A GODLY MOTHER AIN'T LIKE NO
BY PASTOR STEVE WAGERS
TEXT: Proverbs 31: 10-31
In the mid 1700ís, there lived an old saintly woman, who everyone
ĎMama Newton.í She was a lady that all the children in the neighborhood
wanted as their mother. She had hair like a halo of silver, hands worn
with calluses, and cheeks that were stained by tears. Everyday, and every
you would find Mama Newton crying, and praying, over her washtub, in a
room of poverty, for her son John.
John had run away from home as a rebellious teenager, to become a
sailor. John had become an ungodly, wicked man, who was disowned by his
father, and everyone who knew him, because he was so wicked. Yet, day and
night, Mama Newton kept praying that God would save, and use her wayward
boy. She believed in only two things: the power of prayer, and the
conversion of her son.
God, one day, answered the prayer of Mama Newton, by wroughting a miracle
in the heart of her son, John Newton. As a result, John Newton, the
drunken- sailor, became John Newton the sailor-preacher, who at age 54,
penned the Christian national anthem: Amazing Grace! God greatly used John
Newton to reach thousands, including a man by the name of Thomas Scott,
who with his voice and pen, was used by God to lead thousands to Christ.
Included, among them, was a man by the name of William Cowper, who penned
the immortal words, "There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood,í which has
brought thousands to the one who died at Calvary. All this, because of a
believing, godly old mother, and her washtub prayers. 1
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Behind every great man, is a great mother."
The once powerful leader of France, Napoleon, said, "Let France have great
mothers, and France will have great sons." Rudyard Kipling said, "If I
were hanged on the highest hill, I know whose love would follow me still."
D. L. Moody, one of the greatest evangelists who ever lived said, "All
that I have ever accomplished, I owe to my mother!" 2
At a memorial service for her mother, on May 10, 1908, Anna Jarvis gave a
carnation, her motherís favorite flower, to everyone in attendance. Within
the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers caught on; and, on
May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May
as Motherís Day!
I donít know of anyone to whom I owe anymore than to my mother. Yet, of
everything that I am grateful for, the most precious thing to me, is that
I have a GODLY MOTHER! You see, letís be honest, in our day, today, godly
mothers are hard to find. There are mothers, and there are good mothers.
There are not only good mothers, but there are great mothers. Yet, there
is all the difference in the world between a good mother, a great mother,
and a Godly Mother!
Thus, in the text before us today, we read of a passage authored by King
Lemuel. Nothing else is known of him, other than this chapter; but, it
as if he is writing his own motherís resume. In so doing, in these
verses, he plainly distinguishes a godly mother from all others, and he
to convey to us the thought, that, "A Godly Mother Ainít Like No Other!"
Notice, in these verses, he seeks to point that a godly mother is
from all others, because she has:
- I. A WORTH THAT IS UNEQUALLED (V.
In these first verses of the text, the writer points out that a godly
has a worth, second to none, and is unequaled. He explains what makes her
worth so great by showing that:
A. SHE IS A LADY OF VIRTUE (10a)
1. Of everything else that could be said of this lady, she above all else,
a lady of virtue. Notice, the word "virtuous" that is used.
VIRTUOUS (lit.): "worthy, or valiant"
2. This word speaks of the idea of a wounded soldier who is deserving of
the reward that he will receive.
3. This word "virtuous" is the same Hebrew word used by God to Moses, in
Exodus 18, to describe the character of the judges that He appointed.
4. Thus, the woman being referred to here, is not an ordinary one, but she
in a class all her own.
5. You see, just as the judges had to be qualified for their work, she is
qualified for her work.
6. Because she loves the Lord, she lives for the Lord. She is a lady of
godliness, of valor, and or virtue.
I remember reading of a college student who had filled the wall of his
dorm room with indecent pictures. He, one day, received a surprise,
unexpected visit from his mother. She never said a word about those
pictures, or gave any indication that she noticed them. But, before she
left she hung a picture of Christ in the middle of those other pictures.
When she came back to visit, a few months later, she found that the only
picture hanging on the wall, was the one she had placed there.
7. The mother described here in verse 10, is one who may not wear a badge,
or blow a horn; yet, her life speaks volumes of itself. She is godly, she
is valiant, and She Is A Lady Of Virtue!
B. SHE IS A LADY OF VALUE (10b-12)
Not only do we see that this godly mother is a lady of virtue, but she is
a lady of value. Notice, he says that, "her price is far above rubies."
