A Gracious Woman

Retain Your Honour Ladies!

Proverbs 11:16

March 14, 2021  Mother’s Day

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.     Happy Mother’s Day everyone!


A.   What is so Special About a Mother?


1.    Every one of us had a mother

2.    But she is neither common nor normal

3.    She is not just a woman who had children

4.    No

5.    She is a Momma


a.     I know here in Ireland, she is called, Mum, and Mom, and Mother, and Mommy

b.    But where I grew up, she was called Momma


6.    She is very special

7.    And she probably only discovered how special she was the day she married her man, and willingly changed her name to his


a.     When she left her family, and willingly chose to follow someone she HOPED would keep his vows – it takes someone special to do that!

b.    There had to be something special in her when she, and her husband stared down all the problems and obstacles they faced when they started their lives together as husband and wife, with no idea how to succeed, except by faith

c.     That takes a special kind of person

d.    She definitely had something special in her when she chose not to build a career, but to build little lives into big lives - to not just bring children INTO this world, but also to raise them in spite of this world


8.    That kind of a woman is not the norm

9.    She is not just a parent of children

10. She is a Mamma

11. She is someone that had the privilege of being a something fewer and fewer people want to be… a Mother, a Momma

12. God honours you Momma’s, and will honour you even more on day in His presence

13. And as a Christian man, and as a husband, and father, “I” want to honour Momma’s everywhere, with all the honour that God gives them

14. So this morning, I want to honour all the Momma’s who stay married, who stayed with their pregnancies, who loved God and loved their families more than their own lives; who took the training of their children seriously, and sacrificed everything so that their home was a little heaven on earth

15. May the Lord bless and protect, and encourage all the women who are known as Momma!


II.   Introductory Thoughts (Proverbs 11:16)


A.   I read this Scripture a few weeks ago, and it really impressed me…


1.    Proverbs 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

2.    In those two statements, God says a lot

3.    Let me show you what I learned


B.   This world desperately needs some special kind of mothers today – Momma’s


1.    Just being a Mother is amazing – we men have no idea

2.    Motherhood is a good thing! It is an honourable thing!

3.    But children growing up today need mothers that are better than good.


C.   Our world, our culture, our western society needs Godly mothers


1.    Not the “Desperate Housewives” of Hollywood. 

2.    But fearless, faithful, and gracious mothers!

3.    And I want to focus on that last word this morning – ‘gracious’


D.   We need Godly mothers BECAUSE our world is filled with foolish mothers:


1.    Mothers that are NOT teaching godliness by their example, but godlessness. 

2.    Many of the foolish young lives being wasted that we see on the news every night were destroyed many years ago at the hands of a mother that taught them foolish things instead of right things.

3.    It used to be just bad friends that affected our children. Now it is the Mom and Dads that are teaching children to live without God – without prayer, without grace, and without anchors for their soul

4.    And so this generation – THIS generation right now, is being robbed of purity, of their potential, of their future, and they have no peace.


E.   Yes, Husbands and Dads share the blame, and the fact that so many dads aren’t even in the home anymore, is a huge factor…

F.    But our world needs some better Moms - some Moms who will do whatever it takes to hold onto the honour of being a Mom!

G.   By God’s Grace!


III.         Message


A.   Let’s Define the words ‘grace’, and ‘graciousness’


1.    The ability to put up with someone that is not like you


a.     Doesn’t like the things you like

b.    Doesn’t do the things you want done

c.     Yet you tolerate it and are not upset over it


2.    The ability to love someone that is unlovable

3.    It is Undeserved Kindness – being kind to people who do not deserve it


a.     Did you understand that?

b.    Grace is when you are gentle, kind, soft towards people

c.     And being that way consistently – not just once in a while

d.    Graciousness is a way of life, a way of speaking, a way of loving

e.     Especially as a woman

f.     We have enough angry men – our world does not need a load of angry women joining the mix


4.    The opposite of being gracious is to be an arguer, aggressive, fighter, brawler


a.     Proverbs 21:9  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

b.    Proverbs 21:19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.


