Mother’s Day

Women of Faith

(Acts 9:36-42)



“Have you ever wondered when Americans started celebrating Mother's Day? The holiday was born out of one woman's desire to honor her mother's life of sacrifice and grace.


Born in 1864 in Grafton, West Virginia, Anna Jarvis witnessed the aftermath of the Civil War through a child's eyes. Her mother, Anna Maria Reeves-Jarvis, had spent the war organizing women to nurse wounded soldiers from both the North and South, and generally attempting to hold her border-state community together. After the war, Anna Maria started ‘Mothers' Friendship Days’ to reconcile families that had been divided by the conflict.


Throughout her life, Anna Maria modeled the ideals of Victorian motherhood. She gave up her dreams of college in order to tend to an older husband and four children. She bore the loss of seven other children with grace. She taught Sunday school in the local Methodist church for 20 years and stayed active in benevolent work.


Anna Maria's death in 1905 devastated her daughter. Two years later, Anna got the idea to found a holiday remembering her mother, and all mothers, whom she felt could never be thanked enough.


Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908 in Grafton (where Anna grew up) and Philadelphia (where she lived as an adult). Later, in a resolution passed May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.”


Source: Elesha Coffman, "Mom, We Salute You," Christian History Newsletter (5-10-2002).





  • ME

    • Grandmother’s

        • Most everyone knows that we recently laid my Grandma Johns’ to rest – the funeral service was a celebration of a life lived for the Lord

        • My Grandma Hykes passed away many years ago, but the funeral service was also a celebration of a life lived for the Lord

        • Judy’s Grandma’s were also women of faith

        • The faith of all four Grandma’s was passed down to the next generation

    • Mother’s

        • Judy and I have been blessed to have mothers who are women of faith

        • They have served faithfully in their homes, places of work, the church, and their communities

        • They were Sunday school teachers, Children’s church teachers, Puppet ministry leaders, Good News Club teachers, pianists, choir directors, Divorce recovery leaders, and so much more

        • They have cared about and for other women and families during their lifetime

    • Wife

        • The Lord has blessed me with an incredible wife, who has been the greatest mother to our sons and daughter-in-laws

        • She has also been an awesome grandma to our granddaughter

        • As a ministry partner, she has served faithfully in the church and community

        • She leads our church in helping with the Upper Adams Food Pantry and the Hallelujah Party

        • She is constantly thinking of ways to bless different individuals in the church, our community, and her workplace


  • WE

    • Women of faith

        • Most of us probably have fond memories of our grandmas and mothers

        • Perhaps there are those of us here today who can say that they are a follower of Jesus Christ, because of the faith they saw in their grandmas and mothers

        • Those of us who are married may see the faith of our wives through how they serve and minister to others

    • Faithless women

        • Not everyone of us has experienced growing up in a family with women of faith

        • Our grandmas and mothers may not have been loving, caring, and nurturing

        • They may not have been followers of Jesus Christ

        • But, my guess is that we are here, in church today, because of a woman of faith who invested in us (it may have been a man of faith, too)


The writer of the book of Acts (Luke) shares about a woman of faith who ministered to the needs of other women in her hometown. ​​ These other women were sharing with Peter about her faithfulness, kindness, and care. ​​ When the supernatural happened to this woman, it pointed people to Jesus. ​​ We can learn from her life that . . .


BIG IDEA – ​​ Godly women point others to Jesus.


Let’s pray


  • GOD (Acts 9:36-42)

    • Faith through serving (vv. 36-37)

        • City

          • Joppa means “beautiful”

          • It was on the Mediterranean Sea [show map]

          • Its port was famous, but dangerous [show images of port]

          • It had a healthy and robust trading industry as a result of the port

          • In the Biblical account that is unfolding in Acts, Joppa is moving Peter closer to Caesarea where he will encounter Cornelius, a Gentile, Roman centurion

          • But first, Peter has a job to do in Joppa

        • Disciple

          • There was a woman in Joppa who was a follower of Jesus Christ

            • Her name in Hebrew is Tabitha and Dorcas is her Greek name

            • Her two names are used throughout the narrative

            • Both Tabitha and Dorcas mean “gazelle”

