Sunday, May 12, 2013

[Matt's Messages] "Praising Mom"

“Praising Mom”
The Tongue of the Wise - Spring 2013
May 12, 2013 :: Proverbs 31:28-31

This is the famous “Proverbs 31 Woman” which, perhaps surprisingly, I have never preached on over the last 15 years. This is my 15th Mother’s Day as your pastor, and I’ve never preached Proverbs 31 until today.

And we’re actually going to skip to the end of the chapter, verses 28-31 to get the main thing I want to emphasize this Sunday.

And that’s this: “Praising Mom.”

Today’s message is the next installment in our series on “The Tongue of the Wise.”

Which we get from our Hide the Word verse, Proverbs 12:18. Say it with me, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

The last two weeks, we talked about the reckless words of grumbling.  But now that we’ve solved that problem and none of us grumbled this week (but did we lie?), we move onto a new topic: “Praising Mom.”

The tongue of the wise praises an excellent mom.

Let’s see what Proverbs 31 has to say. Verse 28.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

I get the title, “Praising Mom” from verse 28.  Talking about this heroic woman, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”

“Praising Mom”

The tongue of the wise praises an excellent mom.

What we do on Mothers’ Day is right and good and has biblical reasoning for it.

It is right and good to praise Moms for the great things they do and for the great people they are.

Kids, praise your Mom.  Rise up and call her blessed.  It’s the right thing to do.

Dads/husbands, praise your kids’ mom. Rise up and praise her for her praiseworthy characteristics. It’s a good thing and a right thing to do.

Praise Mom.

Why? Four reasons today.


Now, this might be surprising to you.

I have often thought that we were only supposed to praise God.

Don’t praise Mom, praise God.

But that’s not true.

It is good and right to praise Mom, as well

Not to the same degree. Not on the same level.

It is idolatrous to raise Mom to the level of God.

Don’t worship your Mom!

But do praise her for her praiseworthy characteristics.

Verse 31, “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

God says to.

Now, guys, this is especially important if you have the attitude I’ve heard that says, “I told you I loved you when I married you and if anything changes I’ll let you know.”

That’s disobedience to God.

God wants husbands to praise their wives.
God wants daddy’s to praise their kids’ moms.
God wants kiddos to praise their mommas.

“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

And not just on Mothers’ Day!

Reason #2 for Praising Moms.


Women need to hear this. Women need encouraged.

Ladies need to hear the truth. V.30

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

Now, men need to hear that because they can get fooled by charm and outward beauty.

Is she fun and is she sexy?
Is she into me and is she hott?

That’s charm and beauty and they are deceptive.  Guys, watch out.

But ladies can be deceived by those same things, can’t they?

The world sends women the wrong messages about what is important in life.

The world sends women false messages about what is important for them to be to become.

You must be charming and you must beautiful.

If not, you’re a failure.

You must be fun and you must be sexy.

If you’re not, then you’re trash.

Moms get that message every day from every direction.

And guys, it’s our job to remind them of what’s true.

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

Nothing wrong with charm in and of itself.

Nothing wrong with beauty. A godly husband will find his wife beautiful and tell her so, too.  The Song of Songs teaches us about that.

But those things are not the important things.

What’s important is if she fears the YHWH.  If she loves the Lord Jesus.

And if she does, she should be praised.

Women need to hear the truth.

Guys, our wives need to hear that they are number one in our hearts. V.29

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

That’s what a godly Dad says to a godly Mom in the presence of his children.

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

You are the best! You are the greatest!

You are our favorite woman.

And the kids agree. “Her children arise and call her blessed.”

Now, do you see why I picked this passage for today?

A lot of women read Proverbs 31 and they get discouraged because they don’t and can’t live up to every verse in it.

But Proverbs 31 should get us guys and us kids busy. Not just ladies. But us, too.

And it should get our mouths in gear.

Praise that godly mom. Because she needs to hear the truth.

Now, the principle is true beyond moms, isn’t it?

We all need to hear the truth.

We all need encouragement.

Don’t just praise moms for the praiseworthy things they do.

But specifically here we are told to praise godly moms.

Reason #3.

#3. BECAUSE SHE’S EARNED IT. V.31 again.

“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

This doesn’t mean that she’s perfect.

It means that she’s done commendable things so she should be commended.

It means that her heart is praiseworthy so it should be praised.

Guys, what might you praise in the woman in your life?

Kids, what is it about Mom that you should rise up and call her blessed?

Well, let’s go back up to verse 10 and see exactly what the Bible says.

It’s important to know that this is carefully constructed Hebrew poem. It’s actually an acrostic meaning that every line begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

In other words, it’s the ABCs of recognizing an excellent woman.

