Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
May 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM
The Altruistic Mother


Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday May 11, 2014
The Altruistic Mother
“...she vowed and said...( if thou will give unto me )... a male child, then I will him unto the Lord...” 1st Sam. 1:11.
The Bible asserts that creation is the handiwork of 
God. ( Gen.1, Ps. 19:1 ). It consisted of a six days endeavor. 
The divine process included the making of man , in his own 
image, who was to have dominion over the creation. In 
his divine wisdom, God said, “It is not good that man should 
be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” ( Gen. 1:18 ). 
Hence, God created a female help meet known as Eve. She 
became the first mother in biblical history when Cain was 
Although Eve was the first mother of humanity, the 
Bible identifies an array of mothers in both the Old and 
New Testaments. The mothers had similarities, but they 
possessed great differences and even some unique nesses. 
Our 2014 Mother’s Day sermon will be anchored by the 
life of a mother who prayed to the Lord for a male child and 
promised to give him to the Lord ( 1st Sam. 1:11 ). The 
woman, Hannah, can be labeled as altruistic, a word that 
denotes giving of one’s self for the welfare of another 
without anticipation of returns from the person(s) who 
benefitted from the earlier action. Although Jesus was the 
world’s greatest altruist, Hannah’s commitment to give her 
requested male child was clearly an indication of altruism. 
Accordingly, the sermon today will focus on Hannah as The 
Altruistic Mother. It will include three dimensions, namely: 
a profile of Hannah; impediments to motherhood; and the 
continuum of motherhood. 
Since this sermon is deeply rooted in the history of 
an Old Testament personality, the traditional historical 
anchor will be omitted and, instead, the focus is directed 
to the earlier specified concerns - the first of which is A 
Profile of Hannah. Whereas the word, profile, is defined as 
an outline or contour of the human face, especially the face 
viewed from one side, it will have a wider use in this 
sermon. Its parameters will include the overall person, 
including, gender, living arrangement, general behavior, 
and spirituality, if evidenced. Hence, profile as used herein 
with respect to Hannah encompasses the total person 
known as Hannah. She lived at a time when a man could 
have more than one wife. Hannah, therefore, had to share 
her husband, Elkanah, with his other wife Peninnah who 
was the mother of his children. Hannah, in the meantime, 
was childless. At the time of the yearly sacrifice, Elkanan 
give a portion to Peninnah and to her children. But he, also, 
gave a worthy portion to Hannah because he loved her 
notwithstanding the fact that the Lord had shut up her 
womb. Elkanan was aware of Hannah’s grief and he sought 
to console her by asking, “am I not better to thee than ten 
sons”.(1st Sam. 1:8 ). His attempt to quell Hannah’s grief 
was to no avail because she refused to eat or drink at the 
feast with Eli the priest. Instead, Hannah went to the 
temple place for prayer. “And she was in bitterness of soul, 
and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.” Hannah prayed 
in her heart; only her lips moved but her voice was not 
heard. Eli noted her unusual prayer modality and, incorrectly 
concluded that she was intoxicated and, therefore, asked 
her how long she had been drunken? 
Hannah assured Eli that her action was not from being 
drunk; instead it was an expression of a sorrowful spirit. 
Upon hearing her earnest desire and prayer to become a 
mother of a male child, Eli instructed her to go in peace: 
and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast 
asked of him. Taking a quantum forward, Hannah was 
blessed with a child who was given the name Samuel. 
True to her earlier commitment, Hannah carried the child 
to live with Eli the priest. Beloved, the rest is history i.e. 
Samuel’s leadership and impact on Israel’s history. In 
the meantime, a backward glace shows Hannah as an 
Altruistic mother; she pleaded with the Lord for a male 
child; she promised to give the child to service for the 
Lord; she carried the child to Eli where he would later 
be called by the Lord; and Hannah fades into the annals 
of biblical history. In sum, her profiles epitomize The 
Altruistic Mother. This heart warming account of Hannah 
leads to the second concern of the sermon which is - 
Impediments to Motherhood. This concerns focuses on 
obstacles, problems, and alternatives that have an impact 
on motherhood. There are some biological obstacles to 
motherhood. Infertility, or the inability to become 
impregnated, is a recurring problem not withstanding 
medical technology. It can be traced back to the time of 
Hannah, the person upon which the sermon is based. 
Bareness was a obstacle even before Hannah; it plagued 
Sarah, the wife of Abram. Owing to her initial inability to 
have a child, Sarah encouraged Abram to - in biblical 
terms - go into her maid servant, Hagar. He did and Hagar 
bore him a son who was name Ishmael. Many have been 
and continue to be women who are medically unable to 
have children. 
The second difficulty in motherhood is that of 
socio cultural problems. Included in this configuration are: 
inability to obtain gainful employment to adequately provide 
food, shelter, clothing, and reasonable activities for the 
child. In those infrequent work settings, often the hours of 
long, the pay is low, and the work schedule can so 
frequently render the mother little, if any, quality time with 
the children. 
Another facet of these cultural problems exists in an 
area known as Black Pathology. This expression 
encompasses activities such as the drug culture, 
prostitution, incarceration, child neglect, abuse, and 
even abandonment. 
Sadly, there is another increasing problem area for 
motherhood and it is that of the working mother supporting 
the “pie back” male, not husband, who - drives her to work 
and then uses the vehicle to visit other women. 
In contrast to this reality, there are women who desire 
to be married and rear a family. The problem, however, is 
the fact that there are so few eligible, employed, reputable, 
men available. Therefore, many females choose rather to 
remain single or seek a significant with a large demographic 
arena. In response to this problem, there is a trend for 
females to use medical interventions and/or enter into 
a non legally binding relationship to institute fertilization. 
Despite the array of options and problems associated 
with motherhood, there are an host of dedicated women 
who are yet committed to the sacred task of motherhood. 
This glorious fact leads to the third, and last, dimension of 
this 2014 Mother’s Day Sermon which is - The Continuum of 
motherhood. It is the polarity of contemporary mother 
hood. The range is from altruism to egoism. Essentially, 
this range is submitted to briefly depict the styles in 
motherhood. As noted in the sermon title, altruism, is 
the undergirding word. This style of motherhood is one in 
which the mother subordinates her persons desires, plans, 
and achievements, to actions, prayers, and resources to 
the provisions, training, monitoring, praying, and overseeing 
the child’s safety, development, and general welfare. In 
contrast, the egoistic mother places attention on herself 
first and then, maybe, direct some efforts to helping the 
child. According to a prominent sociologist, not doc, there 
is an emerging pattern known as the “death of motherhood” 
by the biological mother, but - thanks be to God - there is 
the safety net known as the grandmother, a lady who 
undertakes the task of rearing another generation. 
In closing, it is my prayers and anticipation that our 
mothers here are of the altruistic rather than the egoistic 
types. Further, that their child or children can concur with 
Kiplin’s Mother O Mine. 
If I were hanged on the highest hill, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 
I know whose love would follow me still, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 
If I were drowned in the deepest sea, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 
I know whose tears would come down to me, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 
If I were damned of body and soul, 
I know whose prayers would make me whole, 
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 
God Bless, and Happy Mother’s Day
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