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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Women, Wives, and Mothers - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Women, Wives, and Mothers - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Women, Wives, and Mothers - Part 1
TOPICS: Mother's Day

It's an honor to be with you today. I did a short series of messages around Mother's Day, and I'm gonna be sharing some of that with you. Now, there is so much cultural confusion around this. There's so much offense. Professional football player just used a phrase in a graduation speech about being someone who is a homemaker, and it's blown up with negative criticism. Folks, we gotta find our way through this and have the courage to acknowledge there's differences between men and women. Not greater or lesser, weaker or stronger. We're different, and we need a biblical perspective. But, with God's help, we're gonna work on that a bit. Grab your Bibles and a notepad, but, most of all, open your heart to a God perspective.

It's Mother's Day weekend. I got to write two Mother's Day sermons today, that was fun. With this general idea of women and wives and mothers is so important, and it's so important in our church, and in the Church with a capital C. It's an idea that it's not just under assault. There's a wholesale attempt to push those concepts completely out of the public consciousness, and they're very busy indoctrinating our children with those kind of things. So it seems to me that, in the midst of the church, on Mother's Day, there's some things that we should be very aware of. The Bible very clearly tells us that God created us, male and female. Those are the biblical options. Other choices and experiences will require repentance and forgiveness. The Bible tells us that God created us as sexual beings.

Sex was God's idea. It's good to know that, it wasn't the devil's idea. In the same way that food was God's idea. He gave us all of the plants and all of the things to nourish our bodies, and we can take those things and destroy ourselves with them, or we can recognize them as a gift from God. Well, in that same way, God created us as sexual beings. Biblically, sex is restricted to the covent of marriage between a man and a woman. Other choices require, other choices and experiences require repentance and forgiveness. The biblical definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. It is presented to us as a covenant. It's not just an old word. It is the most binding agreement extended to people, either between ourselves or between ourselves and God, in the scripture. Male and female are not categories which we choose. They are determined by physiology.

As Christ followers, we are called to yield to the authority of scripture and to the lordship of Jesus of Nazareth. We are directed to have love and compassion for those who do not know God, not anger and bitterness and hate. We are also called to encourage one another as believers in the Lord to pursue godliness and holiness. We are not assigned to be tolerant of ungodliness nor to encourage its practice in the midst of God's people. We are not admonished to cultivate diverse definitions of marriage and sexuality. For someone to tolerate sin and to support ungodliness brings personal culpability for the behavior which is being overlooked.

In plainer, Tennessee English, you're included as guilty of the wrong behavior. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it this way, "Silence in the face of evil is evil itself". Women, wives, and mothers are essential for family, community, and the purposes of God. God himself said that it was not good for a man to be alone. He created a woman in recognition of man's condition. Godly women, godly wives, and godly mothers are desperately needed in this moment. There is something about the ferocity of a godly woman, a godly wife and a godly man, mom that are essential for our families to flourish. It is not a passive role. The feminist movement has been a demonic assault on women in the family. It has not been grounded in a biblical worldview. It has promised freedom and opportunity.

And, yet, several decades into that initiative, women remain subjected to predators like Jeffrey Epstein and his defenders. They're being trafficked on our border today and in many of the communities across our nation. They're competing against biological male in athletics and we don't seem to have the courage or the willingness to challenge it. Our daughters are less safe in public spaces than they were decades ago. And, in this same period of time, when we were told that women have been given the freedom to pursue great liberty, 60 million of our children have been sacrificed to abortion. It's enough, it's enough. The church has to find our voice and the courage to bring a biblical perspective back into our schools, back into our communities, back into the books that go into our libraries, and all of those places that we're familiar with.

Women were promised freedom, and those making the promises garnered power and influence and then betrayed the trust of those that they purported to represent. I believe the church can make a tremendous difference in the season immediately before us. But it will take a courage and a willingness to break step with current conventional wisdom. We'll have to be willing to step out of the crowd, to lead with our faith, to do some difficult things, ideas that we've talked about a great deal. But they're gonna have to move beyond the walls of our churches, and they'll have to find their way into the practice of our lives, in how we build our relationships, in how we conduct ourselves, or our children will not know the liberty and freedom that has defined our lives, but they'll be very well acquainted with the judgment of God. And I do not believe that's the legacy that we want to leave.