Some scholars believe that Hebrew boys were taught their ABCs by memorizing this poem and at the same time were learning the A to Z’s of how to find a wife, what to look for in a wife.


“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

What could you say to that Mom.

You could say, “Mom, you are rare.”  “You are a gem.”
“Mom, you are valuable.”
“Mom, you are trustworthy.”
“Mom, you are reliable. You are constant.”
“You are good for me.”

Ladies, would you like to hear that from the men and the kids in your life?

“Honey, you are precious to me.”

You are a “wife of noble character” or that could be translated, “a woman of valor” or “an excellent wife or strong wife.”

Or a “hero wife.”  “You are my hero.”

Now, in verses 13-27, there is a long list of this wife’s activities.

She is quite a superwoman, an embodiment of the virtues of Lady Wisdom from earlier in the book of Proverbs.

I don’t think that she actually exists. She is an ideal, an exemplar, an inspiration.

V.15 says that she gets up while it’s still dark and verse 18 says her lamp doesn’t go out at night.

Apparently, she never sleeps!  I think the point is that all of these descriptions of her activities add up to her character and point to the kinds of person a godly woman should aspire to be.

This isn’t here to shame women or wear them out but to inspire them.

And to show us guys both what to look for in a wife and what to praise when we see it.  V.13

“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

What could we say, guys?

“Mom, you are so hard-working.”
“You are so diligent.”
“You care so much for our needs.”


“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”

“Mom, you are so shrewd in how you handle finances.”
“Mom, you are so energetic. So resourceful. So industrious.”

But as hard as you work and as shrewd as you are at managing, you’re also generous!  V.20

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”

“Mom, you are skillful.”
“Mom, you are so active for us.”
“Thank you!”

I was struck this week with how good my life is because of how hard Heather Joy works for us.

And at the risk of embarrassing her again, I’m going to point some of it out.

You teach our homeschool every day. 4 kids, 4 different classes!
You make good things for us to eat from scratch with great ingredients.
You hang out the laundry (lots and lots and lots of laundry).
You sew our things and knit our things.
You buy all of our clothes and supplies.
You clean everything over and over again.
You are constantly directing or managing something.

And that's just the start of the list. I won't go into particulars.

We are spoiled. You are precious.

Because you work so hard, we experience such a good life.

That’s why (v.23):

“Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

“Mom, you are so confident. So hopeful. So strong and dignified.”


“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

“Mom, you are so wise. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with our family.”

That’s the kind of thing that we should be saying.

Dads to Moms and kids to Moms.

Now, you can see why this passage might overwhelm a lady.

She’s supposed to be rare, valuable, trustworthy, precious, hard-working, industrious, reliable, constant, diligent, dependable, shrewd, energetic, resourceful, generous, skillful, active, hope-filled, confident, strong, dignified, and wise.

Makes me tired just to list it.

But, the point I’m trying to make is that we guys (and us kids) should be noticing those qualities when they appear in the women in our lives and we should be shouting them into the megaphone at the city gates.

Every time she is like that, guys, we should be pointing it out.

She’s earned it.

“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

She’ll begin to feel like a million bucks when we begin to tell her that she’s worth a million bucks. Or a billion bucks.

Now, this is important. Don’t lie about these things.

Don’t flatter her. Don’t tell her that these things are true when you know they are not.

But when they are, don’t miss the opportunity to praise her.

She will not feel like she has lived up to the God’s standard of womanhood.

But whenever she reflects that ideal, she should be hearing about it from us guys and us kids.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”

You’re not perfect. But you’re the best!

Praising Mom.

One more reason.



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

What makes her so excellent?

She fears the Lord.

God is honored by pointing to the woman’s excellence in fearing him, the One who defines and exemplifies excellence.”  (Sam Crabtree, Practicing Affirmation, pg. 13).

Where does she get all of what makes her great?

From God.

We don’t praise her to the exclusion of God.

We praise her because of what God has done in her.

Praising Mom brings praise to her God.

At least, it does when we do it right.

So, how are you going to do it?

Not just today on Mothers’ Day, though this is a good time to get going.

But every day.

Husbands/Dads, especially, how are you going to build praising your wife, your kids’ mom, into your daily life.

Does she know how you feel?

She needs to.  Women need to hear the truth.

Because Satan and the world will lie to them every day.

You need to be feeding them the truth. God says so.

Not because she’s perfect, but as she does her best, she is reflecting the perfection of the Lord. She’s earned it. Praise her. Rise up and praise her.

Don’t lie. But tell her.

And as you do so, you will bring praise to her God.

Who is deserving of all of our praise forever and ever and ever!


Messages in this Series:

1. The Fearsome Tongue
2. Sweet Words
3. Grumbling (Part One)
4. Grumbling (Part Two)