          • Her character

            • She was doing good

              • Acts of kindness

              • Doing good deeds

            • She was helping the poor

              • Acts of mercy or charity

              • “‘Acts of charity’ refers to providing alms – acts of mercy through charitable giving. ​​ Almsgiving was highly regarded in Judaism. ​​ The detail suggests that she is wealthy and generous.” ​​ [Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Acts, 377]

            • Tabitha was exercising her spiritual gift of helps and service

            • Perhaps she was already doing these things prior to becoming a disciple of Jesus, but now her helps and service took on spiritual meaning and purpose

            • She was no longer helping and serving for the sake of doing those things – it reflected the transformation that had taken place in her life

            • The use of her spiritual gifts were pointing others to Jesus

            • How many of us have seen that in our wives, mothers, and grandmothers?

          • PRINCIPLE #1 – Faith transforms our service

            • “Many Christian women have distinguished themselves in God’s kingdom by their service to the needy.” ​​ [Fernando, The NIV Application Commentary, Acts, 314]

            • Examples

              • Mother Teresa

              • I have to say I struggled to come up with names of Christian women who have distinguished themselves by serving the needy, but isn’t that the point?

                • They are quietly serving in their local communities around the world, without a desire to be recognized

                • They aren’t trying to create soundbites or photo opts in order to promote themselves

              • It was easy to find a list of famous women who have helped fight global poverty (Michelle Obama, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, Angelina Jolie, etc.)

              • How many of us can think of at least one Christian woman who is serving the needy? (I can think of several, just in our church and community)

              • Women, thank you for allowing your faith to transform your service

            • #1 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Thank the Lord for the women who have used their spiritual gifts to do good and help the poor.

          • Tabitha becomes sick and dies

            • “About that time” can be translated, “In those days”

              • While Tabitha was doing good and helping the poor, she got sick and died

              • I believe it’s also referring to the time when Peter was in Lydda, which was only a three hour walk from Joppa

              • God was orchestrating everything for His glory

            • Preparation of her body

              • It was customary to wash the body in preparation for burial

              • Often the body was also anointed with oils and perfumes – Luke does not mention that here

              • What was not customary was for a corpse to lay overnight, but that may have happened in this case

              • Usually the body was buried before sunset on the same day as death occurred

              • There seems to be an exception here

              • “In the OT, bodies in an upper room were often noted in resuscitation accounts (1 Kings 17:19; 2 Kings 4:10, 21; Marshall 1980: ​​ 179) . . . When a body was kept, it was kept for three days because there was the belief that after three days the soul had departed.” ​​ [Bock, 378]

              • Keeping the body for three days was done in hopes that the soul would return to the body

              • It seems here that there is hope that Peter will be able to do something about Tabitha’s death

        • The disciples in Joppa were expressing faith through believing

    • Faith through believing (vv. 38-39)

        • The disciples send two men to urge Peter to come to Joppa

          • What incredible faith the disciples showed

          • They were believing that Peter could do something about the pain and heartache they were experiencing

          • That faith was expressed through placing Tabitha’s body in an upper room in anticipation of Peter’s arrival

          • We can express the same kind of faith in God and His healing power

          • We rarely experience here in the United States, but there are stories of believers, in other countries, who have been resuscitated by the power of God – they were brought back to life

        • Tabitha’s kindness and generosity on display

          • When Peter arrived in Joppa, he was immediately taken to the upper room where Tabitha had been laid

          • The widow’s that Tabitha had served and helped were there

            • They were showing Peter the clothes and robes they were wearing and explaining that Dorcas (Tabitha) had made them

            • It’s probable that Dorcas used her own money to buy the material or thread to weave and sew the robes and garments

            • What an incredible testimony of a transformed life

          • PRINCIPLE #2 – God is pleased when we use our giftedness for His glory.

            • As followers of Jesus Christ, I know we’re not serving others for the recognition from other human beings

            • We are serving and giving so that God will be glorified

            • This brings Him great joy

            • This morning, I want to thank women, again, for faithfully using your giftedness for God’s glory

            • When we faithfully use our giftedness for God’s glory it points others to Jesus.

