with unusual eyes, long hair (with a random shot of Halle Berry’s pixie cut tossed in), Angelina Jolie pouty lips and pleasing curves.  What’s interesting to me is that as I look around, most women I see don’t fit that definition!  I know a lot of women that I consider beautiful, but they don’t necessarily fit the world’s description… in fact when I think of beautiful women, some physical attributes come to mind, but usually for me it’s other “unseen” things that come to mind when I think of the word beautiful. For example, my mom is physically attractive but it’s her calmness, her elegance, her love and support of others that make her beautiful to me.

We see a lot today about how the world defines “beautiful people”–perfect hair, teeth, and skin (sometimes accompanied by large homes and a jet setting life)–but is that all there is to beauty?

What happens if you don’t fit the stereotype does that mean you’re ugly?

All of us as women are bombarded with constant imagery that only a few can live up to. From Toddlers in Tiaras to the Bachelorette to the Miss America pageants, we are constantly being inundated with all these images of what the media deems “beautiful”. The average American woman is a size 12-14 yet when we are shown supposedly “beautiful women,” they are usually a size 0-4–so is everyone else less beautiful? (Man, I sure hope not…)

There are reports now where girls as young as 12 are getting cosmetic surgery done, not because it’s necessary, but because they want a certain feature to look a certain way. In “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem,” a survey of more than 1,000 girls in the United States showed that 70 percent of girls ages 8 to 17 believed that they “are not good enough” or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, relationships with friends and family members and they are looking to plastic surgery to give them a mental boost and the confidence that they are beautiful.

When someone says,  “She is beautiful”, what is the first thing you think of? -what is on the outside or the inside? Sadly, in our culture today, one’s mind usually goes to the outside.

Magazines, TV, and books have all hijacked the definition of what beauty means and they are using it to promote a better bottom line for their products- buy this dress/perfume/hairstyle/book and voila, instant beauty!!  But I contend that there is more to beauty than what you see and it’s more than money can buy…

More encouraging, another study done by the Dove Campaign found that:

  • 77 percent of women strongly agree that beauty can be achieved through attitude, spirit, and other attributes that have nothing to do with physical appearance.
  • 89 percent strongly agree that a woman can be beautiful at any age.
  • 85 percent state that every woman has something about her that is beautiful.

The study also found that two-thirds of women strongly agree that physical attractiveness is about how one looks, whereas beauty includes much more of whom a person is. Women rate happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor as powerful components of beauty, along with the more traditional attributes of physical appearance, body weight and shape, and even a sense of style.

But the question still remains, what is true beauty? Well I believe that to find the best answer, we have to go to the Creator – So I investigated the scriptures to see what it said about beauty and interestingly enough, there was not a thing about pouty lips or an hourglass figure–Scripture lets you know that those things will go away (by the way, if you don’t believe this, you will).

It’s a woman’s reverence for God—how she carries herself because she knows the Lord—it’s THAT quality that makes her beautiful.  Physical beauty is fleeting, but true beauty (virtue) is timeless.

Moms, Grandmas, Grandpas, Dads, Uncles, Aunts—begin to affirm your daughters, nieces and granddaughters, the young women in your lives.  Tell them they are beautiful—not because of how they look but how they carry themselves as God’s creation.  (A side note to Fathers—it is the important men in a young woman’s life that inform her of what other men see as beautiful and if they don’t get the correct message from the good men in their lives, they will get an incorrect message from men in the world.)

Now, this is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, but I want to look at 5 Scriptures that will give us a better idea of what God looks for in the “Beautiful” person:

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

In Genesis 1:27 it says So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So if we are created in His image, we can concluded that we are as beautiful as God is – and God makes no mistakes and He makes no junk!  Just like the snowflakes that He creates, no two people are alike either, but all are equally beautiful.  The Psalmist says he is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s works are wonderful–now, does that sound like the measuring stick for true beauty is based on physical attributes?

Consider this next scripture:

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Again, it seems that our natural inclination as people is to look on the outward appearance and once again God stresses that He has a totally different point of view–He looks at the heart.

Now he says in Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is desperately wicked but He also says in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. So there is hope for our wicked hearts, hope that they can truly be beautiful–that will happen as we submit them to a loving Father and let Him transform them.

