Celebrating: God’s Wonderful Gift of Women!

CELEBRATING – GOD’S WONDERFUL GIFT OF WOMEN!

Mothers’ Day – is a great opportunity to stop and say thanks to our Mothers and to celebrate God’s wonderful gift of women.  It’s a good day for all of us to think about how much our mothers have done for us – and how much better our whole world is because of God’s wonderful gift of women.

I want to invite you to join with me in celebrating God’s Wonderful Gift of Women – by considering God’s first statement of the value of women in the very first chapter of the Bible.  Women have had struggles to be properly valued by societies throughout history – but God had no problem at all in affirming the tremendous value of women.  God’s affirmation starts with recognizing that women are God’s partners for Caring for Creation. 

God’s Wonderful Gift of Women:  PARTNERS  Caring for  CREATION 

God thought long and hard about who would be able to take good care of the world He had created.  Decided it would take a team – of both men and women.  God knows that neither women nor men are perfect – yet we always do our best – when men and women work together as the partners God created us to be.

Genesis 1:26-28 (MSG)    God said: “Let us make human beings in Our image, reflecting Our nature – So they can… care for the Earth.”  Then God created human beings – …male and female.  God blessed them: “Prosper!  …Be responsible for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

God wants to help open our eyes to how He created men and women to work together as God’s family – instead of competing with each other. 

Galatians 3:28 (MSG/LB)    In God’s family there is no division …between men and women.  All people are of equal value – we have all been brought in to God’s family and united through Jesus Christ! 

Consider carefully – how did Jesus treat women?  The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time – saw women as second class and inferior.  Jesus always affirmed women as children of God who were full members in God’s family.

When you think about women as God’s partners in caring for the world – one woman who stands out is Mother Teresa.  Amazing to see the power of God’s grace at work in her life.

I also give thanks to God for the caring abilities He has given to my wife Penny.  Her leadership for school districts in 3 counties in central NY – Onondaga, Cortland, Madison – working with 32 School Districts providing support for Counselors for Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Prevention.  Offering training to schools to overcome Bullying – through her leadership with the Dignity for All Students Act.

Right in the beginning of the Bible – God affirmed that women were created to be equal partners with men in caring for God’s creation.

Jesus worked hard to help people who had forgotten God’s lesson in the first chapter of the Bible.  God said it in the beginning – and it is still true – women are created in God’s image, just like men, and God’s goal is for men and women to work together as partners in caring for all of creation.

God wants to help educate our world to see what a Wonderful Gift Women are – as Partners in caring for creation – and for some women to become Wives who will enrich their husbands’ lives. 

God’s Wonderful Gift of Women:  WIVES  Enriching  HUSBANDS

Throughout history – we have heard a lot about the battle between the sexes.  Even today – a lot of women still have fewer opportunities than men.  The battle between the sexes is a horrible tragedy – because God did not create men and women to be competitors.  For those who are called to marriage – God’s plan is for men and women to join together in completing each other.

Some Bible scholars add a warning that men should be a lot more careful about the way that they view women.  The scholar’s view is that God created man first – then God stepped back and said – You know, I think I can do better than that!

After all – none of the animals did a happy dance when God created man.  But when God created woman – what did Adam do?  Adam did one of the biggest happy dances in history!

Genesis 2:18-24 LB    The Lord God said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone; I will make a companion, a partner for him, a helper suited to his needs.”  So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird, and brought them to the man…  But still there was no proper helper for the man.  Then the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and took one of his ribs and …made the rib into a woman, and brought her to the man.  “This is it!  This is exactly what I needed!” Adam exclaimed. 

Mothers’ Day gives us a great opportunity to stop and give thanks to God for raising up women who are called to be wives who will enrich their husbands’ lives.  Of course – even though I shouldn’t have to mention it – I believe it is important to take a moment to reinforce that God also calls some men to be husbands who will love and empower their wives the way that Jesus loves the church by giving Himself up for the church.  And that in Ephesians 5 – God only had to tell women once to care for their husbands, but God had to tell men three times to love their wives the way that Jesus loves.

If a man is married – God wants to help them to give thanks for their wives.  And if we have sons who are married – God wants us to remember that our children’s wives are a gift from God.