            • Tabitha’s life and service were pointing these widows’ to Jesus

            • Godly women point others to Jesus

        • The disciples knew where to turn for help, and so did Peter

    • Faith through praying (vv. 40-41)

        • Following the example of Jesus

          • Peter had been with Jesus for three and half years and during that time he witnessed Jesus raise three people from the dead

          • Peter’s actions are reminiscent of Jesus’ actions with Jarius’ daughter (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43)

            • Jesus sent everyone out of the room except for the girl’s parents and Peter, James, and John

            • He then speaks to the girl and tells her to get up

          • Peter’s actions

            • He sends everyone out of the room

            • He speaks to Tabitha and tells her to get up

            • But there’s one other thing that Peter does between those two actions – he kneels down and prays

            • Jesus is God, so in this instance He didn’t need to pray, but simply commanded the girl to get up

            • Peter recognized that His ability to heal and bring people back to life wasn’t from him, but from God

            • PRINCIPLE #3 – Prayer is the first step to resolving every problem.

              • Peter knew where he needed to turn for help

              • God is all-powerful and is the One who heals and gives life

              • God is all-knowing, so He is aware of our struggles, our problems, our difficulties

                • Mother’s, He knows that our child is pursuing the things of the world instead of the things of God

                • Mother’s, He knows our fears, doubts, and anxiety about becoming a mother for the first time

                • Women, He knows the frustration and heartache we have over not being able to have children

                • Women, He knows our desire to have a godly husband who will lead us spiritually

                • Women, He knows the relational difficulties we are having at work or in our family

                • Women, He knows about the physical difficulties and health issues that we are currently experiencing

                • Women, He knows exactly how we’re feeling today

                • His desire is that we go to Him in prayer, first!

                • This challenge isn’t just for women today, it’s for men, children, and teens also

              • #2 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Turn to God in prayer about the struggles, problems, and difficulties I’m experiencing.

            • Peter then turns to Tabitha and speaks to her

              • What Peter says to Tabitha is only one consonant different than what Jesus said to Jarius’ daughter

              • In Aramaic we see how close these two commands are

                • Talitha koum” (little girl, get up)

                • Tabitha koum” (Tabitha, get up)

            • God resuscitates Tabitha

              • With all of the individuals in Scripture who are brought back to life, it’s “not a matter of resurrection but of resuscitation, of temporary restoration of life.” ​​ [Polhill, The New American Commentary, Acts, Vol. 26, 248]

              • Jesus is the only person who was resurrected, because He is still alive today!

              • Tabitha opened her eyes and sat up

            • Peter presents her to the believers and widows, alive!

        • Word of this incredible miracle spread fast

    • Faith through sharing (v. 42)

        • Presumably the believers and widows went throughout Joppa and shared the incredible news about Tabitha

          • They not only shared that Tabitha was alive again, but how God had used Peter to resuscitate her

          • Their faith through believing had been rewarded by the Lord

        • Their witnessing brought repentance in many who heard

          • PRINCINPLE #4 – Witnessing encourages repentance.

            • As mother’s, our desire is that our children know and follow the Lord

              • We model and teach our children how to pray before meals

              • We read them Bible stories before bed

              • We earnestly pray for them daily

              • We take them to church, VBS, and other places where they can hear God’s Word

            • As women, we show others a transformed life by the way we act and talk

            • We may share with others something miraculous that God has done in our lives or how He has answered our prayers for others

            • There are times when we actively share the Gospel with others

            • Godly women point others to Jesus.

            • In these ways, we are witnessing about Jesus to others

          • #3 – My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Witness to others about Jesus where I live, work, and play.


  • YOU

    • Has your faith transformed your service?

    • Are you using your giftedness for God’s glory?

    • Is prayer your first step when difficulties come?

    • Are you witnessing to others about Jesus?


  • WE

    • There are several great opportunities to share with others about Jesus

        • Invite someone to church

        • Invite family members, coworkers, and neighbors to the revival services coming up (May 17-23, 2021 and June 9-11, 2021)

    • We all can share with others an answered prayer or a miraculous healing we have experienced



“A few years ago, I somehow ended up buying two Mother's Day cards. I sent one to my mother, and because I keep a three-year calendar, I filed the other one away in the May section of the next year. Sadly, my mother died shortly after I sent that first card. Now I have a greeting card that can never be delivered—unless U.S. postal service can find a way to get it to eternity!


