Generation Mom (Proverbs 31)

Many moms feel overloaded and underappreciated. Today we want to affirm mother’s saying that we love, support and encourage you to stay at the call upon your life to be MOM. More than any politician, pastor, physician, psychologist, psychic, psycho, public entertainer or any other person – You are the most influential person in your child’s life. So… trust God, read your Bible, love your husband, pray for your children and be the best example God calls you to be! Happy Mother’s Day!

In further reflecting upon Mother’s Day, this message will encourage women across our congregation by engaging Proverbs 31 on what it means to be a praiseworthy woman.

When you read Proverbs 31 most women feel only more overloaded as the description of this woman is very idealistic. It is helpful to see the introduction of this passage is an oracle to a son. In other words, a mom sits her son down to explain the high calling of womanhood and motherhood. Further, Lemuel was no Israeli king, nor do we know anything about him. Therefore, this passage could be an author simply closing the book of Proverbs with the godly values of family life supremely in that of a wife and an honored husband.

In making application, many women are challenged by their self-worth. Issues of security and identity are common and are continually hindered by worldly standards, where…[1]

–          Eating disorders are 3rd most chronic illness among teen girls.

–          80+% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance

–          1 in 4 women will experience prolonged periods of depression

Simply taking a walk through a local mall will reveal the expectations placed on young girls and women to be outwardly attractive, thin, sweet yet sassy, professional and have it all together being completely independent of anyone. While some of these qualities may sound appealing, deep down they neglect to offer much hope in securing contentment within a woman. All of these things are fleeting and circumstantial. And as we all know at time, age and life happens we need to rest our identity is something more permanent and ultimately satisfying. A woman’s identity is not in her appearance or personality but in her adoration and posture toward Jesus Christ. You see, life is not about self but God. Therefore, how you view and relate to Jesus determines how you will and should view yourself. The climax of this passage says it all, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

This passage will uncover 3 characteristics of a praiseworthy woman:

A praiseworthy woman is a selfless servant.

Before this description is explained it is important to note that the term servant is used in relationship to following Jesus. Those who followed Jesus the best or greatest were characterized in terms of servanthood (Mark 10:43-45 “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”)

The Proverbs 31 woman’s servanthood is described in terms of how she relates and benefits others, especially her husband. Her virtue is defined in that she is giving and gracious to others, starting with her family (31:15a) and outward to others and the poor (31:15b, 20). “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy” (31:20). Such a woman is not selfish but seeks to benefit and aid others through her hard work and lifestyle. She brings good and not harm to others (31:12).

She is not idle or lazy in her work ethic. Scripture notes her industrious lifestyle of working “with eager hands” (31:13) to help support and provide for her family and servants (31:15). This type of woman understands that her work is to be done as working for the Lord and to be done with all her might and effort (Col.3:23).

Some women suffer from low confidence and assurance. They wonder if they can be of use to anyone and if there is an ultimate purpose to their life. The result of these things is depressed, angry, lonely and profoundly vulnerable young ladies. Jimmie Davis notes that “Girls try to fill the need emotionally… focus[ing] on how they look and feel (consider their obsession with makeup, hair, dress, and nails)… Many girls are willing to do anything to be accepted”[2] and find their sense of worth. We must realize that we do not serve to gain acceptance from God or anyone. However, we serve because we have been accepted. The praiseworthy woman realizes who God is and in response to Him serves out of worship to God and compassion for others. 

This also shows the necessity of showing women that God has a plan and purpose for their life. He uniquely created them (Psalm 139) with gifts, personalities and abilities to be of use to the greatest kingdom of all – that of serving Jesus. Teaching females to recognize their worth through serving others is immeasurable. Jesus calls us to look beyond ourselves that we may be of benefit to God and others. In a me-first culture we must grasp the awesome calling that God has placed on us all to live for him.

A praiseworthy woman has wise ways.

The Proverbs 31 woman not to be underestimated in her intellect or capabilities. Her work is not confined to meaningless activity. She is quite industrious and wise in her business dealings. She plans her daily schedule getting up early in order to provide for her family and her servant girls (31:15). Her wisdom is displayed in the arena of real estate, as she considers and purchases land which in turn will be useful for business (31:16). All her trade and work is profitable (31:18). And faithful instruction is on her tongue to speak wise advice to others (31:26).

Every woman has the intellect to handle life’s situations, but sometimes they are lacking the emotional and spiritual stability to do so, especially teen girls. There is a great calling for mature and experienced women to mentor younger, growing ladies.

Titus 2:3-5 3 In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. [They are] to teach what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.”

Young girls are in need of receiving wisdom in what it means to be a woman worthy of praise and how to become all that God intends them to become. Davis says, girls need help in sorting through the problems of womanhood. Girls are “searching for answers and, unfortunately, are finding answers based on worldly standards. Girls need someone who understands, and no one understands like another female!”[3]

ð     Highlight our Small Group connection for ladies – “do life together”

ð     Highlight need for ladies in our YM/CM


A praiseworthy woman has confident charm.

The Proverbs 31 woman has confident charm because she understands real beauty is not found in her external appearance but in her internal character. She is not concerned about unattainable air-brushed, short-lived images the world presents for a female but she seeks to cultivate the character of her heart. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (31:30). Her goal is to leave an eternal legacy among her family, that her children and husband will speak well of her (31:28), as well as those who know her in the community (31:31). A spiritual legacy always surpasses an earthly legacy.

TAKING IT HOME

One of the 10 Commandments is to “honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

 

How are you honoring mother’s?

ð     Words “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word.” Proverbs 15:23

ð     Deeds “Give her the reward she has earned…” Proverbs 31:31

ð     Prayer “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

 

 

  • Why is becoming a “God-praiseworthy woman” important?
  • How do you know that society does not offer much help in creating a “God-praiseworthy woman”
  • Is character more important than good looks? Explain.
  • Share some specific examples about the difference between someone who is selfish and someone who is not.
  • How can the parents and youth leaders help teen girls overcome low confidence and assurance?
  • Why is it important for Men to mentor boys and Women to mentor girls?
  • What is charm? What is confident charm, according to this message?

 


[1] Some of the following stats are from Girls’ Ministry Handbook: Starting and Growing a Girls’ Ministry in Your Church. Jimmie Davis. p. 8-9; while others can be found through a simple google search.

[2] Ibid. 22.

[3] Ibid. 27.

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