A GODLY MOTHER - A TYPE OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

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[Proverbs:31:10-31]

Lesson No.: 
228
Class: 
Senior
Memory Verse: 

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:  but  a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised" ([Proverbs:31:30]).

Cross References: 

I The Qualities and Attributes of the Bride of Christ
Of rare, precious excellence, [Proverbs:31:10]; [Isaiah:62:3]; [Deuteronomy:32:10]; [Luke:12:32]; [Luke:18:8].
Trustworthy, [Proverbs:31:11]; [2 Kings:12:15]; [2 Chronicles:34:11-12]; [Nehemiah:7:2]; [Daniel:6:4]; [1 Corinthians:4:2]; [Revelation:17:14].
Faithful in that which is good, [Proverbs:31:12]; [Luke:19:17]; [Hebrews:3:5]; [Revelation:2:10].
Industrious, having willing, conscientious application to duty, [Proverbs:31:13-24]; [Romans:12:11]; [1 Corinthians:4:10-12].
Draws strength from God, [Proverbs:31:14]; [Exodus:15:2]; [Psalms:46:1]; [Psalms:73:26]; [Psalms:84:5]; Psalms:89:21].
Diligent in service toward God and man, [Proverbs:31:15]; [Proverbs:22:29]; [Romans:12:6-8]; [Hebrews:6:10-12].
Farsighted, [Proverbs:31:16]; [Hebrews:11:8-16].
Clad in spiritual armour, [Proverbs:31:17]; [2 Corinthians:6:7]; [2 Corinthians:10:4]; [Revelation:19:7]; [Ephesians:6:13-17]; [1 Thessalonians:5:8].
Has good perception of the Word of God, [Proverbs:31:18]; [1 Corinthians:2:9-16]; [James:1:22-25].
Alert and watchful for her Lord's coming, [Proverbs:31:18]; [1 Thessalonians:5:8]; [Matthew:25:1], [Matthew:25:4-7], [Matthew:25:9-10].
Full of charity and thoughtfulness of others, [Proverbs:31:19-20]; [1 John:3:16,17], [2 Peter:1:7]; [James:1:27]; [Isaiah:58:6-7]; [Acts:20:35]; [Romans:15:1]; [Galatians:6:2]; [1 Peter:3:8]
Has confidence in God, [Proverbs:31:21]; [Psalms:3:6]; [Psalms:20:7]; [Psalms:23:4].
Clad in garments of righteousness, [Proverbs:31:22]; [Job:29:14]; [Revelation:3:5]; [Revelation:7:14]; [Revelation:19:8]; [Revelation:21:2]; [Luke:15:22]; [Isaiah:61:10]; [Zechariah:3:4].
Lives for her Bridegroom, her desire is in Him, [Proverbs:31:23]; [Romans:7:4]; [2 Corinthians:11:2]; [Revelation:19:7]; [Luke:14:33].
The godly virtues are hers, [Proverbs:31:25]; [Ephesians:5:23-27].
Possesses an eternal hope, [Proverbs:31:25]; [1 Corinthians:15:19], [1 Corinthians:15:49-54]; [1 Thessalonians:4:13-18].
Abundant in the Spirit's fruit, [Proverbs:31:26]; [2 Peter:1:5-8]; [Galatians:5:22-23].
Evangelistic to those who are outside the fold, but still responsible for those who are within, [Proverbs:31:27]; [Revelation:22:17]; [2 Timothy:4:1-5]; [1 Peter:5:2-4].
Has the approval of God and man, [Proverbs:31:28]; [Romans:8:16]; [Galatians:4:6-7]; [Isaiah:62:5].
Has a life that is above reproach, [Proverbs:31:29]; [2 Peter:3:14]; [2 Corinthians:6:3]; [1 Timothy:4:12]; [Titus:2:7-8].
Does not depend upon her own works for her salvation, [Proverbs:31:30]; [Romans:3:20]; [Romans:11:6]; [Galatians:2:16]; [Ephesians:2:8-9]; [Titus:3:4-5]
Has all the Christian evidences, [Proverbs:31:31]; [John:15:1-16]; [Colossians:1:10]; [Philippians:1:11].

Notes: 

For our Mother's Day lesson this year, this portion of the thirty‑first chapter of Proverbs has been chosen. The question has been asked, "Who can find a virtuous woman?"  The qualifications of a virtuous woman are set forth in these verses.  They picture the character of a woman of genuine worth. What a wonderful world this would be to live in if every mother brought her life to the standard of these verses!

An eminent writer of the past said that the mother of John and Charles Wesley literally fulfilled this Scripture. He had traced her life from her birth to her death and had never found her equal among the daughters of men.

In our own generation we have known one woman whose life stood high above the mothers of our day. She was Florence L. Crawford, the founder of the Apostolic Faith Work. Her life as a mother and leader hasset a high standard and example for the mothers of this day. This thirty-first chapter of Proverbs was a favourite passage of Scripture with her. She used it much in preaching and teaching on the Bride of Christ.

