Being Put Forth By Her Mother

The abundant but bitter fruit of several sins is seen in the account of the murder of John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12). Herod lived in the doable sin of incest and adultery having married Herodias, his brother Phillip’s wife. While Herod celebrated his.birthday in revelry with his companions, the daughter of Herodias, Herod’s niece and now his step-daughter (Salome of history), danced immodestly before the king.

In his excited delight he promised with an oath to reward her with any gift she may name. The text records that “being put forth by her mother (being before instructed of her mother - KJV), saith, Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. “Some of the fruit of immorality, immodesty, vile passion, a rash vow, and improper parental training is borne as the voice of one of God’s most dedicated, the forerunner of Jesus, is stilled.

Concerning the guilty mother whose sin bore bitter fruit in the shame of her ill-trained daughter we wish to make farther comment. Unlike Queen Vashti, the Persian queen (Esther 1:9-12) who forfeited the crown rather than come before King Ahasurerus and his company to show her beauty, Salome in the beauty of her youth danced before Herod and farther complied with her mother’s heartless request.

From 2 Chronicles 22:3, we read of Ahaziah: “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab; for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly.” A mother can then, whether knowingly or ignorantly, plant the seed of mach sin and sorrow in the heart of her child. As did Herodias, one can educate and encourage her daughter to do wrong. Instead of training her to esteem inward beauty, feminine skills, to be a worthy woman and a good wife, she can accustom her to physical beauty alone, excessive emphasis on the material, and an inordinate attractiveness to men. Often when a daughter is thus tutored, that which is attractive attracts and having little principle upon which to react and resist parity is exchanged for sorrow. The cries of the mother, “What happened? Why has she done this to as? We gave her everything her heart desired!” do little to mend the heart now pierced or lessen the shame.

A pleasant personality, cuteness, femininity, and the beauty that God has made is not out of place but can be misused and over emphasized. Old but none the less true is the adage, “Beauty is as beauty goes.” Beauty fades as impurity, immorality, suggestiveness, indelicacy, obscenity, and coarseness appear. Beauty and bawdiness are not found together.

On the other hand, nothing is more attractive and properly appealing to a good man the inward beauty of purity, delicacy, softness of speech, kindness, and cleanliness. The wisdom of God through Solomon said: “A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies...Strength and diginity are her clothing.. she openeth her mouth with wisdom: and the law of kindness is on her tognue....Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying: Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: And let her works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:10-31).

One has said: “If honour be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime, but if clothing be your honour, it will soon be worn thread­bare.” Let each mother who reads these lines take care how she puts forth her daughter into the world. -- by Jim Rury in LOCUST LIGHT.

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