1. In the days of our text, rubies, or pearls, were considered a priceless
commodity. They might be compared to gold in our day.
2. Thus, he shows that this godly mother is worth far more than even the
rarest commodity. Thereís no price tag on her, for she is a lady of value.
3. As a result of her tremendous value, her husbands trusts her
4. Notice verses 11, and 12. The husband, of this godly mother, realizes
how valuable she is. Thus, he is able to trust her chastity, in verse 11;
and, he is able to trust her conduct, in verse 12. She, without question,
is a lady
Several years ago, the New York Times was asked to help a group of club
women decide on the twelve greatest women in the United States. After due
consideration, the editors replied, "The twelve greatest women in the
United States are women who have never been heard of outside of their own
I think of a piece I read recently. It described, and defined the most
creative job in the world. It said, "The most creative job in the world
involves fashion, decorating, recreation, education, transportation,
psychology, romance, cuisine, literature, art, economics, pediatrics,
geriatrics, religion, entertainment, energy, and management. Anyone who
can handle all those jobs has to be somebody special. She is. Sheís a
7. Abraham Lincoln expressed it well, when he said, "No one is poor who
has a godly mother!"
8. The godly mother described here is a rare breed. As a result, she will
benefit, and bless others, "all the days of her life." She Is A Lady of
Virtue, and She Is A Lady of Value. This godly mother has A Worth That Is
I. A Worth That Is Unequaled
- II. A WORK THAT IS UNMATCHED (V. 13,
In these verses, the author moves from a godly mothersí unequaled
worth, to her unmatched work. He describes in great detail the labor,
travail, and work that she involves herself in. He outlines her unmatched
work by showing that:
A. IT IS A DESIRED WORK (v. 13)
1. The writer explains that the unmatched work of a godly mother is a
desired work. For, he tells us that she "willingly worketh with her
Notice the word "willingly" that he uses.
WILLINGLY (lit.): "with pleasure, or desire"
2. The word gives the picture of one who volunteers to perform a duty.
3. Thus, we see that this woman is one who is so motivated, that she does
this work out of a desire of her own heart.
4. You need not pump, nor prime her to get it done, she does it with
pleasure, and desire. She does it willingly.
5. Itís not a matter of influence, but a matter of impulsion. Itís not a
matter of pride, but a matter of passion. Itís not a matter of compulsion,
but a matter of conviction!
6. She loves God, and the family that God has entrusted to her; and, thus,
she seeks to provide for them, and please them. Itís not a work one must
get to do, It Is A Desired Work!
B. IT IS A DEVOTED WORK (v. 15)
1. Not only do we see that her unmatched work is a desired work, but itís
also a devoted work.
2. The desired work displays her Submission, while the devoted work
displays her Sacrifice.
3. Verse 15 informs us that she is not one to stay up all night, and sleep
all day. But, she "riseth while it is yet night," and gives up her own
to make sure that others needs are met.
4. She seeks not her own, but always seeks out the needs of others. She
not only desires the work, but she is devoted to the work.
Susan Lang, in her book, Women With Children, says that the average
mother spends 3.5 more hours a week doing housework than a woman without
children. Plus, she spends 11 hours a week on child related activities.
This adds up to an additional 754 hours of work every year, the equivalent
of three months of 12-hour, 5-day work weeks. 5
6. The mother described here, in verse 15, is the one who, though she may
work herself, she labors to get supper on time, and stays up late to take
of things for tomorrow. She is not only a woman of submission, but of
sacrifice. Her work Is A Devoted Work!
C. IT IS A DEDICATED WORK (v. 19)
1. Not only is her work a desired work, and a devoted work, but it is a
dedicated work. While her desired work shows her Submission, and her
devoted work shows her Sacrifice; her dedicated work shows her
2. Notice, again the words, "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her
hands hold the distaff."
3. The words "layeth, and hold" are words used to describe persistence,
perseverance, and dedication.
4. The words "spindle, and distaff" are words that are used to describe
symbols of her honor. Thus, she desires the work, and devoted to the work;
but, she is dedicated to the work, and will not stop until the job is
I think of a story I once read of two small boys who gave their mother a
house plant for Motherís Day. They had used their own money to buy it, and
to say the least, the mother was thrilled. The oldest boy said, "There was
a bouquet that we wanted to buy, but it was too expensive. It was really
pretty, and had a ribbon on it that said, ĎRest In Peace.í We thought that
it would be just perfect, since you always are asking for a little peace
so you can rest!"
