Summer Preaching Series
June 9, 2019
“What About Women?”
Rev. John R. Larson
Ascension Lutheran Church
When I asked for topics to preach on this summer, Lisa Riebling had a whole list of topics. One of them was to address the unique calling of women. Her study group had been reading Proverbs 31, the section that begins, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:10, 28-29) That section speaks highly about women.
But what do I know about them? What, Lisa, should I say? My daughter, Eden, has a wonderful, lively, daughter named Joy. Joy looks ahead and somehow the conversation of who to marry came up. My daughter made it quite simple for her. “Joy, I only have two requirements of who you should marry – He must love Jesus and he has to have a job.” Good advice.
So, this sermon is either going to be great, or it will fall on its face. It is either going to be wonderful or a dud – nothing in between. I’m going to preach it as if I was answering that very question, “Who should I marry?” to my grandson, Isaac. Isaac is 7 and will be entering the third grade. He has everything going for him – he is a handsome young guy, does well in school, can even catch a football. The only negative I see about him is that he is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. Some young lady is going to get a good guy when Isaac McGurer asks for her hand. This is my letter to him about women.
Isaac, You’re a special guy and I’m glad that you’re my grandson. In this little note I want to tell you everything I know about women. But first of all I want to tell you a joke. Ready? There was this man walking on a beach in California and he was deep in prayer. He looks to heaven and says out loud, ‘Lord grant me one prayer.’ God speaks and asks, ‘What is it?’ ‘I would You to have a bridge built between California and Hawaii, so I can go there whenever I want to go.’
God answered him, ‘This is quite a selfish and materialistic prayer. Do you have any idea the supports needed to hold that bridge up? We’d have to go all the way to the bottom of the ocean to hold it up for the thousands of miles from here to there. Think of all the concrete and steel that would have to be used. The cost of this project would be absolutely huge!! I can hardly justify such a worldly, selfish prayer. You may pray, but ask for something different.
The man thought and said, “Lord, I wish I could understand women. I want to know what they feel like inside, what they are thinking when they give you the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’. I want to know how to make a woman truly happy.’
The Lord paused and then replied, ‘Do you want that bridge two lanes or four?’
Isaac, Let’s get serious – what do I want you to know about women? This is most important – I want you to fall in love with and marry the most beautiful woman that you can find. If you do that your heart will be filled with joy. But I want you to know what true beauty is.
Beauty isn’t found in that person who only has the perfect smile, the perfect face, the perfect shape. Look for beauty that goes to her bones, that lives in her soul. In that section from Proverbs 31 it tells us, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a guy called Peter, the friend of Jesus, well he wrote some great words about what beauty is, he is speaking to women and says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” (I Peter 3:3-5a)
There are many beautiful women who are stunning on the outside and will take your breath away and they are even more beautiful in their words and character and their faith in Jesus. But, Isaac, there are some women whose beauty is only skin deep, they don’t have a love for God’s ways, they don’t have faith in Jesus, they don’t seek the heart of God for the decisions that must be made every day. They are not for you. And if any of them have a name of Jezebel – run away. She’s trouble!!
Isaac, marry the most beautiful women that you can find and then marry one that comes from a good family. I don’t know if you’ve heard of a guy in the Bible called Timothy. St. Paul writes to him and says this about him and his family, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (II Timothy 1:5)
Now, I understand that not everyone who is a true believer in Christ, knows His immense love and seeks to follow Him daily, was raised by a Christian mom and dad, but often times a living faith is received from the earliest days of life. And what you and your wife will leave for your kids (my great grandkids!!) is the best of the best – a faith in God and a love for Him. Good families can be such a blessing from one generation to the next.
I really liked the answer that your mom gave to Joy about who to marry – “A man who loves Jesus and has a job.” Isaac, at my church in Littleton we all got to love a woman who loved Jesus and had a job. Her name was Joyce Wagner. We had her funeral about a month ago and at the funeral her friend and the pastor of this church for many years, Pastor Voigt, compared her to both Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus. I want to read that account. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister named Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)
Pastor said, correctly, that he saw the one who sat at the feet of Jesus in Joyce and he saw the one who had a great desire to use her abilities to serve others in her too. I saw it too. Isaac, isn’t that the great thing about women? They can have both. Mary just sat and took in every word of Jesus. It was her delight. And Martha loved Him too. She worked. She made sure everything was just right in the house. She loved Jesus. When you find somebody find somebody who loves Jesus and who has a job. Find that beautiful lady who can’t get enough of what God says in His word and one who has a desire to serve others using their unique talents in marvelous ways.
Isaac, when you start reading the Bible, look for how God treasures all people, especially women. He cared for them, respected them, honored them, gave them mercy, when some others would not. The first person he showed Himself to following the resurrection was a woman. It was women who collected money to help him pay for food and some of the necessities of life. It may be, right now, at 7 years of age that girls are not so important, but as you grow realize the great gifts that God gave to you and to all by making some folks boys and some girls; some men and some women.
Isaac, there is a saying, ‘Behind every good woman stands a good man.’ Be that good man. I spoke a lot about what you should look for in a woman. What should a woman look for in you? Be a man who trusts Jesus for everything. Be a person of great character. When you marry give her your heart, your ear, your self, your all.
Isaac, who should you marry? Marry the most beautiful woman that you can find. Marry the one who comes from a great family and who allows you to leave behind a great family. Marry a woman who loves Jesus and has a job of blessing this world in great ways. Delight in her; let her delight in you.
I hope I gave you some words that tell you about the greatness of women – God’s purposeful creation. Twenty years from now, when you get married, invite me to come. I can’t wait to meet her!! Amen!!