Roses or Thistles
Text: Titus 2:3-5
Introduction: Teacher, "Billy if you had four pieces of pie and there was your dad, your mom your brother your sister and you waiting to eat the pie, how much would you get?
Billy, "That's easy, teacher. I'd get a whole piece of pie."
Teacher, "Billy, I said there were four pieces and five people. You don't know your fractions."
Billy, "Ma'am, You don't know my ma. She'd look at those four pieces and say, "I'm not hungry y'all go ahead."
G. Campbell Morgan had four sons all of them became preachers. Once a friend asked who was the best preacher in the family. The eldest son looked at his dad and said, "Oh, that’s easy, my Mother."
Mothers are the most wonderful people in the world. Mothers are the only people whose lives are filled by emptying it for others. Yet even in the beauty of motherhood there can be thistles among the roses. This morning I want to speak on a personal level to mothers. Let's look at the roses God wants in you life and how to rid your life of the thistles.
Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Creating a Garden
Titus 2:3a The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness
Planning The Garden
Paul begins by telling Titus that older women, which we are focusing on as mothers this morning, should behave as becomes holiness
Well okay, what exactly does that mean, becomes holiness? What Paul is saying it that women, Christian women, should act is such a way that they show themselves as someone who is sacred to God.
In other words," Mom, act like a mom, knowing that God has created you and separated you to one of the most important and holy callings in all of His creation. When you understand this then you will act, think, talk, dress in a way that shows who you truly are, a Mother. And there is no greater title that can ever be given.
Selected as sacred.
Motherhood is sacred. How sacred is motherhood to God? When God chose the way that man would be redeemed from sin. He chose a path that would see the Savior brought into this would, as the seed of woman.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Nor is it only God that sees you as sacred. Your family looks to you for purity, honesty, love and truth. They depend on you for those things and they learn those things from you especially as you lead them by your example, by living as a holy person should live.
Mothers are sacred, set aside by God’s plan and purpose to do great things for God through your family. We see this in the mothers proverb
Prov 31: 25-26 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Illustration. She’s A Mother
Once we were out shopping probably at Walmart and LeeOra and I saw one of those People of Walmart, people. You are familiar with the site “People of Walmart” right? Well you should be first of all to make sure you’re not on it. People of Walmart is a website of pictures of people who shouldn’t be out shopping. You know the kind, they dress like they are at their computer terminal at 3am instead of in public. Well this particular People of Walmart was a woman dressed like a streetwalker, a woman of ill repute, someone from the red-light district. And of course she had brought her children with her. I remember LeeOra and I seeing her and then LeeOra’s whispered remark, "She's a mother."
You see she wasn’t dressed like a mother at all. In fact she was hardly dressed at all. It wasn’t right, it did not show the holiness of God’s calling as a mother.
So lets go on in this garden of roses or thistles and see about some of those thistles.
Cutting The Thistles.
2:3b not false accusers, not given to much wine
Pointing Out The Weeds
He says, here are two thistles that can really be a problem in the garden. First, women should not be false accusers, Secondly, not given to much wine.
So, let’s take these in order. What is a false accusers? This is someone who is a slanderer, a gossip, a backbiter. Someone who uses private whispers to try and publicly bring hurt to those they don’t like.
This is what John Calvin, the founder of the Presbyterian church said. I’m not a fan of John Calvin, so this is probably the only time you will hear me quote him. He said, "Talkativeness is a disease of women, and it is increased by old age."
Whoa! How rude! Now remember it was John Calvin not Kris Minefee. I’ll be perfectly honest with you; pastors are the worst gossipers on the planet. But, you know, since this is mother day and not Pastor’s day, I’ve got to beat up mothers, I mean lift up, mothers.
Still we should know what Bible says about gossip and it is harsh.
Proverbs 17:4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Proverbs 26:22-23 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
Then Paul adds, “Not given to much wine.”
This might be written in a the new KMV (Kris Minefee Version) translation as "Old women wino's aren't much use to God."
Let me add any drug, any addiction, any addictive behavior is a detriment to your service to God and will harm and destroy you and very probably destroy you family as well. It anything but God is controlling and directing you then that thing whatever it may be isn’t just controlling you, its trying to destroy you. If you refuse to follow God, then you will be left without protection when the demons of this world come looking for a home.