So, on this Mother's Day weekend, I wanted to take a few minutes and just unpack with you some of the, some biblical perspectives that I believe you can take into your homes and into your circles of influence. They're not deep theological ideas that require a knowledge of the original languages or great understandings of the culture from antiquity. I think they'll be pretty easily grasped. I grasped most of them as a boy. Because most of what I wanna share with you are lessons that I gleaned from my mom and in my home growing up. One of my brothers is in the room, I'm sure you'll hear a few hardy amens. We survived together. Some of you know the story, my family, we went to church on a regular basis, from my earliest memories. If you lived with George, in George Jackson's house, you went to church. But we weren't Christians.

You know those two things are not necessarily synonymous, right? You can sit in church and not be a Christ follower, in the same way you can sit in the gym and not be an Olympic athlete. And that worked reasonably well, I suppose, until my mother gave birth to my youngest brother. There are three of us, and, while she was in the hospital, they diagnosed her with a malignancy and said she had 6 months to live. This was the mid-60s, treatments were much different than they are today, and they wanted to do some pretty dramatic surgery. The pastor of the church we attended came to visit, he didn't believe in heaven or hell. The challenges in the churches, folks, are not new, we've been overlooking these problems for decades, it's why we're at a very critical point in the unfolding story.

My parents made the decision to go to Mayo Clinic. They took a plane, on the flight there, I'm told my mother said a little prayer, many of you know it, "If there is a God, let me know the truth before I die, so I can tell my sons whatever that is, to be Jewish or Baptist or Catholic". And, in so doing, she could leave us something of a legacy. After several days of examination at Mayo Clinic, the doctor came in the room late at night, asking for my father, but agreed to tell my mother the report. He said there's no question you had cancer, we have pictures of it. But we've looked for four days, and we can't find it, go home and raise your babies.

And my parents are both here tonight, so...I was 7 when that happened. I'm well into my 30s, you can do the math on all of that, so, and I'm like way into my 30s. They were living in Columbia, Missouri, when that happened. My dad was getting ready to graduate from veterinary school at the University of Missouri. When he finished his boards, we moved to Miami. He intended to be an expert in lameness in horses, and the thoroughbred tracks was the place to be. He went back to the church, the Methodist church, in Hollywood Hills, Florida. The pastor there didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus. This is not new, folks. My mother was hesitant. She said, "If they don't believe in Jesus, and God's done something for me, why would I sit there"?

So she worked in the nursery. An airline pastor, Sunday school teacher, was born again, he was an airline pilot. And my parents stopped at his house one Sunday after church, left my brothers and I in the car, in Miami, Florida, we are survivors, and they knelt at the coffee table in his living room and accepted Jesus into their lives. God is faithful, God is faithful. A few days before that, my mom was washing dishes in the kitchen, and she heard a voice, and, if you don't know, Methodists don't hear voices, or most. And the voice said, "You asked to know the truth before I died". And she said, "Yes, I did". And he said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life". She didn't know where it was in the Bible, but she imagined it to be there, so she went and looked until she found it. That's the first passage in your notes, it's John 14:6, when Jesus said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

There are not many paths to God, this is not a designer faith. We can't take the biblical, the principles of scripture and rearrange them to suit current culture. We submit to the authority of scripture and the lordship of Jesus Christ, or we shouldn't imagine that we're Christ followers. Now, we struggle, we do it in a halting way, we do it in imperfect ways. We believe in forgiveness and redemption and deliverance and cleansing. But there's a difference in struggling and stumbling and making a mistake, and practicing ungodliness. We should not imagine that you can practice ungodliness and still participate in his kingdom. It's a misunderstanding. It's actually heresy, and it is very destructive, and it's been far too broadly unleashed in the Body of Christ. But God, in his mercy, that, what I shared with you, the experience I shared with you, fractures most theologies that I can build.