5. However, this mother will not rest until the job is finished. It Is A
Desired Work, It Is A Devoted Work, and It Is A Dedicated Work. Her desire
shows her submission, her devotion shows her sacrifice, and her dedication
shows her steadfastness. She, without a doubt, has A Work That Is
I. A Worth That Is Unequaled
II. A Work That Is Unmatched
- III. A WISDOM THAT IS UNFEIGNED (V.
We move to one of the most beautiful, and wonderful traits of this
mother. For, she not only has a worth that is unequaled, and a work that
unmatched; but, she has a wisdom that is unfeigned. It is pure, sincere,
true wisdom, and:
A. THERE IS WISDOM IN WHAT SHE SPEAKS (v. 26)
1. The writer informs us that her mouth is filled with wisdom, and there
wisdom in what she speaks.
2. She may not speak much, but when she does, you can bet, that thereís
wisdom in it.
3. Ruth Bell Graham well described this wisdom, when she wrote:
"With such prayers importunate,
That my finite wisdom would assail,
God, how fortunate,
That Infinite Wisdom would prevail!" 6
4. When she speaks it seems as if heaven itself has spoken, and the wisdom
of the Almighty has shone through. She speaks words of truth, words of
help, and words of wisdom.
I think of G. Campbell Morganís four sons, who were all preachers. A
friend of the family came into their den, when all the family was there,
they asked one of the sons, named Howard, "Who is the greatest preacher in
your family?" Howard had a great admiration for his father, the greatest
Bible expositor who ever lived. He looked straight at his father, and
hesitation, replied, "The greatest preacher in our family is Mother!"
5. I donít know about you, but thereís been times when Iíve asked my
mother a question, and her answer wasnít the answer I was looking for.
6. Yet, as I look back, she may have not told me what I wanted to hear;
but, her words were what I needed to hear. I, firsthand, saw that There Is
Wisdom In What She Speaks!
B. THERE IS WISDOM IN WHAT SHE SHUNS (v. 27)
1. Not only does she display wisdom in what she speaks, but also in what
2. Notice, again, the last part of verse 27, she "eateth not the bread of
3. Thus, here is the picture of one who hates to sit and do nothing.
4. She has preached, and she has practiced, that ĎAn Idle Mind Is The
Devilís Playground!í So, she fills up her time, so that none of it will be
5. No doubt, she has memorized Solomonís words in chapter 19, verse 15,
when he said, "Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle sold
6. One will not find this godly mother being slothful, or lazy. For, There
Is Wisdom In What She Speaks, and There Is Wisdom In What She Shuns. She
A Wisdom That Is Unfeigned!
I. A Worth That Is Unequaled
II. A Work That Is Unmatched
III. A Wisdom That Is Unfeigned
- IV. A WEALTH THAT IS UNSHARED (V.
The author concludes this section by not only showing us this godly
worth that is unequaled, work that is unmatched, and wisdom that is
unfeigned; but, her wealth that is unshared. Though her wealth may not be
that on the worldís scale, her wealth is calculated, and demonstrated:
A. BY THE PRAISE OF HER FAMILY (v. 28)
1. It doesnít take long to see that her family knows how valuable she is.
For, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed."
2. Notice, they are praising her Person. For, she is not receiving praise,
necessarily, for what she has done; but, for who she is.
3. Sure, theyíre aware, and appreciative of all the acts of kindness and
she has shown to them. But, theyíre praising the woman who has shown it.
They are the first to stand up, and speak up to praise her person.
It is said, that after one of the awful battles of the Civil War, a dying
Confederate soldier asked to see the chaplain. When the chaplain came, to
his surprise, the first thing the soldier asked was for him to cut off a
his hair for his mother. Then, he asked the chaplain to kneel, and thank
God. The chaplain asked, "What am I thanking God for?" The wounded soldier
replied, "Thank Him for giving me such a godly mother, that so influenced
my life, that Iím now save, and ready to meet the Lord!"
4. The family of this blessed saint realize what a precious jewel she is,
they praise her person. Yet, not only is she praised for her person, but
5. Notice, the last part of verse 29, "but thou excellest them all."
6. Here is a lady with not only an excellent person, but an excellent
position. One might ask, "Where does a godly mother rank in relation to
others?" The writer says that she "excellest them all!"
I remember reading of a little boy who forgot his lines in a Sunday
School play. His mother sat in the front row to help him, and she gestured
and formed the words with her lips, but it didnít help the boy, for his
was blank. Finally, the mother leaned forward, and whispered his cue, "I
the light of the world." The child beamed with relief, then blurted out
words, "My mother is the light of the world!"
