John Hagee - The Portrait of a Mother
The sermon today is "The portrait of the mother". And I have the portrait of the queen of the Hagee house in the middle, Diana. To her left are our daughters, Christina, Sandy, and Tish. To her right would be Kendal and Brooks, Dr. Brooks. These are precious women. They're godly women. They're women who bless my 13 grandchildren, which makes them the most important people on planet earth. Give them a hand: will you please?
Read with me Proverbs 31:30 and 31. Ready? "Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman that 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".
Father, thank you for the beautiful Word of God and the portrait of the mother so masterfully given by the pen of Solomon in Proverbs 31. In Jesus' name, let us receive this truth today. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. The portrait of the mother and all successful women is found in Proverbs 31. When the artist of Proverbs 31 lifts his brush to paint the portrait of the woman, who would be the ideal woman, God made her face the face of a mother. When a mother holds the next generation to her breast, and she rocks that baby to sleep at night, she's putting her fingerprints on the next generation that will last for time and eternity, because that son will teach his son, and that son will teach another son. And her laws of righteousness will be maintained for generations. She leaves her footprints in the sands of time.
What Abraham Lincoln said is absolutely true, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world". Think about that. When mothers instill into their children honesty, morality, responsibility, integrity, truth, the work ethic, industry, and a sense of honor, when a mother does that, America's future is secure. Abandon those principles and the United States of America as we know it has no future. Can I get a witness?
The portrait of the ideal woman in Proverbs 31 is not because she's a mother: it's because she's a successful mother. Giving birth to a child does not make you a successful mother. What you do with that child after you take that child home is what makes you a successful mother. Not every mother is successful. They do not enrich the lives of their children: they impoverish them. They become a toxic parent. They do not bless: they curse. They do not encourage: they abuse. Their lovelessness, their neglect, they provoke their children to wrath. Their children then go into the streets. They join the gangs. They learn to sell dope and make more money in a day than their dad can make in a month. And then they go to prison, and life is over, because there was no anchor in the house where they lived.
God's plan for mothers or wives is to be a suitable helper. Genesis 2:18, the Bible says, it is God speaking, "It is not good for a man to be alone. And I will make for him a suitable helper". In all of the words of Genesis, the one thing that God said was not good was that a man should be alone. He created this and it was good. And he created that and it was good. And it was good. And it was good. One thing that was not good, for a man to be alone.
What is the truth about Adam's rib? "Rib" in the Hebrew language nearly always refers to a literal rib. But in 1 Kings 7:3, the Bible refers to a rib that really means the beam, the major supporting beam, in the pillars that held up Solomon's Temple. Husbands may seem outstanding to everyone. But God is saying here in 1 Kings 7:3 that their wife is the beam that holds them up. She is the hidden inward strength and support without which her husband would fall apart. And all the ladies said... Amen.
God's plan for wives and mothers is that the mother and the wife is a person of honor. If she's not honored by her husband, his prayer life will be ineffective. Let me make this very clear to you. God answers prayer. And without his answer, prayer is a waste of time. And so here is the reason why he said to the men of Israel, "Why I'm not answering your prayer". In 1 Peter 3:7, he said, "You husbands, likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way".
Get that phrase in your mind. "Live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel", that means physically, "since she is a woman. And grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life so that your prayers are not hindered". "Hindered" is an old English word. It means "Let," when you hit a tennis ball, and it hits the net, and it goes straight down. God is saying to the men of Israel, when you do not treat your wife with an understanding spirit, and you pray to me, your prayer ricochets off the roof of your bedroom and hits you in the bald head.
The Greek word "Honor" means to greatly value her. Do you recognize and reward your wife for her great worth? Do you tell her how priceless she is? And if you do, when is the last time you did that? You need to make a habit out of praising your wife.
Now let's look at the verse. "Live with your wives in an understanding way". Husbands, say that with me, live with your wives in an understanding way. A frustrated wife shouts, "You don't understand me"! And my answer is, "You're right: I don't understand you. There is no Bible verse that says I have to understand you. But there is a Bible verse that says I have to live with you in an understanding way". And there's a world of difference in those two things. Don't you ever tell your wife you understand her: you don't! You're just saying that so you can get out of the room. Can I get an "Amen," men? Yes, you are.
