Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How To Praise A Woman

Today I want to talk about “How to Praise a Woman”
My scripture is from Proverbs 31:10-31
A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lamp. He picked it up, rubbed it - and out popped a genie. The genie said, “Ok. You released me from the lamp .. blah, blah. This is the 4th time this month and I’m getting a little sick of these wishes, so you can forget about 3. You only get one wish.”  The man thought about it for a while and said, “I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I’m scared to fly and I get very sea sick. Could you build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to vacation?”  The genie laughed and said, “That’s impossible. Think of the logistics of that feat! How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific ocean? No, think of another wish.”  The man thought about it and said, “I’ve been married and divorced 4 times. My wives always said that I don’t care and that I’m insensitive. So, I wish that I could understand women .. to know how they feel and what they’re thinking.”  The genie said, “You want that bridge with 2 lanes or 4?”
Well men may not understand women, but one thing we do know is that women like to be praised, and to feel loved. But we all know that even though men possess this knowledge, they don’t use it as often as they should. So today, ladies, I’m going to be your advocate and tell the congregation… “How to Praise a Woman.”
Let’s read Prov 31:10-31
Guys, would you like to have a wife who’s a 10? Well, how about a 12? See, I’m gonna give you 12 things from this text to think about. Now listen, I don’t want you to grade your wife. We all know that 10s are unrealistic, and so are 12s. Just remember, you’re not exactly perfect either.  And likewise, ladies, I sure don’t want you feeling guilty if you don’t meet all 12 of these. I doubt that anyone does - for the Proverb gives us the picture of an ideal woman. That’s hard to live up to!  The point is that when you find something praise-worthy, you should give praise. Phil 4:8 ends by saying, “if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” If you can praise your wife, your mother, anyone .. for anything, you should.  Likewise, kids, you ought to praise your mom .. your grandmother .. your aunt .. or any woman in the church, for any of these virtuous qualities she possesses.
So here’s my list - 12 qualities that are praise-worthy when you find them.
#1 - v. 11 - “The heart of her husband trusts in her.”  I wonder, how many of you praise your wife (or your mom) because you find her to be someone you can trust. In fact, not only can you trust Mom to get something done, but she always has a way of doing it before you ever think about it.  Moms have a 6th sense. How many times have you said, “Honey, can you ...” and she just waits for you to finish and says, “I already took care of it.” She does that because she is trustworthy /dependable.  If the lady in your family is TRUSTWORTHY (put a flower in the vase) you should praise her.
#2 - v. 12 - “She does him good .. all the days of her life.”  That tells me 2 things I want to roll into this point. First, if a wife does you good, that means she builds you up. And let me tell you, we all know that we’re not always worthy of all the good comments they bestow upon us. Women have that unique way of telling their husbands and their children exactly what they both need to hear, and want to hear. Indeed, they build us up and do us good.  Moms are the only people in the world who could watch their husband or their kids mess something up terribly and still smile and say, “But you sure looked good anyway.”  Second, if a wife does you good all the days of her life, that means she is a close companion to you. Hey, an excellent wife .. an excellent mother .. is also an excellent companion you love to spend time with.  Good COMPANIONSHIP is worthy of praise.
#3 - v. 13 - “She works with her hands.”  This concept is repeated several times in the proverb. In vv. 13, 19, 24 - we catch several images of the mother who sews to meet her family needs. In vv. 14, 15 - we’re reminded that Mom does the grocery shopping and then takes time to cook as well. The proverb even reminds us that women often work outside of the home. Verse 16 talks about their “earnings” and v. 24 talks about her “selling merchandise.”  When’s the last time you thanked your wife or your mother because she sewed a button on your shirt, mended a torn pair of pants, cooked you dinner, or earned some additional income for the family?  Verse 27 says, “She does not eat the bread of idleness.” Guys, it reminds us that we’re not the only ones working. In fact, I say without any reservation - it’s always the ladies who hold the church together.  Praise the HARD WORKING woman who goes the extra mile.
#4 - v. 15 says, “She rises also while it is still night.” v. 27 says, “She looks well to the ways of her household.”  That tells me she cares greatly for her family. Oh, how thankful you should be for the wife who gets up in the middle of the night to care for the crying child. And I’m not just talking about newborns.  I’m talking about those nights when a child wakes up sick, and you don’t even know about it until the next morning. But Mom did. Her ears were tuned in to her child while you were sleeping the night away.  I think v. 15 really alludes to the early morning hours before the sun comes up. Mom’s already up, preparing to get the kids ready to send off to school.  It’s praiseworthy to have a Mom who is always CARING for the family.
#5 - v. 16 says, “She considers a field and buys it.” That doesn’t just speak to her willingness to work. It speaks to her wisdom. Verse 26 even says, “She opens her mouth in wisdom.”  Guys, do you really value the input of your wife? Let me tell you, if you have a wife who speaks with wisdom, you ought to pay more attention. They may just save you from embarrassment a time or two.  On top of that, a wise woman ought to be consulted before you make plans. In fact, I think a wise husband can only be so - if he is smart enough to consult his wife before he steams ahead with plans that will only irritate her.  Praise a woman for her WISDOM that she imparts to her family.
#6 - v. 20 says, “She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.”  How blessed you are if Mom is a loving person, not just towards you, but also towards people in the community. Her good deeds become known to all - causing the entire community to speak well of her - and consequently of you too. It’s a blessing to know that people speak highly of her - even when she’s not present.   If the woman in your house is COMPASSIONATE, you should feel doubly blessed. What a great quality that blesses everyone.
#7 - v. 21 says, “She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.”  Mom is always prepared. Kids, you ought to thank your Mom everytime she remembers something you forget .. everytime she thinks of something you don’t think of .. everytime she plans ahead and bails you out of a jam. Mom’s are always so prepared. Just look at some of those purses they carry around!  Praise the woman is always PREPARED when no one else seems to be.
#8 - v. 22 says, “She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.”  Guys this is the one you may like the most. Women go to great lengths to look good for you. When she does, you better pay attention and let her know you noticed.  Kids, the same is for you. When Mom dresses up, let her know you think she’s lookin good. Everyone should compliment Mom when she makes herself ATTRACTIVE.
#9 - v. 23 says, “Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.”  You know what that means? It means she makes you look good! And it may be in spite of the fact that you’re a jerk anyway. Hey, if your wife makes you look good .. if she gives you a good reputation .. you ought to bow down and kiss her feet.  I know several women who continually make their husbands look bad (and that can be for a variety of reasons). Praise be to the wife you makes you look good .. who causes you to have an outstanding REPUTATION. Don’t take that lightly.
#10 - v. 25 says, “she smiles at the future.”  Oh, how pleasant it is to have a Mom in the  house who isn’t always worried and fretting about everything - but instead is optimistic about what life has ahead of her. Optimistic people are encouragers .. dreamers .. and help to establish goals. Don’t you just love being around optimistic people.  Men, give praise to your wife if she’s OPTIMISTIC .. looking ahead with pleasure. She just makes your life so much more pleasing.