Proverbs 19:14     Parents can give their sons houses and money, but a good wife is a gift that can come only from the LORD.

Every day during my prayer time – I take time to give thanks for each of our daughter-in-law’s – Emma and Bailie.  I give thanks to God for what a blessing they are to our sons and to our entire family.

Of course – I would be in very dangerous territory this morning – if I didn’t share with you that I also make time to give thanks to God for my wonderful wife Penny – every day!  It’s interesting to me, that God never says in the Bible how much I am worth to Penny as a husband – but God definitely wants to make sure that I never forget how valuable she is to me as a godly wife. 

Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT    Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is worth more than precious rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.  She will not hinder him but help him all her life. 

God is eager to help our whole world remember and to keep growing in their appreciation – that every woman is a wonderful gift from God.  Women are God’s gift as Partners in Caring for Creation, Enriching Husbands, and some women are called to be Mothers who Empower their Children!

God’s Wonderful Gift of Women:  MOTHERS  EMPOWERING  CHILDREN!

It is very striking to me that a lot of people in our society have the very interesting idea that children should be left to figure out their faith and their values on their own.  Society is very clear that children shouldn’t be allowed to decide for themselves if they are going to school or not, or if they are going to practice for a sports team.  But when it comes to faith – well – children are somehow supposed to figure that out for themselves.

The Bible has a very different view about how children should figure out their faith and values.  The Bible is very clear that fathers and mothers are called to be intentional to take time, lots of time, to teach their children what is right and wrong and to empower them to say yes to following Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Faith and wisdom don’t grow in children’s lives by accident – they are gifts that are taught to them by mothers who are committed to doing all that they can to empower their children’s lives. 

Proverbs 31:1    The wise sayings of King Lemuel are lessons that his mother              taught him. 

Our youngest granddaughter Miss Claire doesn’t read yet – but our oldest granddaughter Miss Violet is a voracious reader.  The first thing that Miss Violet does when she greets you at their home is to say – read me a book!  I’m glad that she enjoys reading – and I am thrilled that her mother Emma reads lots of children’s Bible books to her and that Emma and Matthias take her to church – where Miss Violet loves to race to the front of the church and sit right next to her pastor, Pastor Katie.

I was also thrilled last week to see how much respect and appreciation our 3 sons have for their mother.

Proverbs 31:28 NLT    A loving mother’s children respect her and stand up to bless her! 

The Bible is clear that Faith and Wisdom are vital gifts that children should not have to figure out on their own.  To reach their full potential – children need mothers and fathers who are committed to empowering their lives.

2 Timothy 1:5 NLT    I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have faith that was passed on to you by your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois  

God wants to help you to stop and give thanks for His wonderful gift of women.  God wants to make sure that you see women are of equal value with men – that both men and women are created in the image of God to be God’s partners in caring for creation.  Some women are called by God to be wives who will enrich their husbands’ lives.  Some women are called by God to be mothers who will empower their children’s lives.  And we will close by recognizing that all women are called by God to be Leaders who share God’s love!

God’s Wonderful Gift of Women:  LEADERS  Sharing God’s  LOVE! 

Mothers’ Day is a vitally important day – to give thanks to our mothers for all they invested in our lives – and to celebrate God’s wonderful gift of every woman.

We’re going to close by focusing on God’s reminder that as Christians – we need to be intentional every day, not just on Mothers’ Day – to celebrate and affirm what a wonderful gift from God women really are.

Our society puts a lot of emphasis on celebrating women’s charm and beauty.  God reminds us that those qualities may be nice – but they are superficial.  Charm and beauty are not the most important gifts that God has placed in women.  God helps us to zero in on the gifts that are the most important – the gifts that will have a lasting impact – are a woman’s faithfulness to God.

Proverbs 31:30-31 (NLT/MSG)    Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who respects and honors the LORD will be greatly praised.  Reward her faithfulness to God!  Fill her life with praises!

I would like to close our Mothers’ Day celebration – by asking all of the women to remain seated – and to ask all of the men who are able to stand and join with me in sharing a prayer of appreciation and blessing for God’s wonderful gift or women!

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