My family were pagans when God intervened on our behalf. I had the privilege of growing up with my birth mother, not because I was wise enough to pray, not because I had any standing in the kingdom of God. We certainly didn't understand how to pray for one another. All of you who've ever had a 'let's pray' moment are infinitely more qualified and prepared for a prayer than we were. And yet God in his mercy intervened on our behalf. The grace and the mercy and the power of God changed the destinies of individuals and families, cities, communities, and nations. It's why we gather like we do. And, if you ask me for what happened in my family after my parents had that experience, I can tell you. I was old enough to be an observer.

There was a dramatic, dramatic change in our home. I put in your notes a verse that is the best description I know, it's Matthew 13. Jesus is describing the kingdom of heaven, and he said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hit it again, and then in his joy, he went and sold all he had and bought the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had he had and he bought it". My parents changed their pattern of behavior, what they did for recreation, the people they hung out with. There was a dramatic enough change in our home that me, as a young boy, walked into the kitchen and asked what had happened.

The temperature had come down in our home significantly. And they told me they'd asked Jesus to come live in their heart. And if I would like to do that, I didn't know any better, I knelt on the kitchen floor at 4811 Jackson Street in Hollywood, Florida, and asked Jesus into my life. We were baptized a few weeks after that in Fort Lauderdale on the beach in the Atlantic in front of the Sheraton Hotel. My memories, it was kind of a stormy day, gray day, there was a lot of chop. I remember getting baptized two or three times en route to the people who were doing the baptism. But, hey, when you're a kid... So my spiritual formation didn't take place in a church.

Church was not particularly helpful, it didn't bring a momentum to my life, at least not at that point. Not church in the traditional sense of the place where we gathered on the weekend, certainly church in the context of the body of Christ. But their lives were so different. They would go to Bible studies two and three nights a week. It changed the pattern of how they interacted with my brothers and myself. It changed the tone of what happened in our home, enough that it began to shape our discussions of the future. And it wasn't too long after that, they told us that we were moving to middle Tennessee. They made the decision they didn't want to raise three sons in that South Florida urban environment. Our neighbors had pools, the beach was 8 minutes away, I was good. If I'd understood what Middle Tennessee meant, I would have screamed more loudly when we loaded up the truck.

The balance of what I wanna share with you are really just lessons that I could glean or I'm willing to acknowledge from a godly mom. And the truth is, they both came from our home. These are the ones I probably more directly would attach to my mom, but not uniquely so. And I don't believe they're unique to her. I think those of you who are mothers and grandmothers, I think, to recognize the enormous role you have to play, and how you use your voice and the values that you communicate to your children. You know, parenting changes. I've lived long enough to know that part, portions of parenting are fashion related, and I don't mean clothing. I grew up in a generation where we didn't have car seats. You just had the mother's right arm, It was like a flapper.

Anybody old enough to remember that? You'd be standing, you...I know, brace yourselves. We would stand in the car seat while the adults drove. I don't mean my car seat, the seat of the car. But there are attitudes towards parenting that change like our fashions do. And it's not overly fashionable these days to bring a biblical worldview to your children. And, if you have the desire, I think there's even some timidity around it because we understand that it's a bit countercultural now, that, if they're going into the educational systems, whether it's public or Christian, that there are some differences, but they're not as pronounced as we imagined because the people teaching and leading in those places have, for the most part, been educated in secular institutions. And they've been deeply influenced by our current culture that stands opposed to a biblical worldview.

And I want to encourage you to purposefully, intentionally, consistently, repeatedly help your children learn to fear God, to know that Jesus is Lord, that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except by him. Encourage them, let them see you engage with the Word of God, not just a church, but as a part of your own discretionary time. Let them feel the reality of your faith. Because everything I'm gonna share with you was something I gleaned far more than it was something I was told. Again, we're in a season where the solution is going to come from our homes. Honestly, it'll take the Spirit of God to bring about awakening, renewal, significant transformation. Historically, that has seldom happened from the organized religious settings.