Here’s a verse you may have heard a lot in reference to a woman’s beauty—

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

This verse is telling us that although physical beauty fades with age, it’s the beauty that come from being in awe of God that will really impress Him, that reverence for God that is true beauty to Him – and He is the only judge that truly matters. It’s comforting to know that we can become more beautiful to God simply by showing reverence for Him–or, to put it another way, it’s our love for Him that makes us more beautiful to Him. And His opinion is the one that counts.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Now before anyone goes too far in his or her thinking, this not a call to a legalistic dress code (although I am a champion for modesty) and this does NOT mean go around in a sack, with no make-up on and try to be as plain as possible.  It’s not wrong to make the most of what you have, but it is dangerous to rely on that alone to be the barometer for your beauty, because ladies and gentleman if you hadn’t noticed, things change–and not always for the better (!).  I don’t know about you, but I know there is more of me to love these days.

To give you the context of Peter’s remarks, in the culture of that day, some of the Egyptian women were spending hours and hours working on their hair, makeup, and finding the perfect outfit (sounds a lot like today actually–some things never change…) and Peter was exhorting the Christian woman to realize that true beauty was more about how she carried herself and where her focus was (on the Lord) rather than “who” she was wearing.

Finally 1 Timothy 4:8 says:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Now there is nothing wrong with physical training–it is, in fact, a good thing. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is good to keep our “temples” together so we can better serve the Lord.  However, today we are sometimes overly fascinated with comparing ourselves to others and who’s got the most perfect body and getting our bodies to look “perfect” when a better use of some of our time might be spent on “spiritual” exercises (actually much easier on the back, and more beneficial).

Some folks who would never skip a weekly visit to the gym, will go weeks without lifting up their bibles and impress their hearts with the Word of God… no matter how perfect your physical body is (or isn’t)—the criteria for being “fit for heaven” is knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior (thank Goodness), the criteria for beauty is a spirit that is in awe of God.

So I want to leave you with these thoughts:

Ladies–recognize that true beauty is defined not by the world and man but by God and that TRUE beauty is an “inner” thing, not just an appearance thing.

Work with what God gave you physically, take care of God’s temple and focus your energy not on perfect physical features but a spirit that reveres God.  Now that’s beautiful!

Thank you!

Copyright © Lynn Gaines. All rights reserved.

Lynn is a Senior Designer/Illustrator with American Greetings Corporation.


The Faith of a Mother

A mother gives of herself in many ways in support of a family and in raising a child.  There is hard work and sacrifice involved, along with instruction and guidance in the process.  It is important to note, however, that all of these things need the faith of a mother in God’s provision and protection that leads to a child’s growth and success.  Why?  There comes a point where the mother has to allow a child to function outside of the home environment, and trust that God will be the author of everything that happens for the child as a young adult into their adulthood.

There is not much that is known about Moses’ mother, Jochebed (Exodus 6:20), except for the note of her participation in Moses’ early childhood as referenced in Exodus 1 and 2.  Note the dire circumstances that she faced at the time when Moses was born:

Exodus 1:15-22

    15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you help the Hebrew women give birth, observe them as they deliver. If the child is a son, kill him, but if it’s a daughter, she may live.” 17 The Hebrew midwives, however, feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this and let the boys live?”

    19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before a midwife can get to them.”

    20 So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very numerous. 21 Since the midwives feared God, He gave them families. 22 Pharaoh then commanded all his people: “You must throw every son born to the Hebrews into the Nile, but let every daughter live.”

Jochebed is referred to in Exodus 2 as the Levite woman who was married and became pregnant with a son.  A woman’s pregnancy begins the bonding process with the child about to be born, and when the son arrives, she notes that he is not just any ordinary son, but notes that this son is special.

Exodus 2:1-2

1 Now a man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son; when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.

Knowing full well that if the male child is discovered, Jochebed raised her son in secrecy for three months (a long time!).  Her love and devotion for her son was evident in that she did not want to lose him in death; instead, she planned to find a way for him to live, even if it meant that she would not be able to raise him in her family.  She wanted her son to have a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Exodus 2:3-4

3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with asphalt and pitch. She placed the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4 Then his sister stood at a distance in order to see what would happen to him.

This plan was more than the simple abandonment of her child, as some would portray this event.  Jochebed had faith that God would provide a way, even if she did not know the outcome, for her son to live.  As it turns out, her mighty faith was answered with the compassion of Pharaoh’s daughter, who saw more than just a Hebrew infant son.  She risked her own safety in taking on the responsibility of raising the child.

Exodus 2:5-10

      5 Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe at the Nile while her servant girls walked along the riverbank. Seeing the basket among the reeds, she sent her slave girl to get it. 6When she opened it, she saw the child—a little boy, crying. She felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.”

    7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a woman from the Hebrews to nurse the boy for you?”