#11 - v. 26 says, “the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”  Oh, how blessed you are if Mom is a pleasant talker, not a person continually griping and whining about everything. A person who speaks with kindness, is a teacher of kindness. Kids, you should thank your Mom if she models kindness in her speech - because it will rub off on you, and you’ll learn to speak appropriately. You know, I can’t think of many things that are better than speaking with a woman who always has kindness on her tongue. There’s just something special about a kind woman.  A good woman seems to have PLEASANT WORDS for everyone. Why don’t you return her love and speak pleasant words to her.
#12 - v. 30 says, “a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”  If your wife, or your Mom, loves God ... you’ve got it good.  Love her, praise her, for her DEDICATION in helping build a Christian home.
There’s an old proverb that says, “Flowers leave their fragrance on the hand that bestows them.”   Men, women love to receive flowers. That’s because they attach meaning to them. Why else would a Mom be so happy to receive a handful of dandelions from her child? She realizes what the flowers symbolize. So men, when we give flowers, we need to remember to attach some meaning to them in our own minds.  But we need to go beyond that and actually verbalize the thoughts and feelings too. Women need to hear our praises - and we need to give them.  This bouquet that we just made is more meaningful since I attached significance to each of the flowers as they were added to the bouquet. So, this Mother’s Day, don’t just hand your wife a gift - tell her why she deserves the gift!  

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