Typically, not uniquely, but, typically, the genesis for that has started outside of most organizations. But what it has profoundly affected is how we conduct ourselves in our homes and with our families. One of the religious leaders in our nation, Christian leader in our nation today, called me, very upset. He's aware of the stand we take on behalf of the Jewish people. And he said 1000 pastors just signed a declaration in support of Hamas. So it's a time when your perspective, in the lives of your children, in your homes, is essential, it's essential.

We've moved beyond, folks, we gotta come past the preference in music styles. I have tastes and preferences as well. But please don't relegate secondary and tertiary things to primary significance. How am I doing? I'm doing all right. So some lessons from a godly mom, takeaways. The first one, and no big surprise, many of you have known my mom. It starts with Jesus. When Jesus became real to her, everything got different. I didn't know her a long time without Jesus, but, I'm telling you, the Jesus version was better. And he'll make a better version of you as well. In John 20, in verse 10, it says, "The disciples went back to their homes, and Mary stood outside the tomb crying". It's resurrection day, and they can't find Jesus.

Now, I know he told them what was gonna happen, but, you know, we're not always great listeners. And, "As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and she saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, and one at the head and the other at the foot. And they asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?' 'They've taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don't know where they put him.' And at this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn't realize that it was Jesus. And he said, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you're looking for?' She thought he was the gardener. She said, 'Sir, if you've carried him away, tell me where you put him, and I'll get him.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!'"

It's Mary Magdalene. Jesus had made a tremendous difference in her life. And on resurrection morning, before there's, before the disciples are looking for Jesus, they're frightened and hiding, a lot of things going on. And Mary's sitting at the tomb, "Tell me where you put him". The angels have talked to her, and it still hasn't taken down the anxiety, the sense of urgency, to the point that she doesn't even recognize Jesus until he addresses her directly.

Folks, Jesus changes everything. Take him with you. Take him home with you, talk about him at home. When you get together with your friends, make Jesus a part of the dialogue. If you talk about your favorite sports team more than you talk about Jesus and what he's doing in the world, where is your allegiance? I'm not saying he's the only thing you have to talk about, but please don't relegate him to a few minutes on the weekend. You're gonna need his help, and you're gonna need his help long before your heart has beat its last time or you've gathered your last breath.

The circumstances that are unfolding suggest we need the help of Almighty God, and Jesus is the gateway. Make him your friend. Let it be as normative in your conversations. I've shared, it's not uncommon, It's a little less common now, my reputation is different, I guess. But, on multiple occasions, I've been asked when I was gonna do a, from time to time, to pray over something, when they're dedicating a new building or they're cutting a ribbon or... They rotate through pastors, it's not... so, they have a list, and your name's next up on the list, and the call will come and say, you know, "Pastor Allen, would you come and dedicate building ABC? We're gonna dedicate..."

And, you know, I say, you know, "Certainly, I'll be glad to do that". And, from time to time, they would say to me, "You know, it's gonna be a very diverse audience, and we would prefer that you didn't pray in Jesus's name". For real, that's not new, folks, that hadn't happened, like, in the last six months, that's not a part of the current administration. You know, we can't blame all this stuff on politicians. Most of this falls at the doorstep of the church. It's just become kind of a fun game, when I get those invitations, and I show up to see how many times I can say the name of Jesus in one prayer. Usually Kathy's there, she kinda keeps the tally. I'll get done and step off wherever to the side, and, you know, she'll say, "Not bad, 14". Or, "You kind of lost your focus. It was only 8 today". Take Jesus with you. It makes all the difference.

We've thrown our bibles out the window and, with them, a God perspective on our homes. We need to repent. Let's pray:

Heavenly Father, forgive us for our arrogance. We have discounted your coaching, we've discounted your perspective, and we wanna assert our rights. We come in humility to say, we wanna yield to you. Lead us in our homes and in our lives, in Jesus's name, amen.

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