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A beautiful mother and loving wife

1 Peter 5:1 - 4
What image comes to your mind when I would ask you to describe the most beautiful woman that you know or could imagine. Do we think of a lady that has been made over by Hollywood ( the movies or TV) with no blemishes and everything is just perfect about her appearance? In 1981 we went to Hollywood where they make movie and TV shows. There we learned that they have streets that do not have real buildings but just buildings with a front. There is not much of a roof and the front is just propped up. It is like a mask at Halloween. What Hollywood paints is pretty pictures but like the other sets that they use they are just a fake front with no substance. So it is with many of the women you see on TV. They have pretty faces but no character.

What we should be demanding is quality of heart not just outward beauty. When we only look at the outward beauty we will find that in time the outward looks will soon go away only to be replace by what is found within.

Have you ever seen a person who looks very old and you find out that they are only about 40 years old? Then you see some 60 year olds that look like they are 35. What makes the difference? We will look at some of the factors which make up a beautiful mother today.

The key to looking beautiful and staying youthful is keeping control of you attitudes. No one likes a person that has an angry look. What causes anger? When we feel that we are being cheated instead of being grateful. When we thing that someone owes us something instead of being happy for everything which we receive. If we feel that we deserve to be treated one way and others do not think that we deserve it we often become angry, resentful and bitter. There are times when we are hurt by others who are seeking to get revenge or are mad at others for the way they are treated. How we respond in these situations is so important in becoming a wonderful person.

Some people try to do things on their own. They do not rely on the power of God. They are never refreshed in their spirit and end up being emotionally drained and unable to respond properly when they are put into stressful situations. Some people think that they do not need to read their bible, study their bible or obey what the bible says and that they are just as good as others around them. They will not become outstanding people who God can use in a mighty way and they will not have the spiritual energy God wants to give them to do exciting and rewarding things.

Take Esther in the Bible. She was able to save her whole nation. Haymen wanted to kill all the Jews and had King Artexeres sign a law that would allow anyone who killed a Jew to take all that Jews possessions away from the deceased. This law was to be carried out in most of the places where the Jews lived and would have got rid of all the Jewish people. Esther devised a plan to save her people. She prayed and fasted for three days before she carried out her plan and God blessed her with outstanding success. Not only was she saved and all her people, the man who devised this wicked scheme was later hanged on his own gallows. Esther won a beauty contest to become queen but she also showed that inner qualities of faith and courage.

Another outstanding woman in the Bible was Sarah. We want to look at what Peter wrote about her in 1 Peter 3:1 - 6. Here Peter lays out some very important points for families. This passage speaks about the required attitudes for healthy relationships.

The first thing which Peter encourages the wives to do is to be submissive to their husbands. This does not refer to a slave who must fulfil the masters wishes or be beaten by fists or words. The purpose of being submissive is so that you may continue to win the hearts of your husband and if he is not yet a believer your attitudes will bring him to faith in Christ Jesus. If your husband asks you to do something which is contrary to scripture you should quietly and reverently appeal to your husband and seek to suggest a wise alternative which will build your marriage. If your husband asks you to go to a movie which displays immorality you can appeal to your husband that your inner most spirit would be in conflict and you could not be the kind of wife that would please him if you participated in that kind of activity. Don't just be negative but plan to do something positive instead - something which your husband would like to do as well. Create a happy joyful atmosphere in your home. If you have trouble with doing this please come and speak with us anytime. We want to see you growing and successful in your Christian life.

Verse 2 tells us that wives are to seek to please their husbands not only with their words but with their actions as well. This is God's way to greatness. Mark 10:44 says that whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. This concept of serving others is a way to witness and bring others to thank God for us. Matthew 5:16 says "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." We want others to praise God, especially our family so we need to be full of good deeds.