Growing up with an addicted father, I can tell you personally, I’ve seen the demons and the destruction they left behind.
Thinning the thistles
Its interesting that Paul didn’t give a long list of don’ts in this passage. He only lists two gossip and wine. I think these can be broadened to two categories.
Behavior that hurts others and behavior that hurts self. Why are these two broad enough to cover all others?
Matthew 3:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
If you are hurting others or you are hurting yourself then you’re not growing roses in your life as a mother, instead you are growing thistles. And always remember thistles in the life of mother will very likely be passed to the lives of your children. Isn’t it just common sense to know that it's always easier to grow weeds than flowers. True in our life, and true in the life of our family. This is part of a mother’s special calling from God, to cultivate the good and guard against the bad.
Now let me give you another quote that from a person you will never hear me quote again and to be honest with you I’m amazed I’m quoting here myself. It is such a good quote though I have to share it with you. Here it is…
"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. You are connected to your child and to all those who touch your lives. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." - Sophia Loren
Example. Jezebel's influence on two nations.
Husband ruined the northern tribes of Israel and her son in law the southern.
Cultivating The Roses
Titus 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
He says older women, mothers to us today should teach younger women, children to us today. And this is what he says they should teach.
To be discreet – This word is used three times in this chapter, in verses 2, 4, 6. It is a word describing a character trait that Paul believes should be in men and women of all ages.
It comes from the Greek word sophronos: which means mastery over one’s self, the curbing of desires and impulses, a balanced judgment, a sound mind. This is self-control over bad habits, character flaws impulsiveness.
Homer Kent, "It describes a mind which has been set in proper balance, having gained mastery over itself through salvation which frees from the shackles of sin."
To be chaste, this means they are to teach purity: understanding they should not be polluted by this world and its sin.
They are to be keepers at home. Isn’t that an interesting phrase? The idea here is taht they are to be the keepers of the home. Notice, not the house but the home. Mothers are the ones who guard, protect and keep the home, they take a house and then through their love and teaching they make and keep it always a home.
Paul goes on, They are to be good. I think we can all agree; we need all the "Good mothers" we can get in this world we live in now.
Finally, they are to be obedient to Husbands. This means that they understand how God designed the family and they understand God's order of authority in the home will be the best hope for the future of the family and their children, especially their daughters.
There’s a lot of talk these days about women’s equality, masculine toxicity and a lot of other things that frankly are designed to disrupt and ultimately destroy the family. Judging from the news we see and hear, they have come very, very close. If your family is not to become one of the divorce and even crime statistics, then you need to understand how God intended the family, He created to operate. And that must include the right kind of male leadership.
What it comes down to is the question Are you….
Passing on Good Seeds
Mothers, you are planting a garden in your children’s lives and in others around you. A garden that can help to shape their world and even the wider world they will grow up in.
Think of Abraham's mother, Moses mother, John's mother or Paul's mother. Think of Mary the mother of our Lord. Chosen by God to raise up her child as a sacrificial lamb. These mothers changed the world through their children.
"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln.
Illustration: Naomi and Ruth.
A daughter following her mother. Ruth 1:16-17 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried:
Mothers look behind you, your children are following you. Just like Ruth they are saying, "We are following you, where you go we will go, where you stay we will stay, your people will be our people, your God will be my God, where you die, I will die."
Mothers, you better know where are you going. Where you are staying? Who your people are. who your God is. And where your life will end. You must know, for each of those parts of your life a seed that will grow in your child's life. A seed that will cultivate a rose or a thistle, a blessing or a curse for you children and for your family.
Conclusion: Are There Thistles in Your Garden?
Are there thistles in your garden this morning? Unless you are quite extraordinary then of course there are. I talked to a young mother once about Mother’s Day services, "I get so depressed hearing how big a failure I am as a mother." I admit the examples that scripture asks of you often seem hard. But please remember there are no perfect mothers, there are only imperfect mothers who refuse to quit. Who realize that any calling that God has made, requires the power of God to do it successfully and the forgiveness of God to do again and again, when we fail.
Mothers, follow this guideline and you cannot fail. Add the undying love you have for your family to the unfailing love God has for you. Then subtract your sorrow and sacrifice by trusting in God's patience and power and always remember when there is not enough of you to go around God's love is always multiplied and never divided. - Pastor Kris Minefee