B.   Gracious Women are Becoming Rare


1.    There are a lot of hurt women today, and it has made it that…

2.    Graciousness in women is mocked and rejected today - looked down upon


a.     Called weak - a pushover – a doormat - a slave - dominated

b.    No heroine in movies today is gracious

c.     Female movie stars are all battling super-villains, and saving the world from destruction, and battling for first place in the corporate world, and conquering all the things that all the “super-MEN” have failed to conquer

d.    The kind of woman the world promotes is the physically strong, the aggressive, the powerful, the leader, the conqueror

e.     Feminists hate femininity


3.    But according to God, physical abilities are NOT the mark of a great woman - Graciousness is

4.    Proverbs 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.


C.   So, GRACE is important to God – God loves Grace!


1.    God is Almighty, all holy, but He loves having GRACE

2.    Luke 4:22  And all bare him [Jesus] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

3.    John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

4.    John 1:16  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

5.    Remember this verse – we will look at it in a few minutes!

6.    John 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


D.   God has such amazing grace towards US


1.    He puts up with people who are so opposite of Himself – that is us

2.    He LOVES people who do not love Him back yet

3.    He is patient, kind, full of compassion

4.    And He is that way CONSTANTLY whether you believe it or not

5.    And yet He is not weak, or a push-over, or timid, or wimpy at all – He is almighty – He is sovereign, and all powerful

6.    Yet He loves being gracious


E.   Aren’t we all glad for HIS grace, and gentleness?


1.    Listen to king David in Psalm 18:35  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

2.    Listen the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8,9  For by grace [GOD’S KINDNESS] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

3.    Salvation is a gift GIVEN to us simply because God is kind, gentle, gracious




A.   Proverbs 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

B.   Solomon makes Two Great Statements


1.    A gracious woman, holds onto her honour

2.    And Strong men hold onto their money and don’t waste it, or lose it

3.    You may see that is weird, but they reflect a great truth!

4.    I will start with the second half of the verse, first


C.   God Honours Strong Men


1.    Proverbs 11:16  Strong men retain riches.

2.    That is a good thing

3.    Men should be strong


a.     We have to start teaching young man to be strong again

b.    Strong enough to work a full day

c.     Strong enough to withstand temptation

d.    Strong enough to carry the burdens of other people who need help instead of being only a couch potato

e.     Do hard things, risky things, exciting things

f.     God honours that


4.    Perversion of the new bibles…


a.     ESV Prov 11:16 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.

b.    NIV Prov 11:16 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.

c.     NKJV Prov 11:16  A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches.

d.    You ought to throw away those “new” bibles folks

e.     Evidently all the new bibles were written by bitter women, who hate strong men!


5.    The Bible says strong men retain riches.” (Proverbs 11:16)


a.     It is like a boxer, holding onto his title – world champion – fights to hold onto it

b.    In the same way, a strong man holds onto his income, and doesn’t waste it, and lose it gambling, and drinking, and smoking it away

c.     If somebody tries to rob his money, he will tackle them to the ground and get it back


6.    May God give us a new generation of strong men


a.     Not angry men

b.    Not lazy men

c.     And not men who live FOR wealth

d.    But men who are men of strength – not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual – godly men


1)    Men who don’t waste their money – spend it on themselves only

2)    Men who do the right things in God’s sight

3)    Who will not do wrong, even if the whole world is

4)    Who will keep themselves as pure as the woman they want to marry one day

5)    Men who know they are men, and not confused, or hating themselves, and trying to change their gender

6)    Men who set out to get JOBS (repeat), and pay their own way, and stay out of debt, and save back money, and not waste it like most men have these days on cigarettes, drink, entertainment, and sex…


7.    God Honours Strong Men who hold onto what the world is trying to rob them of – AMEN!


D.   God Honours Gracious Women


1.    Proverbs 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

2.    To be a Gracious Woman means:


a.     Be Meek and Quiet as a person


1)    Not loud, fierce, angry, pushy

2)    But meek – strong, yet strength under control


b.    Seeking to be like Christ, and like His will and design for your life


1)    Not hating your body, or your gender

2)    Not rejecting God’s will for your life

3)    Not wanting to be like Beyonce, or Kamila Harris, or Angelina Jolie

4)    NOT like anyone else in the world

5)    But to be like Jesus Christ!

6)    THAT is honourable, praiseworthy!


c.     And any woman who has such honour should hold onto it, by God’s grace


3.    A Gracious Woman Holds Onto Her God-Given Honour


a.     So, In the same way that a strong man holds onto his income, and doesn’t waste it, and lose it gambling, and drinking, and smoking it away,,,

b.    A godly woman refuses to let the world define what is honourable

c.     She has let GOD define her:


1)    By birth she is defined as Female - As a Woman – and not a man – thank God!

