“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. . . . She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:10, 26-31).
The first verse of Proverbs 31 tells us that these words were written by King Lemuel, of whom nothing is known outside these words of advice.
In these verses Lemuel is describing a very special wife and mother, namely, one who fears the LORD. He is describing a wife and mother who is a believer in the LORD, the covenant God of Israel, whom we know to have been revealed in Christ Jesus. So we could also say that Lemuel is describing a Christian mother.
What a blessing upon her family is the Christian mother! It is generally the mother who feeds and clothes the household. And while especially the husband is charged with the spiritual care of the family (cf. Ephesians 6:4), it is generally the mother who does much of the spiritual leg-work.
Generally the mother spends quality time with the children. It is the mother who often reads Bible stories to the children and listens to their memory work. She guides the children along the way, showing them what is right and correcting them when they do wrong. It is the mother who sings to the child such simple hymns as “Away in a Manger,” “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb,” or “Jesus Loves Me.”
And what of those mothers whose children are grown? The grandmother continues to teach her children’s children the things she taught her own children. She teaches them of the loving God who gave His Son to die for all of us, yes, even for little children. She helps to teach them of their Savior Jesus Christ.
Another familiar verse from Proverbs comes to mind: “Train up a child in the way he should go . . . when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
What greater gift can a mother give to her children and grandchildren than to bring them up in the way of God’s Word? That way leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus.
On Mother’s Day children praise their mother for bringing them up and loving them; in short, they praise her for her virtues. On Mother’s Day the believing mother is to be praised for the highest of virtues. She is to be praised for the eternal blessings that belong to the child because that child’s mother taught God’s love, manifested in the Savior.
Our Lord will bless all such believing, virtuous mothers with the crown of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus. He will likewise bless the children who had (have) such a mother, so long as they continue to walk in the ways of the Lord as they were taught.
May the Lord grant to our church many such virtuous wives and mothers!
–Pastor Joel Fleischer
From the editor: According to the Historic Church Calendar, the Third Sunday after Easter is known as JUBILATE Sunday (see p. 70 in the forepart of The Lutheran Hymnal). This writing gives a proper perspective on Christian joy.