On the second Sunday of May each year, we pause to celebrate Mother's Day. This is certainly the case at Saloma Baptist Church as we gather on Sunday, May 8, and once again honor the mothers of our church family.
The writer of Proverbs spoke of the characteristics of a "noble wife/woman of character" in Proverbs 31:10-31. Verse 10 reads as follows: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." He adds in verse 26 these words: "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Finally in verses 30-31, the writer concludes, "a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."
I think of those strong women in my own life who certainly epitomize what the wisdom writer shares in Proverbs 31. I think of my late maternal grandmother, Dollye Elliott Brockman, who lived to age 94 and was a strong Christian influence to four generations of our family. While she lived a simple life and was a homemaker, she was a strong influence for all who knew her and was in many ways the strong driving force who insisted that chidren and grandchildren would get good educations, serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and live Christian lives. I think of my late mother, who passed away at a much younger age - 63 years old, and she was a strong Christian influence for my brother and me, insisted that do our very best in school, to attend and finish college, and to grow up to be hard working men. She was a wonderful mother and wife.
And I am certainly blessed to be the husband of Catherine (Cathy) Pence Chowning, for soon to be 45 years (in August of this year). She truly is the essence of a "wife of noble character" as the writer of Proverbs discussed in chapter 31. She is a strong Christian, outstanding mother and grandmother, hard working professional in the healthcare industry, and faithful servant for the Lord. I have been truly blessed by the Lord bringing us together and giving us a wonderful life together. I praise God for and honor her during the month of May! In all areas of her life, she expresses the sentiment that the Proverbs writer expressed in chapter 31 about what it means to be a "woman/wife of noble character."
And, yes, God has blessed us with three beautiful daughters and three beautiful and smart grand-daughters (and, yes, I note that we have a great son and great grandson, but this is about the women in my life).
I firmly believe that God uses the women in our lives to do His kingdom work and ministry. I firmly believe that God has blessed my own ministry with strong support and encouragement by the women in my life. And I praise God for the women of Saloma Baptist Church - those who have gone home to be with the Lord and for those who remain in our midst - who are helping move our church forward in kingdom mission and ministry!
Join me in saying thanks to the women in our lives during the month of May and expressing a prayer of thanks to God for the many ways in which He is using them to advance His kingdom.
Pastor John Chowning
Saloma Baptist Church