Do Not Forsake Your Mother's Teaching

The following is adapted from the sermon, "Do Not Forsake Your Mother's Teaching."

The book of Proverbs begins, "The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel." He was a great king and the son of a great king. That means he was famous and powerful and supreme in all the realm. People bowed in his presence. They did what he said. He had immense authority and honor.

How did he treat his mother in this exalted role? You recall his mother was Bathsheba. She had married his father David under very ugly circumstances—very displeasing to God. But she was his mother, and this is what it says in 1 Kings 2:19,

Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right.

Then they had their conversation. He rose for her. He bowed to her. And he called for a throne to be put beside his for their conversation. She was his mother. Even kings should stoop when their mothers enter the room.

Solomon wrote in the first chapter of Proverbs,

Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and do not forsake your mother's teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9)

As sons and daughters—whether old or young—let's remember that the deep satisfaction that comes from honoring all the truth that our mothers taught us also comes back to them as a crown of joy and honor and blessing in their later years.

Do not despise your mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22).

Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you. (Proverbs 23:25).

Do not forsake the teaching of your mother. It will be a wreath of grace to your head and a crown of joy upon hers.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.