How a Mother Can Do What Seems Impossible

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, May 13, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7

Text: 1 Peter 3:7

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Introduction: God has promised in His word that it is possible to raise children and have them turn out right:

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

So we know that raising children for the Lord CAN be done. However, there are a number of things that make raising children for God SEEM impossible:

1. So few Christian children continue to live for the Lord when they grow to be adults.

2. The environment today is so contrary to righteousness. There are so many evil influences upon our children, and we cannot control them all.

3. So few mothers have husbands who will set a good example for the children. The average man is more concerned with making a living and enjoying himself than he is concerned with serving God.

4. So few mothers have husbands who will command the children to do right and will discipline them when they do wrong. Most men are wimps when it comes to raising children. They don’t love the kids enough to whip them properly.

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

God did not design for women to raise children by themselves. However, some have succeeded in doing it. One great woman was the mother of Jack Hyles, who raised one of the greatest preachers of all time. Her husband was a drunk who moved out when Jack was still a small child.

I want to mention some things on this Mother’s Day that can help a mother do what seems impossible. I pray that God will use the message to stir ALL of us to love the Lord and serve Him.

I’m going to draw most of my message from 1 Pet. 3. The passage doesn’t mention the role of women as mothers, as much as it does wives, but it does point out one of the real problems with bringing up children: a husband who won’t live for God.


1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

If a man won’t obey God, the rule for a lady is to show the man how to be obedient by personal example. If such behavior is going to have an effect on a disobedient husband, then you KNOW it is going to have an effect upon your own children. Show THEM how to obey by being obedient!

A. Obey your man

  • See 1 Pet. 3:1 above.
  • Ephesians 5:22-23 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

B. Obey your minister

  • Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

C. Obey your Master in heaven

  • Always put GOD first!
  • Never obey any command by your husband, your pastor, or anyone else, that would cause you to disobey God!
  • Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.


1 Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

A. Depend on the Bible portraits

  • Moses’ mother, Jochebed
  • Timothy’s mother, Eunice

B. Depend on the Bible promises

  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Psalms 3:5-6
  • Psalms 37:4

C. Depend on the Bible precepts

  • The Bible works!
  • Obedience works!
  • Love works!
  • Training works!
  • Beating (spanking) works!
  • Prayer works!


1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Notice two things in the above verse, in addition to the example of submission: 1. DO WELL; 2. BE NOT AFRAID WITH ANY AMAZEMENT.

Bob Jones used to say, “Do right, if the stars fall!” Do right whatever the consequences, but do right!

A. Be committed to your church

B. Be careful about your own walk with God

C. Be choosy for your children

  • About their friends
  • About their schooling
  • About their entertainment — music, books, TV shows, etc.

Do right even if everything seems to be falling apart. Who knows what God might do with you TODAY if you serve God?


Last Sunday was my turn in the nursery to work.
My heart wasn’t in it; my feelings were hurt.
A child from its mother did not want to part,
And she cried a lot with her broken heart.
I prayed that soon the hour would end
So I could relax — no more children to tend.
Soon the hour was over; it felt good to be free.
I said, “Once a month is too much for me!”

The very next Sunday as I sat in the pew —
A very good sermon, but visitors were few.
But down came a woman, and her soul was saved.
She was the mother of that crying babe!
Then it dawned on me that I had been a part
Of one being saved — trusting Christ from her heart
From that day on I will never dread
Working in the nursery while souls are fed.

Author Unknown



Hannah, the mother of Samuel, said:

1 Samuel 1:27-28 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

A. Dedicate your child’s purpose

  • His purpose is to glorify God.

B. Dedicate your child’s plans

  • Be willing for him or her to do ANYTHING that God wants him to do!

C. Dedicate your child’s parents

  • If your husband won’t dedicate himself, dedicate YOURself.

Hang in there, ladies! Keep serving God, no matter what! If your children fail, keep serving God. If your husband fails, keep serving God. If people don’t encourage you, keep serving God!


I have taught a class for many years,
Borne many burdens — toiled through tears;
But folks don’t notice me a bit.
I’m so discouraged — I’ll just quit.

Some time ago I joined the choir,
That many souls I might inspire;
But folks do not seem moved a bit.
So, what use to sing? I’ll just quit!

I’ve labored long in women’s work,
And not a task did ever shirk;
But folks have talked a little bit,
And I won’t stand it. I’ll just quit!

I’ve led young people day and night
And sacrificed to lead them right.
But folks won’t help me out a bit,
And I’m so tired, I think I’ll quit!

Christ’s cause is hindered everywhere,
And folks are dying in despair.
The reason why? Just a bit;
The church is full of folks who quit!

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