    8 “Go.” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

The faith of Jochebed had transcended beyond the wishes of Pharaoh to murder every Hebrew son at birth.  She now had the opportunity to nurse Moses (note that his name came from Pharaoh’s daughter) and instill within him the knowledge that he was Hebrew and a Levite.  She did all of this knowing that she would one day have to surrender the child to Pharaoh’s daughter.  Her love for her son had sustained his life through her faith in God, and she knew that God would place him in an environment where he would grow up as an influential person that God would use for his people.

Hebrews 11:23-26

23 By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25 and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. 26 For he considered reproach for the sake of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.

Acts 7:20-22

20 At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God. He was nursed in his father’s home three months, 21 and when he was left outside, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted and raised him as her own son. 22 So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in his speech and actions.

It all started with the love and faith of Jochebed, Moses’ mother.  She did what she was able to do in the short time that she had Moses as a child, and turned over the matters that were outside of her influence to God in faith and trusting that He would take care of the rest.  A mother who loves her child does whatever she can do to give the child knowledge and wisdom, and there comes the time when God has to do the rest.  It takes a faith that moves beyond one’s own ability to understand (Proverbs 3:5-6).  It takes a mother’s love for her child, her family, and a love and obedience of God.

On behalf of all of us at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church, we wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!


A Mother’s Day Message

Being a mother in today’s world is certainly not easy. There are some circumstances when a mother and a grandmother have a mutually important role of raising the children in the family. The old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” comes to mind. Unfortunately, today we have parents who are often confronted by their children or who may even be abused by their children. There may be a complete absence of control or discipline in the household where the children have little or no regard for their parents. This is contrary to what Scripture declares, for motherhood is part of God’s plan and purpose. Many of us can attribute our successes and triumphs we experience in the strength and encouragement of our mothers. A mother has to rely upon knowledge, wisdom and the proper motivation to teach and instruct their children. All of this requires time, which is often precious and while there needs to be prioritization, the mother recognizes the importance in making time for the benefit of their children.

God sees motherhood as an important role in the family that benefits the children, and God honors the mother in the fulfillment of her role. There is a similar honor for all of us, as well, in how well we treat our father and mother. “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). It is not a choice for the child of a mother to honor and respect her–it is God’s command. When you disrespect your mother or curse her, you’re not honoring her.

Historically, the father was outside of the home to fulfill the responsibilities of the country and also the household, including fighting in battles, searching for food, and, in more modern times, working to earn money to care for the entire family. The mother had the more traditional role in the home shaping and molding the children with wisdom and instruction. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8). Young ladies, especially, need a mother’s instruction to know how to grow up to be successful young women. When a child comes to a place where they are not listening to their mother’s instruction, they enter into a very dangerous area and can bring destruction upon themselves, for they are not operating within God’s will, plan and purpose by their actions. “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish one despises his mother” (Proverbs 15:20).

What is the extent of the love that a mother can have for her children? Consider the example of Rizpah in the book of 2 Samuel 21, where, even in her sons’ tragic death, she was so devoted to her children that she literally protected their bodies from the birds and animals from April (harvest time) until October. This was the only reference in Scripture about Rizpah and her children, but if this is how she cared for and nurtured her children after their death, just imagine how she treated them and cared for them during their lifetime! Her love and devotion is admirable, and shows that mothers have a special God-given ability to care for and nurture their children.

Mothers need to know that they really do matter to their children. Mothers should never think that they are too old to give their children advice on life. While it is to be given in respect of the child who has grown into adulthood, the role remains the same in that the mother still has a positive influence and effect on their children.

Loving mothers should represent good things when it comes to their children. God wants them to give good gifts of instruction and wisdom to their children, which builds up their faith and good character. It is not just words, but also the example of living a godly life before your children (Matthew 7:9-11). Timothy most likely witnessed, and therefore, experienced the living faith of his mother and grandmother as he was being raised by them (2 Timothy 1:5-7). This faith was passed down from generation to generation–first from the grandmother, and then to his mother, and then to Timothy. When you find a woman who knows the Lord Jesus Christ, you have found a woman who will invest in the life, health, and well-being of their children.

A mother has great ambitions for their children. Their desire is for their children to see that same desire that they have and to take hold of it. What is the gift or ambition that you have given to your children? Do you instill confidence and encouragement to give the child the desire to do well and look beyond the obvious? You know what they are capable of; therefore, dream big dreams for your children. While others may say it can’t be done, your words can help them achieve and succeed beyond their expectations. Mothers have to instruct, push, correct, and guide their children in order to see to it that they realize success, especially in your demonstration of a life of faith and love in Jesus Christ (Proverbs 22:6, 23:13).

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and grandmothers! We love you and appreciate all that you have done for us!