Listen to God's harsh words to the husbands of Israel concerning their abuse of their wives in Malachi 2:13 through 15. God says, "You cover the altar of the Lord with your tears". Listen to that. "You come to the altar and you weep until the altar is wet with your tears, with weeping and groaning, because God no longer regards your offering or accepts it with favor from your hand". Meaning God is not listening to you. "And you husbands say, 'what is the reason?' and God responds", now I'm quoting the scripture here, "Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Take heed. Let no one deal treacherously against the wife of his youth".
God says, men, if you do not treat your wife in an understanding way, I shut your prayers off, I'm not listening to you. Wow. God's plan for mothers or wives is to have a loving leader. Two weeks ago, we discovered in the Bible that the husband is the high priest of the house. But now let's go further, because Saint Paul writes in Hebrews 4:14 and 15, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, who is passed into the heavens, who is Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness".
Listen to that verse, "Sympathize with our weakness". Understand this too, Jesus is the only person in heaven who understands you as a human being. No one else has been to earth and lived like a human, only Jesus. That's why he's your advocate. God the Father doesn't understand it until the Son tells him about it. Does your wife have a priest in her house like Jesus, who sympathizes with her weakness? Instead of laughing at her or shouting at her, you sympathize with her weakness and help her. How did Jesus treat women? He was our example. He was the defender of women.
In Mark 14, when a woman took an alabaster box full of costly spikenard that cost her a year's wages, and crushed it over his head and body, anointing him for his death and burial, when she did it, she was attacked by Judas, saying, "You wasted it! You should have given it to the poor". Have you ever noticed that when you do something sacrificial to honor the Lord, there's always someone with a Judas complex? You wasted it. You should never have done that. There's always the case. Jesus said, "Leave her alone". Say that with me, leave her alone. Translation in the new Hagee translation: shut up.
Jesus instantly stopped the funeral procession and turned it into a parade by raising that dead boy back to life. Why? One, to heal the heart of his broken mother: two, he, this boy, was the only financial source of finance for his mother. There was no government assistance then. Whenever your husband died, your hopes and dreams died with him. Jesus's was forgiving.
In John 8, a woman was caught in the act of adultery. And the pharisees came, rocks in hand, saying, let's kill her. I always wondered where they were to know that she was committing adultery. But that's for another sermon. Jesus looked at her and said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more". I mean he broke all the laws of Moses right there on the side of compassion, the amazing grace of God.
In Solomon's mind, and at the pen of God, the successful mother invests herself in her children. I very seldom agree with the communists, but I agree with Joseph Stalin when he made this statement. He said, "America is one generation away from being an atheistic nation". And that's true. Even if it came out of the mouth of a devil, it is true. When one generation of mothers in America or Europe or in the world, seize to teach their children the way of the Lord, and they abandon the house of God, and they fail to teach their children to pray, and they fail to teach their children the principles of morality as established in the Word of God, when they turn their children over to the state, as early as possible, to rear them, and the state has thrown this out and the Ten Commandments out, you need to know that one of the marks of socialism is to get the children away from the parents as soon as possible.
America will fall into the abyss like other nations, rotten to the core, because children have been separated from the Word of God. But you, dad, and you, mother, can instill this into their minds as children, and read it with them, and pray with them. I didn't learn to pray when I went to the schoolhouse. I learned to pray at my house. Parents, quit trying to blame the public school for what's wrong with your children. If you send a hoodlum to school at 8 o'clock, a hoodlum will come home at 3:30! Can I get a witness? You teach them to pray and obey. Get those two words, pray and obey.
When I was a child at home, I didn't have to guess if my mother was praying. You could hear her all over the house. One day when I came home from football practice from Reagan high school in Houston, my mother was washing the dishes. That was before there were dish washing machines. She was reading the Bible, in the window, the kitchen window. She was memorizing the book of James, which she did. I walked in and I could tell by the look on my mother's face, heaven was in that room. I went and sat down to have supper because it was about 7 o'clock. And uh, I said, "What's on your mind"? Because I saw tears forming in her face.
Now my mother never cried unless it had to do with the Lord, prayer, the word. I mean, never cried other than that. She said, "The family across the alley that just moved in, they have a little boy that has epilepsy like your brother. And the Lord just told me to go over and pray for them, and that little boy will be healed". I said, "Mother, those people are new to the neighborhood. They think we're religious kooks anyway". I said, "Why can't you just leave those folks alone"? Well I might as well have said, "Sick 'em". I mean she was out the back door, across the alley, knocked on the door, introduced herself, and three minutes later, I heard her praying in my house from the house across the alley.