The more I've reflected on this undeliverable card, the more I've realized how it mirrors so much of life. We run into situations where we realize we can never again do what we intended. No matter how much we may want to, we can't hold on to the past. A loved one dies, and we grieve that we will never again hear their comforting, loving voice. Disease creeps in and robs us of the ability to do what we once enjoyed. An accident occurs, and in the blink of an eye, we lose some function that we took for granted. The word for these situations is finality.


‘Finality’ is a hard word to say. In fact, we spend a great deal of energy trying to find ways around it. We play the ‘if only’ game — ‘If only I try harder, it might get better;’ ‘If only I act better, maybe there's still a chance;’ ‘If only I pray harder, he might make it.’ But even prayer won't change some situations. My mother is gone, and the most fervent prayer won't bring her back. What prayer will do, though, is help me to remember that life is short, and I need to live a life of love while I can. I'm reminded that I should be grateful for what I have now, because it could be gone before I open next year's calendar.


So love now. Enjoy today. Be grateful this instant. Squeeze every drop of joy from each day. Pray hard and love deeply. And if you can, send your mom a Mother's Day card.


Source: Don Aycock, Palatka, Florida.





Mother’s Day

Life’s Goal

(Proverbs 31:10-31)



“According to a poll by Family Circle magazine, 86 percent of mothers think they don't get enough respect, and 80 percent agree that moms who stay at home get even less. Even so, 77 percent of mothers who work full-time would rather stay home if they could.


Moms in both camps are a bit defensive: 73 percent of those at home think working moms look down on them, while 66 percent of those who work feel the same way about moms who are at home.


The main message, however, is a positive one: while 70 percent of mothers say that being a mom is much more demanding than they expected, 92 percent say it is also much more rewarding.”


Time (5-6-2002), p. 18; submitted by Jon R. Mutchler, Ferndale, Washington.





  • ME

    • Stating the obvious

        • I’m not a mother

        • I’m not a wife

        • I’m not a woman

    • That’s why I have to rely on God’s Word to speak about woman today


  • WE

    • Expectations from other moms

        • Perhaps you’re a stay-a-home mom (I guess every mom is a stay-at-home right now, with the Coronavirus), and you feel like working moms are looking down on you

        • Maybe you’re a working mom, and you feel like stay-at-home moms are looking down on you

        • Take heart that both kinds of moms are feeling the same way, so don’t put that undue pressure on yourselves

    • Biblical characteristics from God

        • It’s easy to look at what other moms are doing and feel like a failure, but don’t play the compare game

        • God’s Word gives us Biblical characteristics and qualities for women, and He is the One we should strive to please

        • Being a wife and mother will fall into place when we spend time focusing on God and His Word


Most everyone is familiar with Proverbs 31. ​​ There is a ministry organization that’s called Proverbs31 Ministries. ​​ People talk about a Proverbs 31 woman. ​​ We’re going to look at Proverbs 31:10-31 today as we celebrate Mother’s Day. ​​ The writer of this section of Proverbs talks about a wife of noble character and how rare that can be. ​​ Fortunately, it is not impossible. ​​ As we look at this passage today, I want to encourage every woman to . . .


BIG IDEA – ​​ Seek to be rare, don’t compare.


Let’s pray


  • GOD (Proverbs 31:10-31)

    • Background

        • The final verses in the book of Proverbs (vv. 10-31) have two very powerful patterns that are important to recognize

          • Acrostic

            • This is not the only acrostic poem in Proverbs or the entire Bible, there are others

            • The beginning of each verse starts with the consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet) [show image of the Hebrew alphabet]

            • [Show image of Proverbs 31:10-31]

            • This shows an incredible beauty in how the poem was constructed

          • Chiastic Structure

            • The other pattern we see is the chiastic structure

            • [Show image of chiastic structure]

            • In a chiastic structure there are matching pairs that point to a central theme that the author doesn’t want the reader or audience to miss

            • They say certain things heading into the central theme and then say the exact same things in reverse order as they move away from the central theme

        • We are going to be using the chiastic structure as our guide, looking at the central theme first and working our way out

    • Central theme (v. 23)

        • Who is this Proverb written for?

