Posted by: gbake783 | May 11, 2011

Mother’s Day Sermon Thoughts

Katharina von Bora – better known as Martin Luther’s rib – is an inspiration to the modern Christian wife and mom. Converted to Reformation Christianity while a nun and smuggled out of her convent in (or “among”, but “in” is a much better story) barrels that previously contained herring, she steadfastly refused to marry just any other suitor – she wanted Dr. Martin Luther himself.

Luther resided with several students in a former dormitory for Augustinian monks. And, to put it kindly, wasn’t exactly a candidate for a Good Housekeeping award. Katie remedied that. She sanitized the squalor, commandeered the school’s finances in order to free her husband’s lucid mind, managed the group’s livestock (legend has it that she sometimes slaughtered the animals herself), and ran multiple small-businesses to supplement the bottom line. Luther took to calling her “The Morningstar of Wittenberg” because of her habitual rising at 4:00 am to tackle her daily tasks. Oh, and by the way, she raised  ten children: she bore six and adopted four. What would TLC name that reality show?

To say Katie demonstrated wholehearted support for her husband’s cause sells her short. Katie absorbed herself into Luther’s world. His aspirations became her’s. When Luther plotted a course, Katie let down the sails. Luther’s continental visions were stabilized by Katie’s domestic infrastructure.

Martin Luther had for himself an “excellent” wife (Proverbs 12:4). The Hebrew word translated excellent is chayil, which communicates dignity, courage, nobility, and exactitude. An excellent wife and mom is no wimp – she’s neither lazy nor haphazard. She manages her family with military-like precision and economy, yet with that special grace God bestows upon women in double-measure. As Proverbs 31 says, an excellent wife is not a fearful one. She not only trusts in God, but rests confidently that her faithful preparations will meet her family’s needs even in the face of trying circumstances. The excellent wife is a crown, indeed.

Katie also fit Solomon’s description of “prudent” (Proverbs 19:14). The Hebrew word refers to wise and insightful organization that lends to success. The prudent wife skillfully manages her responsibilities, which, in turn creates the type of domestic tranquility husbands crave. Prudence and melodrama are simply incompatible. Katie’s prudence was like a piece of great engineering – her efficient execution was conspicuous only by its absence.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).


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