Six months later, we were in Weingarten's. That was the heb's of Houston. And that woman came running across the supermarket to my mother, and saying, "Mrs. Hagee, since you prayed for my son, he has never had another seizure".
God bless the mothers of America and around the world, who are taking time to pray with their children, because you are literally saving their lives. For the good or the evil, two of the most dangerous criminals that ever terrorized America were raised by Ma Parker. Her sons became the most vicious gangsters in America, taught by their mother to be criminals.
On the side of the good, there is Susanna Wesley, who had 19 children. Just think of it. I had five and they sounded like an army. When they brought their friends over, I found a room that I could lock myself in and hold till the storm passed by. But 19, think about it. She said, "I took time every day to pray with every child". She said, "The house was so full of children: the only way I could get privacy was to throw my apron over my head and pray". But she had two sons, John and Charles Wesley. John and Charles Wesley formed in Europe and in America what became the methodist church. Millions of people were saved by John's organization and by Charles writing songs. And it was built that produced the first spiritual awakening in America. Who did that? One mother with two sons shook the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God bless you, Susanna Wesley.
The woman in Proverbs 31 was not only strong, but her mouth was filled with the law of wisdom and kindness. "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness". Does this describe you? Are your words continuously bitter and angry? Are your moods vicious or vindictive? Do you carry a grudge for weeks? Do your children fear you? Does the dog in your house hide behind the door when you come in the house? Do you manipulate your husband with rage, pouting, or sulking, or sexual abandonment? It's called manipulation. I have a sermon on witchcraft with three words, "Manipulation," "Domination," "Intimidation," all in the Bible, witchcraft. Believe me, you can go to church and sing "Amazing grace" and practice witchcraft in your marriage. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
Let me say this in closing. This woman in Proverbs 31 is a composite woman. It's not one woman. No one woman can do all of this. But what the essence of the chapter is, is to liberate women from the bondage that you can't do anything. Because in the Bible, basically all they could do is have children and serve the man. But Solomon says a woman is liberated to be a committed believer, verse 30: perfection personified, verse 12: you can be the mother of the year, verse 28. You can be a philanthropist in verse 20. In verse 16, you can be a gifted real estate investor.
Verse 14, you can be a gourmet cook of foreign foods. And that's where Mexican food is located in the Bible right there. That's Machacado right there. You can be the farmer of the year, verse 16 and 18. You can be the discipline exerciser. I'll move right along there. You can be a brilliant diplomat, verse 26. You're never concerned about her age, verse 25. Give me a break. You can be a top saleswoman selling her product on a national basis. She makes an entire wardrobe of winter woolies for her children, her husband and the staff, verse 21.
She never complains. That's in verse 12 and verse 26. I simply don't believe that, but it's in the Bible, so I'm saying that. She never gets tired, verse 15. Her husband sits around chatting with the guys at the city gate, never helps her with the house, and she does all this. What about that?
Let me give you a break. This is not one woman: this is a liberating verse that says, you can live life that's unlimited. You can do what your husband can do, because you are his equal. You have that ability. We live in a world where a righteous woman is a pearl of great price. Solomon had a thousand wives. I just can't wrap my head around that. And he's called the smartest man in the world. I have trouble with that. And he says, "A righteous woman, a good woman, is worth more than great treasure and rubies". And then he says, "Who can find"? He had a thousand, and evidently he hadn't found one.
That's the point. So I'm saying to you, you can't be all things to all people. But God has given to you a gift. He's given to you an ability that he hasn't given to everyone. Find out what it is, and do it better than anybody else, and you can live life without limit. Can we stand? I'd like for every mother in the audience to raise your hand. I want to pray for you.
Father, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, look from the balconies of heaven, and bless every one of these precious women who lift their hands before the throne of God. I ask you to send your angels before them to prepare their way, and behind them to be their rear guard. I pray that you would give them wisdom and strength to rear their children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. I pray that they do not grow weary in well doing, because we live in a mad house generation. May your peace, your joy, and the love of God that knows no limit, flood their hearts and minds today, as they pursue with a passion the purpose of God in their lives. Amen. Amen. Amen.