Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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I've got to tell you, it caught me off guard; tears as I was watching the news. It was all Kevin Durant's fault. The Oklahoma City Thunder star was accepting the NBA's MVP award. Nothing you'd expect to be a tear-jerker, until he dedicated his award to his mother who was in the audience. It turns out at 21, she was a single mother, on her own with two young sons. This mountain of a man said to his Mom at that ceremony, "You made us believe. You kept us off the street, you put clothes on our backs, food on our table. When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us."
By now, Kevin Durant was losing it. His Mom was losing it. My wife and I were losing it. Then came his reach-for-the-Kleenex conclusion, "You're the real MVP."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Mother Test."
I mean, a son unashamed to tell the world how much he owes his mother. A mother who surrendered any "entitlement" for the love of her sons. Oh, it was just awesome!
I began thinking about four questions that we need to ask ourselves, whether or not we are a mother. First, a question for sons and daughters. Are you focused on what you appreciate about your mom or what aggravates you about mom?
Kevin Durant was actually doing one of the Ten Commandments at that award ceremony. "Honor your...mother." He saw her sacrifices, not her shortcomings. He was about gratitude toward his mom, not attitude. We choose what we focus on. And as the child Mom gave life to, we can elevate her or crush her as nobody else can. At the funeral, we'll talk about all we loved about her, but she can't hear it. We should tell her now.
Then number two, we've got a question for mothers. Are you investing your best in your children or in something else? See, there's never been more distractions, more pressures pulling a mother every other way. More of a "selfie" culture telling a woman she's "entitled" to put herself in the center. Strangely, Jesus said, "If you try to hang onto your life, you're going to lose it" And that we find our life in the process of giving it away (Luke 9:24).
The legacy of a mother's life will not ultimately be the title she held, the people she impressed, or the activities she was in. No, it's going to be the child she marked as no other person on earth can. Like Kevin's Mom who sacrificed herself for her sons. That's what makes any mother "the real MVP."
Oh, and I think there's a question for single men. Are you looking for just a girl to marry or are you looking for a great mother for the next generation? It's hard to see it when you're all passionate and lovestruck. But the girl you marry will indelibly shape your children, and ultimately their children and more. You're not just making some five or ten year choice here. You are marking future generations with that choice for better or worse.
And I think there's a question for single women here. Are you focusing on the qualities that are always beautiful or the ones that fade with time? The Bible describes in Proverbs 31, a woman who is "more precious than rubies." Whose children "bless her" and whose husband "praises her."
And in our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 31:30 it narrows it down to this, "Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." You have to defy the cultural drumbeat to be that kind of woman, because our culture is so much about what's on the outside. But what makes a woman great is her heart: unselfish, pure, truthful, positive, gentle, compassionate.
A woman with a sense of eternity, like the grandmother I met who had this prayer on the wall in her bedroom: "On that great Resurrection Day, may I stand before my Savior and say, 'Here am I and the children You gave me."