          • I don’t want us to miss the historical and contextual significance of the book of Proverbs

          • Most of the book was written by Solomon with help from Agur and Lemuel at the very end

          • It seems to be primarily written to Solomon’s son(s) about how to obtain wisdom and live a disciplined and prudent life

          • As it pertains to our passage today, and the central theme, the character qualities listed are for a wife, perhaps for Solomon’s son(s)

        • The central theme then is about the husband of this woman of noble character

          • The husband of this woman is respected at the city gate

          • He is part of the ruling council of elders for her city

        • With that said, I don’t want us to take too much time focusing on the husband, because it’s Mother’s Day

        • “The woman was formed out of man – not out of his head to rule over him; not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be his equal, from beneath his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be loved.” ​​ [Matthew Henry cited by Anders, Homan Old Testament Commentary, Proverbs, 358]

        • Let’s look at the character qualities, of this ideal wife, that allows her husband to be respected at the city gate

        • We’re going to look at each matching pair as we get further and further from the central theme

    • Character qualities (vv. 10-22, 24-31)

        • Making of coverings and garments (vv. 22, 24)

          • For herself (v. 22)

            • She works hard at the textile trade

            • Most women in the Near East were gifted at weaving and making their own garments

            • We’ll see this more as we progress through this passage

            • She is weaving large coverings for her bed

            • She is also clothed in fine linen and purple

              • Fine linen would have been made from flax and imported from Egypt

              • Purple refers to wool that was dyed and was imported from Phoenicia (the dye came from shellfish found there)

              • The woman would have made her own garments from these imported materials

              • She was dressed with the best

              • She’s resourceful as we will see in a moment

            • TODAY

              • Most of our wives aren’t weaving or sewing their own sheets and blankets, but they are making sure that we have sheets and blankets at the best possible price – they’re researching the thread count to make sure the quality is good

              • They are also making sure to dress well

              • Making sure that our bed has sheets and blankets and dressing herself well shows us, guys, that our wives love us and are concerned about us

            • She not only makes items for herself, she also makes items to sell

          • For others (v. 24)

            • She is so industrious that she has more than enough garments and sashes to sell to the merchants

            • I’ve been impressed with those of you in our congregation, who know how to sew, and have used your giftedness to provide hundreds of masks to individuals in our community and beyond – and you’ve done that out of your own generosity, at no charge (we’ll see the character quality of generosity in v. 20)

          • She is not only concerned about herself and her husband, but also her children

        • Clothing of children and herself (vv. 21b, 25a)

          • Her children don’t have to be afraid of the cold associated with the season of snow, because their mother provides scarlet clothing (v. 21b)

            • Again, the dyed cloth would have been expensive

            • Scarlet would have referred to wool garments instead of a light linen made from flax

            • Wool would have helped to retain heat

            • Waltke explains that mentioning the color of the thread, is another way of saying wool, simply because “linen does not readily accept dye.” [Waltke, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15-31, 530]

            • This mother spares no expense in taking care of her family and keeping them warm

            • TODAY – how have you seen your mother or wife making sure you are warm?

          • The matching unit speaks of a woman being clothed, but not with garments (v. 25a)

            • She is clothed with strength and dignity

            • She is able to face any adversity that comes her way with confidence instead of fear

            • TODAY – How have you seen your mother or wife face adversity and uncertainty?

          • The woman in this passage is prepared for the future

        • No fear (vv. 21a, 25b)

          • She is ready when winter comes and can laugh at the days to come

            • This shows not only a physical readiness, but an emotional readiness

            • We’ll see in the final matched pair where this confidence and emotional readiness and strength come from

            • It doesn’t come from herself

          • In this next pair, we see that this woman is generous, compassionate, loving, and caring

        • Wife gives to others (vv. 20, 26)

          • With her possessions (v. 20)

            • Perhaps you’re skeptical about whether or not this is truly a matching pair

            • Both Anders and Garrett explain that throughout Proverbs, and other wisdom literature, that the mark of wisdom is in providing for the poor – it is a fundamental virtue [Anders, 362; Garrett, The New American Commentary, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, 250]

            • This woman is either giving them what they need (food, clothing, etc.) and/or inviting them into her home

            • What we see here is generosity and hospitality

            • TODAY – How have you seen your mother or wife reaching out to those in need, and either providing what they need or inviting them into your home?

