|Volume 24 Number 8 August 2022
David R. Kenney
According to History.com, the 986-foot-tall Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889 and surpassed the Washington Monument as the world’s tallest structure. Though now considered a symbol of romance, it was protested as “useless and monstrous” by several French artisans. Fast forward and now consider those comments. The Eiffel Tower endures, and those critics and criticisms are a distant memory.
Pursuing New Testament Christianity is similar. Some scoffed then and now at the restoration plea and process today. Still, worshipping according to the New Testament pattern endures because it is based on eternal truths and an everlasting foundation – the eternal Jesus Christ, His enduring Word and His everlasting Kingdom. God is the one who made all these eternal elements, and even though there may be some who scoff and ridicule our plea to follow the New Testament and its pattern for us, these truths remain. While others may scoff, they are being interrupted by those who seek to worship the Lord in spirit and truth each Lord’s Day. New Testament worship withstands the test of time!
A Credit to Her Name
Many of us know and realize that some of the greatest advice we’ve ever received came from a significant mother or grandmother in our lives. Although Scripture regularly records the instruction, admonition and wisdom of fathers (as given to them through God), it is often the wisdom of mothers that guides their children throughout their entire lives.
What makes the wisdom of mothers so different from the wisdom of fathers is not the quality of wisdom. Perhaps the difference is the willingness of mothers to offer that wisdom through the emotional connection they have with their children. It is not just the words that we remember, but it is the tone, the emotion, the care, the concern, the expectations and ultimately the love with which the words were wrapped that make their wisdom enduring. Proverbs 31 describes such a mother who was a credit to her family and her name.
This woman answered the unending curiosities of a child. “What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?” (verse 2). We know that children are constantly asking questions and expecting their parents to know all the answers. A gift of a mother is that heartfelt interest in a child’s questions. No matter how outlandish they might be, she will respond with some nugget of wisdom that will provide direction and understanding – all described in a way that a child can learn. However, the child is not a youngster anymore. He’s a King – a grown man – and yet, his mother’s wisdom from his childhood reverberates into adulthood and sets standards and expectations.
A mother warns about dangers. Any mother who is a credit to her name warns her children about the dangers ahead (vs. 3-9). She does so because she has seen the outcome and knows the end of those who do not heed such warnings.
She warns her children to be careful with whom they spend their time, and most importantly, to whom they give their heart (Proverbs 31:3). To her son, she says, “Do not give your strength to women.” This mother knows that a man’s heart is fragile, and his strength can be increased by the woman at his side or shattered just as easily.
She warns her children to not drink alcohol or take mind-altering substances (Proverbs 31:4-7). Especially for anyone who has responsibilities, these substances are stumbling blocks and the cause of incalculable sorrows. How many humans live today in fear, shame or sorrow over what happened to them when drunk or was done to them by someone who was drunk? A mother who is a credit to her name warns her children to not drink alcohol.
She warns her children about justice (Proverbs 31:8-9). Her children know they are never to neglect the cause of the defenseless, let alone to take advantage of it. They are to advocate for and judge on behalf of righteousness. She teaches her children to plead for those who do not have the standing that they do. There are those who do not have the words to plead their own causes. We need more mothers who are a credit to their name.