The standards of this chapter have been applied to a woman, andwe believe the spiritual meaning refers to the Bride of Christ, which means both men and women.

The New Birth

The first qualification for a virtuous woman and for membership in the Bride of Christ is the new birth, at which the heart is cleansed from sin by the Blood of Jesus. The Spirit of God quickens the soul and makes italive. This is more than Just a decision to serve Christ. It is more than "turning over a new leaf." It is an experience wrought in the heart by the Blood of Jesus.  Sin goes out and a new life begins. Without that experience of the new birth, sin will dominate the life and it will be impossible to live the high standard set forth in this chapter. With sin destroyed and the heart made pure, the soul starts on its upward climb toward the much­ sought‑for price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Spiritual Virtues

Peter gives us some instruction on how to acquire many of these virtues. "According as his divine power hath given unto us an things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity" (II Peter 1:3‑7).

Trustworthiness

"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her."  Trustworthiness is a rare virtue today. How many of our men went overseas in the past war to fight for our country, and came home to find that the affection of their wife had been turned toward another man. The Bride of Christ is trustworthy. Though Jesus tarries a long time, His Bride will remain true. He will have no need of spoil.

Willing Service

"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."  There is nothing lazy about the Bride of Christ. Paul made tents and supported himself and those who laboured with him. As he worked he preached Christ to those idolatrous people.

Many of our saints work all day and rush to get to street meeting in the evening that they might have the opportunity of telling the story of Jesus to the wayfaring men on the street. In every phase of our work the same could be said. Our musicians toil all day and in the evening use their talents to present the Gospel in music and song, a willing offering unto the Lord. When our missionary vessel, the Lower Light, goes on its missionary trips with its crew of workers, every one of them works. There are no "idlers" on board. There are many other avenues of service that are also filled by willing servants of Christ. The sick are visited, kind words are spoken, literature and tracts are printed and distributed personally or through the mails, the church taken care of that it might be clean and in­viting, to name but a few of the long list.

"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar." She feeds on the Heavenly Manna. Jesus told His disciples one day that He had meat to eat that they knew not of. While the disciples were away buying meat for dinner, He sat on Jacob's well and told a thirsty soul about the Water of Life.

The person who is constantly drawing his spiritual food from Heav­en is ready, day or night, to arise and minister to the sick, the poor, or whatever the need may be. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them" (Jeremiah 15:16).

Fruitful Field

The Bride of Christ is ever on the lookout for a fruitful field for the Gospel. When she finds fertile son, she considers that field and buys it. She maketh fine linen and selleth it that she may have money to buy that fruitful field. Then she goes to work to plant a vineyard. She labours untiringly to build a church and establish the Gospel in that fruitful field. She girds her loins with strength; and though the enemy may come in like a flood, she has strength to combat the powers of hell.

Winds of Adversity

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for an her household are clothed with scarlet." Ill winds may blow, adversities may come; but she is prepared for them. She has been constantly building her faith to meet the hard problems of life. There is no fear in her heart. She can sing songs in the night; for she knows that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.

Wisdom and Kindness

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Possibly this is the most distinguishing excellence of all her virtues. How few have attained unto it. You are a blessed man or woman if this can be said of you.  It can be, through the grace of God.

"Helpmeet"

"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land." She has honoured and respected her husband and has done him good and not evil all the days of her life. She has fulfilled that for which she was created -- a helpmate to man.  "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband" (Proverbs 12:4).

In this same way does the Bride of Christ have all her desire in Christ.  The holiness of God, exemplified in her character, draws people to respect and honour the Christ.

Loving Tribute

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed." All over our land on this day, children are paying loving tribute to their mothers. If they have godly mothers, they have received a heritage worth more than silver or gold or houses and lands; and they feel that no gift would be too lavish to bestow upon her. Unfortunately, many children have no such heritage. The past centuries has witnessed a great departing of many mothers from the clean, modest, virtuous life, to that of drinking, smoking, and revelling. The effect of that kind of life is seen in their children and in too many young people of today. The old adage, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world," shows the influence that is wielded when sin abounds or when righteousness reigns.

Vain Beauty

"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain." Many women deck themselves with the ornaments of this world, trying to appear beautiful to people; but inside, the heart is deceitful and desperate wicked. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. A woman who possesses true religion has a grace that brings harmony to the soul, purifies and refines all tempers and passions, and gives her that ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Praises

The Bride of Christ is looking forward with joy and yet with humble gratitude to the commendation she will receive when she meets her Lord in the air. The fruit of her hands, the talents gained, the life she has lived, will "praise her in the gates."

"Who can find a virtuous woman?  for her price is far above rubies."

Questions: 
  1. Who does this virtuous woman represent?
  2. What is her price?
  3. Where does she get her food?
  4. How does she plant a vineyard?
  5. Why is she not afraid of the snow?
  6. With what ornaments does she deck herself?
  7. What is said in our lesson about beauty?
  8. Who praises this virtuous woman?