          • With her words (v. 26)

            • Speaks with wisdom

              • “That she speaks with wisdom implies that she already possesses it and that wisdom shapes what she has to say and how she says it.” [Waltke, 532]

              • It is probable that she is sharing her wisdom with her husband

              • Husbands, how many of you have experienced the great wisdom of your wives?

              • I know I have – God has given Judy incredible wisdom and I’m a better man when I listen to God speaking through her

            • Faithful instruction is on her tongue

              • Can you hear her children? ​​ “Mom, why did you give that garment, you made, to that beggar?” ​​ “Why did you invited that family to our house for a meal?”

              • Can you see her, gently sitting down with her children and explaining, “God has been so good to us. ​​ He has provided for your father and I above what we could ever imagine. ​​ We want others to know and experience God’s love, compassion, and provision through us. ​​ So, sometimes we give them clothing or feed them a meal.”

              • She uses the wisdom she has gained through circumstances and questions from her children as teachable moments

              • She is concerned about passing on the wisdom she has gained

            • TODAY – What wisdom has your mother passed on to you?

          • She not only speaks and lives out wisdom, but she works hard

        • Wife works hard (vv. 13-19, 27)

          • Works herself (vv. 13-19)

            • She makes her own thread from the wool and flax she selects (vv. 13, 19)

              • She probably goes to the market place and carefully looks through the wool selections

              • She also carefully looks at the flax selection, for the best quality

                • Flax was made from a plant that was uprooted and dried and then the fibers were extracted from the plant

                • Flax was used to make linen, so the better the flax, the better the linen

              • She uses the distaff and the spindle in order to spin her own wool and flax thread for weaving and making garments

              • She does this with eager hands (at the pleasure of her hands – she enjoys it!)

            • She provides food for her family (vv. 14-15)

              • She goes to the market place before sunrise, so she’ll have the best food selection possible for her family

              • She also chooses exotic food for her family to enjoy

              • She’s probably not making food for the servant girls, but rather, providing the raw ingredients for them to make the food

            • She is a savvy business person (v. 16)

              • She looks at all of the angles, puts a plan together, and then executes her plan in purchasing a field and then planting a vineyard on it

              • We’ve been watching old episodes of “Counting On” with the Duggar children and Jinger decides that she wants to buy a car, at the auction, and then flip it. ​​ She takes a couple of her brothers with her to the auction, then she has a couple other brothers, a friend, and her one sister who make the necessary repairs and detail and clean the car, and finally she takes two other brothers with her to show the vehicle to a prospective buyer – she did her homework and used the generous resources of family members to help her purchase and sell the vehicle for a profit.

            • She is not lazy (v. 17)

              • She plans her work and works her plan

              • She has a strong back and strong arms

              • She probably has strong hands as well

            • She never lacks for financial resources (v. 18)

              • The trading that she does is profitable

              • Her lamp does not go out, is not necessarily speaking about her staying up late working into the night, but rather, is probably talking about the fact that she never lacks money, she is prosperous

            • TODAY – In what ways have you seen your mother or wife working hard for the family?

              • Does she make things and sell them?

              • Does she provide good food for you to eat?

              • Is she a savvy business person?

              • Does she every stop working?

              • Does she provide financially for you?

            • This woman not only works hard herself, but she also supervises the work of others

          • Supervises the work of others (v. 27)

            • She is aware of everything that’s happening in the household

            • When something is missing around the house, who do you ask first? (Mom)

            • She is not idle

              • I’ve watched my mom and my wife preparing for family meals and they both have multiple things cooking at the same time and are able to know where everyone is and all the details of upcoming events and activities

              • There are times when I have to ask Judy if she is going to stop and sit down (of course it’s for selfish reasons, because I want to stop and sit down)

              • When I first met Judy’s Grandma Young I wondered if she ever ate, because she would be a flurry of activity around the dinner table. ​​ She would always ask if I needed anything else, because my plate was empty. ​​ She wanted to make sure everyone was provided for, before she would take time to eat.