7. Yes, this godly mother is the light to her family. Dad, children, you
better thank God everyday you live, if Heís blessed you with a godly
mother. You need to recognize her person, and realize her position.
8. This lady might not be the wife of Bill Gates, but she is a wealthy
mother. It is demonstrated By The Praise Of Her Family!
B. BY THE PRAISE FROM HER FATHER (v. 30)
1. She is a mother who not only receives her wealth by the praise of her
family, but by the praise from her Father.
2. She may or may not be an outward beauty, but thatís not her secret. Her
secret is that "she feareth the Lord."
3. Thus, by pleasing Him, He is praising her! She has found a special
in the heart of God.
4. Her true beauty is within, for she has learned what it takes to please
5. Ladies, let me ask you, "Do you want to be a great mother?" Then,
memorize Proverbs 31:30. Regardless of how you measure up to Mrs. Jones,
Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Taylor, you set your heart to fear Him, and to please
Him. As a result, you will not only be a great servant, but it will make
you a great mother. Youíll be wealthy By The Praise From Your Father!
C. BY THE PRAISE FOR HER FRUITS (v. 31)
1. This godly mother is not only wealthy because of the praise of her
and the praise from her Father; but, by the praise for her fruits.
2. All she has endeavored, and will endeavor to do, will be blessed.
3. She need not boast of herself, but "her own works will praise her in
gates." She will receive praise for her works, and for her fruits.
4. You remember, in Acts 9, the death of a lady named Dorcas. After she
had died, and was buried, the widows gave a display of the coats and
garments she had made for the poor. Even after her death, the fruit of her
hands lived on.
5. Ladies, donít you think for one minute, that youíre not leaving an
impression on you family by the life you live. You see, your testimony
bear witness of you even after your death. So, you stand for God, and you
serve God, and even after you leave this world, your work for the Lord
will go on, and bear fruit.
6. The lady described here is one who has amassed a great wealth. Again,
it may be the wealth of monetary terms, but it is a wealth demonstrated By
The Praise Of Her Family, By The Praise From Her Father, and By The Praise
For Her Fruits. She is a millionaire on heavenís books, and she has A
Wealth That Is Unshared!
Of all the godly mothers that I have read of, and heard of, there is one
that has left an eternal impression on me. This godly mother was born on
March 1, 1932, into the home of a poor coal miner. She was born again
November 1957. She married a soul-winning preacher on September 29, 1965,
and labored all her life to raise a little, chubby, red-headed boy; and,
after her husband died on April 9, 1982, she was forced to raise him
alone. This godly mother endured a 2 1\2 year span when she didnít get to
speak a word to her rebellious son. Yet, she tried always to make sure
that he had the best through high school and college. She watched, with a
broken heart, as her boy played the game of religion, while living the
life of the world. Yet, she faithfully prayed, every morning, at 5:30,
that God would save, and use her boy.
God, finally , answered the prayer of this godly mother on August 10,
1985, when he saved her boy. One year later, another prayer was answered,
when God called him to preach. This godly motherís life verse is Psalm 73:
25-26, which says, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon
earth that I desire but thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is
the strength of my heart and my portion forever." This godly mother, above
all else, walks with God, and lives a holy live. She is a living testimony
that "A Godly Mother Ainít Like No Other!" This godly mother is my mother,
Eva Lou Wagers, and she is the godliest woman I know, and my spiritual
I ask you, mom, do you want to be the best mother you can be? Do you
want to be the mother that God has designed for you to be? Then, donít
just be a good mother, or a great mother; but, be a godly mother, and
follow the instructions of Proverbs 31. The writer has set a godly mother
apart from all others. He has shown that she has A Worth That Is
Unequaled, A Work That Is Unmatched, A Wisdom That Is Unfeigned, and A
Wealth That Is Unshared. Think what you will, but I believe that you would
agree with me, when I say, that, "A Godly Mother Ainít Like No Other!"
1. Knightís Book of Master Illustrations., Eerdmans., 1956., p. 424.
2. IBID., p. 417.
3. Pulpit Helps., May 1996.
4. Homemade., Richard Kerr., February 1996.
5. Sign of the Times., May 1998., p. 6.
6. Prodigals And Those Who Love Them., Ruth Bell Graham., Focus on the
Family Publishers., 1996., p. 69.
SERMON BY PASTOR STEVE WAGERS
Concord Baptist Church, Pickens, SC- USA