2)    By her choice and by training she is defined as Feminine

3)    By her love for one man for life she is defined as a Wife

4)    By a miracle of pregnancy she is defined by God as as a Mother –– and it IS a miracle

5)    By her new birth she is defined as a Christian

6)    By Christ’s calling she is defined as a Servant of Christ and of all around her

7)    And ultimately she seeks to be known as Christ-like – by whatever suffering she may endure until heaven


d.    A gracious woman holds onto her honour AS a woman! A gracious woman will NOT let anyone take that honour away from her!

e.     Because the honour of being a woman, and especially a Mother is so important


4.    By the way, God honours strong women – just not hard women – there is a difference!

5.    Examples of Gracious Women Include:


a.     Abigail (1Samuel 25)

b.    The great woman of Shunem (2Kings 4)

c.     Sarah, Abraham’s wife

d.    Ruth

e.     Hannah – became gracious (1Samuel 1,2)

f.     Mary, the mother of Jesus

g.    Dorcas in Acts 9

h.    And a dozen more

i.      Every one of them were stronger than the fiercest feminists today!

j.      And every one of them are honoured by God for all eternity?


V.   Becoming Gracious


A.   Every woman so wants to be beautiful in the eyes of others


1.    They want a perfect body

2.    A perfect face

3.    Perfect hair

4.    Beautiful clothes

5.    But there is a higher priority

6.    God says ladies need grace


B.   So, Receive Grace First


1.    Ladies you need God’s grace

2.    Every one of us will face the wrath and judgment of God unless we get our sins forgiven by His Son

3.    God’s grace is all wrapped up in Jesus!

4.    John 1:16  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

5.    Get Jesus into your heart and soul!

6.    Accept the gift of God’s kindness – His graciousness – which is His Son, Jesus into your life!

7.    Not only believe that He died for YOUR sins, but that he loves you and has grace towards YOU, no matter how far away from God you may be!

8.    Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

9.    Titus 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men

10. So, first thing, right now, Receive saving grace from the Lord Jesus yourself – Jesus said you must be born again

11. THEN, once you have received God’s Amazing Grace, you will be able to give it away


C.   Get Trained in Grace (Titus 2)


1.    Young ladies need TRAINING in graciousness when young

2.    It is more than just being nice

3.    Being gracious is something that must be learned

4.    Ladies, you do not need more training in


a.     Anger management

b.    Or in beauty products

c.     Or in body building

d.    Or in how to develop bitterness, or arguing, or fierceness


5.    You, just like all of us men, need to be trained in having grace! Being gracious


a.     Hebrews 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear

b.    To have grace means, be gracious towards one another – not so cruel, and harsh


6.    And that training HAS to come from you older Christian ladies (Titus 2:1-5)


a.     Titus 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

b.    Titus 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

c.     Titus 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.


1)    Soberness – THINKERS, not just emotional

2)    Loving their husbands, instead of just tolerating them

3)    Loving their children – not spoiling them

4)    Discretion is carefulness about how they act, dress, and talk

5)    Chaste means reserved, not aggressive and fierce

6)    Keepers at home – not trying to run the world

7)    Doing Good, instead of evil like discos and pubs

8)    Obedient, submissive to your husband – that has to be learned


d.    Young women NEED to be trained in all those things by you older, godly ladies

e.     So that God’s word is not mocked!


D.   Grow in Grace (2Peter 3:18)


1.    2Peter 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2.    Grow in the grace that God has towards you

3.    And grow in the amount of grace you give to others


E.   Extend Grace to everyone around you (1Peter 3:1-6)


1.    Especially in your home, with your husband of all people!

2.    Strive to be gracious towards your husband, first and most of all!

3.    The Apostle Peter describes it all here in 1 Peter 3:1-6


a.     1Peter 3:1  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;

b.    1Peter 3:2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

c.     1Peter 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

d.    1Peter 3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

e.     1Peter 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:

f.     1Peter 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.


4.    Do you read that Scripture with disgust, or with repulsion?

5.    Then go back to the first thing I said… You NEED to first realise how much you need to receive GOD’S grace towards you, and only THEN will these words become your way of life!




A.   Moms… it is Mother’s Day

B.   Have you lost the honour of being a Mom? Or have you retained it – held onto it?

C.   Do you desire to be a gracious Mom, who holds onto the honour of being a Mom?

D.   You need to hold onto what God gave YOU, like a strong man holds onto his money!

E.    If you have lost your temper, and your honour…

F.    You can go back and start over again

G.   That is what today is all about

H.   A second chance

I.     Ask God right now, to take away any hard heart you might have full of hurt, and to replace it with a soft heart, full of grace, and full of Christ!