Verse 3 tells wives that they should not come from outward adornment but instead should be inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. What kind of attitude do you have at home? What is your attitude at work? Do you have a gentle and quiet spirit or is it a loud and contentious spirit. Do you ever have an angry or bitter spirit toward your husband? Many wives do not feel that their husband does not seem to be a leader at home. Many husbands have withdrawn because their wives are impatient and do things without consulting or checking with their husbands first. If the wife takes the initiative on family matters the husband will end up sitting back and doing nothing and leave the wife to do everything. Perhaps you feel that this describes your situation. How can you have your husband take leadership? First of all, cry out to God for forgiveness for usurping your husbands rightful position in the family. Second - go to your husband and explain that God has show that you have not accepted his leadership and that you want to have him lead the family. From that point on he will try to test whether you really meant what you said and at time he will delay a decision just to see if you will take over. If you feel uncomfortable with something not being done it is not wrong to go and ask him what his decision is. He may be looking for encouragement and appreciate you coming and helping him make a wise decision. Men can often take much more pressure than a woman and so he may not feel the same kind of pressure which you are feeling. If Sarah had waited until God's timing instead of trying to have a baby by her own schemes, we would not have the present Arab-Jewish problem in the world today.

Holy women of God sought to develop their inner spirit rather than concentrate on outward appearance. To become holy is to be set apart for serving God. Rather than waste time watching TV or engaging in gossip or endless conversations women should be striving to become more like Christ with bible studies, prayer and serving the Lord.

I know that many of you women are working hard outside your home and come home tired. You have another full time job to keep your household in order, make meals, clean up, do laundry and look after the children. I would like to appeal to the husbands to free your wives up from their outside job. Don't be so concerned about having a fancy car or other expensive items which you have to borrow money for. You husbands are putting your wives in bondage and making it difficult for your wives to truly love you. I believe that women should not have to have a full time job outside the home. There are many ways in which your wife can help your financial well being but not go out to another job. If some of you want to seriously look at freeing your wife to minister to your family on a full time basis my wife and I would love to sit down with you and explain how we have been able to have Lydia at home full time except for our first year of marriage when we did not have children.

In Paul's letter to Titus (Titus 2:3-5) he explains that older women are to help younger women and younger women are to be busy at home caring and training their children and loving her husband. When mothers follow the scriptures they will be building their families for the next generation. They will be creating a godly generation which will serve the Lord with gladness and diligence. The goal of Paul's instruction is that the older women were to help the younger women to care for the children and to help train the grandchildren in God's ways.

I am sure that many of you ladies were pretty frustrated when you were raising your children. With godly mothers helping you who can give advice as to how to train and guide the children, the task of a young mother is shared by another. This pattern of helping will build each other up and share the responsibilities of child training.

Men, I want to encourage you to support your wives. Give them the help they need. Be sensitive to your wives when they are tired and frustrated. Don't leave all the household responsibilities to them but be willing to help with dishes, cleaning up, taking out the garbage, training the children and perhaps even helping with meals. I would encourage you husbands who encourage your wives to work outside the home that perhaps you are destroying your marriage. By sending your wife out to work you are dividing your wife's loyalties. She has two masters, one- her boss at work and 2 - you. Wouldn't it be much easier if she only had one master - you? Wouldn't that lead to a better, more harmonious home? If the only reason which she is working out side of the home is because of finances then I would ask you to consider whether 1- you could reduce your lifestyle back down to one income to have a loving and harmonious home or 2 - if necessary - have your wife develop a business from home. God has blessed many families where the husband has determined that the wife should not have to work outside the home so that they were better off when the wife stayed at home and was faithfully obeying the word of God. Just because a wife stays at home does not mean that she would sit in front of the TV taking in all the garbage that the TV shows dump on the public. She should be busy. Proverbs 31 explains that a wife can be at home and still make a lot of money and take good care of her family.

My prayer is that you will study the word of God and find ways in which to serve Him as couple who are trying to follow God's ways. May God direct you as you seek to be faithful to God's ways.

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