How can we find true joy in motherhood?
2. Embrace motherhood as your full-time MINISTRY.
It’s always amazed me that if a woman wants to be a doctor, a teacher, a musician, or whatever other career you might think of, many long, dedicated years of schooling plus an internship are usually required. It is necessary that one be trained WELL by someone with more experience in the field of their choice before beginning their full-time career.
And yet, one of the most important jobs, if you will, in the world, is the responsibility of raising the next generation---and there is no required, or even available education for motherhood. In America, motherhood is something you do when you’ve finished doing everything you wanted to do for yourself FIRST.
I’d like to encourage you today to embrace motherhood, not only as your full-time job, but as your full-time ministry. We often think of ministry as something visible we do in a church setting, like sing in the choir, work in the nursery, come to church work day, or decorate for ladies meetings.
Consider this, however. Jesus Christ never sang in a church choir. He never worked in a nursery, cleaned a church building or decorated for ladies’ meetings. And while the "spiritual" leaders of His day were busy criticizing Him for not perfectly living up to the law, we would all agree now that He was VERY busily involved in ministry.
Jesus primary ministry was MAKING DISCIPLES. While other ministries are good, our primary ministry as mothers should be MAKING DISCIPLES of our children.
For me personally, I enjoy public ministry as much as anyone. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes, playing the piano for a beautiful cantata, teaching a successful class, or some such other “ministry” can seem more rewarding than changing a stinky diaper, training a little one for obedience, getting up 2 or 3 (or more!) times a night because some little one "needs Mommy" or picking up the toys all.day.long. You see, no one shakes our hand, pats our back, or says, “great job!” when we fulfill our at-home ministry.
It goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and unpraised.
And yet, wasn't it the same for HIM?
Mothers, you ARE involved in full-time ministry. Embrace it and you WILL find so much more joy in motherhood.
There is much talk today about “me time”. Women are said to need a certain amount of “me time” in order to be fulfilled and have joy. I would argue that learning to selflessly embrace the ministry of motherhood will bring more joy than all the “me time” in the world could! Let go of the worlds' cry for more money, status, iced coffees and manicures. Reject the longing for a perfectly decorated home, perfectly in-shape body, and the accomplishments of all of your real-life or blog friends. (You know what I mean----SHE grinds her own wheat, SHE sews all her children's clothes, SHE coupons and save ridiculous amounts of money, SHE has 35 kids and is the perfect mother. SHE grows all her own food, wakes at dawn for 2 hours of devotions with the Lord and milks her own cow to make yogurt for her family. See? All of us struggle with these same thoughts!) Instead of dwelling on what you are NOT, embrace what you are---YOUR children's mother.
If we are true followers of Jesus, we can see that making disciples of our children IS ministry! It IS important, even vital to the cause of Christ and His church! You see, Jesus didn’t spend his time teaching in the fancy religious buildings and ministering to the religious crowd…..instead, He was found with the hungry, the dirty, the lonely, the sinful, the mistreated, the misunderstood, the forsaken, the lost. He wasn’t being praised in the city gates for His ministry----no! They wanted to kick Him out of the city and stone Him!
We would all agree NOW looking back at Jesus’ life that His ministry was important, regardless of what the religious leaders of the day thought of it. So it is with our ministry as mothers. Teaching, training and discipling our children to follow after Jesus Christ IS vitally important and we will find such joy when we embrace motherhood as our full-time ministry.
Don't forget to check back for Part 3, 4, and 5 in our series---"Love Your Children the Way GOD Loves YOU", "Parent Your Children With GRACE", and "Teach Them Diligently".......