When you have little kids, it's easy for motherhood to feel like one continuous chore. There's laundry, cooking, cleaning, helping with hygiene, training, discipline and the list never ends. I'll admit last week, I was so stir crazy with fatigue that I mumbled to myself: "I can't wait til these kids grow up so I won't have to do all this."
Ugh. What a horrible attitude....that was quickly checked. I only have a few short years to mother these three kids. Right now this is my ministry and I don't want to do it begrudgingly.
My former pastor used to always teach that as women our first ministry is our home. Preaching to the nations and traveling the world is fine, but if our homes are neglected then our priorities are out of order. He even went as far to say that if you are preaching and your family is left at home, then you need to come off the road or take your family with you. Hard pill to swallow, but truth nonetheless.
Every thing I do in the home is ministry. From fixing meals to putting fresh linens on the beds. I didn't always think this thought. I used to put to women who preached on a pedastal thinking that was the ultimate ministry: to be behind a podium.
Now that I'm a mother, I realize the work, tears and turmoil that goes into building up little lives. Titus 2:4 says "These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children." Loving children when they're babies is easy...it gets hard when they get older and talk back, throw tantrums and make messes. I'm convinced this is why women need to be trained and encouraged to love their kids.
I admit that sometimes mothering can feel like slave labor with few rewards. But it's through this work that mothering becomes ministry. Every moment is precious and teachable. Every task is building upon the foundation of who they will be in life. My home is the place where I'm called to love these children. And I'm the only mother these kids will have.
My ministry includes providing a safe, clean peaceful place for them to come to after a day out in the world. The clean clothes I wash, fold and put away help them to put their best foot forward each day. Every meal I shop for and prepare is an act of love. Praying for them and with them, recounting the same Bible story over and over and even playing video games WITH them is part of my ministry. Loving them comes in many forms.
I know I'll have to remind myself of this when I'm scrubbing yet another toilet or discipling a child gone wild. This time of ministry with my children in the home is just a season that will soon fade into another. There are no re-do's or second chances when it comes to raising children, so I want to devote myself wholeheartedly to this ministry of motherhood.
As I head to check on my little ones who are now sound asleep, and on pull on blankets they've kicked off as well as straighten up toys they have left behind, I take comfort in these words: “But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).