          • We all know how hard our mothers and wives work to provide just what we need, so we should take time to recognize and acknowledge that fact

        • Recognition by husband and children (vv. 11-12, 28-29)

          • Husbands (vv. 11-12, 28b-29)

            • Do you have full confidence in your wife? (when is the last time you told her that?)

            • How has she brought good into your life? (when is the last time you expressed gratitude for the good she has brought into your life?)

            • When is the last time you’ve praised your wife?

              • The author gives us an example here, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

              • When Judy and I were dating, I told the guys in the dorm that I was sorry for them, because they had to settle for second best, since I was dating the best! (I know it sounds cheesy, but I meant it)

              • How can you praise your wife today? ​​ What characteristics are your grateful for?

            • Husbands aren’t the only ones who need to recognize the incredible woman in their home, children need to also

          • Children (v. 28a)

            • When is the last time you’ve expressed your gratitude and love for everything that your mother is doing or did do for you?

            • Today is the perfect day to do just that

          • All of this leads to the very first matching pair in this passage

        • High value of a good wife (vv. 10, 30-31)

          • The author of this section helps us to understand that a wife of noble character can be found, but it is rare, like a precious stone

            • The description that we have seen in this passage may not reflect a single woman, but may be a composite portrait of ideal womanhood [The NIV Life Application Bible, footnote for Proverbs 31:10-31, 1131]

            • It’s always tempting to look at other woman and compare ourselves to them

            • I want to encourage you to not compare yourself to anyone else, but use the characteristics found in this passage as your guide to becoming a virtuous woman

            • Seek to be rare, don’t compare

          • Where does this woman find the physical and emotional strength to do everything she does, with excellence?

            • It doesn’t come from within her

            • She can’t accomplish this on her own

            • It comes from revering the Lord

              • When I was sharing with Judy about the message for today, she said that the only way for her to excel in these character traits is to be connected to the vine

              • She is referring to John 15:1-17

              • We read these words in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. ​​ If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

              • She shared that when she has tried to do anything on her own, she has failed, but when she stays connected to Jesus, and does it with His strength, she succeeds

            • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Stay connected to Jesus, so I can be a wife and/or mother of noble character.

          • True reward and praise come from being connected to the Lord, not through charm or beauty

            • “In short, ‘charm’ deceives because it promises a lifetime of happiness that it cannot deliver . . . ‘beauty is said to be deceitful because it passes away, and with it passes the hope of happiness base on it.’” ​​ [Waltke, 535]

            • “Inner spiritual beauty does not deceive.” ​​ [Waltke, 535]



“About ten years ago, I found my mother sitting at the kitchen table. She was reading and chuckling in frustration, so I asked her what she was looking at.


She told me that she'd been studying Proverbs for her devotions and that she'd just read chapter 31, which lists the qualities of a virtuous wife. She was frustrated because she realized she could never be the woman God describes there. We talked about it some more, and my mom finally arrived at a decision that still inspires me today: she decided to take on the challenge, one verse at a time. She said: ‘I'll work on the first item in the list. When I've got that one mastered, I'll move to the next one—hopefully I'll be a virtuous woman before I die.’


I recently checked in with her to see how she was progressing. She laughed and told me she was seven or eight items into the list but was currently stuck on, ‘Her children call her blessed.’ She said, ‘I might have to wait for all of them to grow out of their teens before I can accomplish that one.’


Last year, my sisters and I got together and made a Certificate of Completion in Proverbs 31 Training. We took every verse and came up with an example of when she had fulfilled that requirement. When the certificate was finished, it looked like a real diploma and listed her many accomplishments. We all signed it, including my dad.


I read it out loud to her, and when I got to the last verse, ‘Her children call her blessed,’ one by one each of us said, ‘Mom, you are blessed.’ She cried and cried—she had finally reached her life's goal!”


Submitted by Jennifer Tatum, Romeoville, Illinois.



Husbands and Children

My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Take time, today, to tell my wife and/or mother that she is blessed.



My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Take on the challenge of seeking to be rare, one item at a time, so I can be a virtuous woman.