We all want a ministry. We want to be working for God. We want to be valuable to His kingdom.
All my growing up and for many years after marriage I felt so guilty; though I was saved I was not bringing people to church. I tried, but they just wouldn’t come. And every sermon on being fruitful just made it worse. Though I’m an introvert by nature, I often stepped out of my comfort zone and did the best I could to talk to people about God.
It just didn’t seem to do any good.
Then the day came when it dawned on me that in nature fruit is not new plants. No, “fruit” is the seed bearing organ that under the right conditions plants the seed that produces new plants. The Bible teaches that we are to produce fruit, not plants! And Paul tells us the Fruit (singular, by the way) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, goodness, kindness, faith, self-control, and gentleness.
I realized if I am growing in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faith, self-control, and gentleness I am pleasing God, and these character traits demonstrated in my life will often lead to “New Plants” in Christ because of my example.
It is not my responsibility to save people, but to draw closer to God and obey Him (which does often mean talking about Him to others, which actually got easier when I realized the above. It’s like the pressure to perform, to sell God, was off and I could just simply share my heart.)
Then there are the sermons commanding us to “tell everyone you meet this week about Jesus! Go out and bring them in!”
Well, you know what? As a HomeMaker, it is not unusual for me to not see anyone but my immediate family for an entire week except those at church. When my children were all little, Hubby even did the grocery shopping since it was easier for him to do on the way home from work than me with all the little ones tagging along. So I literally could not obey the minister’s instructions. I was so frustrated- to tears even!
I know how important it is to witness to others. I now everyone who doesn’t have Jesus is on the way to hell and needs to be told about the way out.
But how can I witness to anyone when I never see anyone?
And I felt very strongly God wanted me home to raise my little ones myself instead of handing them off to hirelings (babysitters). He even clearly lead me into homeschooling, so we aren’t talking a couple of years of babyhood here but a career that will have a natural lifespan of some 38 or more years (9 children twenty years apart from the oldest to the youngest.) And wouldn’t it be hypocritical to give my children to a daycare worker so I can go out and minister?
What about her ministry?
Then I read an article about our ministry at home.
In this particular article (who’s address I lost a long time ago. Sorry) the author (a Stay At Home Mom) was at a leadership conference with her Hubby. On the way to one of the sessions an grandmotherly type patted her hand and said “It’s ok dear. You will have a ministry someday too.”
At that moment it dawned on her (and me in reading about it) that she ALREADY HAD A MINISTRY! She was responsible for evangelizing those precious souls God had assigned to her through birth!
We in the Christian world have bought into the world’s view of motherhood as a nothing, unimportant job; something you do if you can’t find anything important to pursue. It’s grunt work, like ditch digging before backhoes were invented; someone has to do it but it is distasteful, wasteful of energy, and anyone can do it.
Oddly, though, many with this view would object to my statement above about keeping a daycare worker from ministering by hiring her to care for my children.
”Being a daycare worker IS a ministry to those children!”
Yep, it is.
And so is being a Mommy to my children.
Mommy is, in fact, the most important ministry there is.
It is the job of Drill Sergeant training the next generation of Warriors to worship at the feet of our King.
It is the job of college professor teaching the leaders of tomorrow.
It is the job, above all, of missionary to (small) people who need Jesus just as much as my neighbor, the store clerk, and the president of the United States.
I no longer feel guilty at the calls to evangelize those I meet every day. I already do by:
- Reading my Bible and praying to them every night before I tuck them into bed,
- By studying the Bible as our first subject in our homeschool day, including memorization, songs, and reading the Word itself.
- By praying a quick “God make it better” at every skinned knee.
- By stopping our housework to pray for a need just texted to me by a church member or friend.
- By living and growing in the Fruit of the Spirit before their eyes in a day to day basis where they can see everything. You can’t hide flaws from toddlers living in your house!
- By making my own morning devotions a priority every morning (which I will admit gets much easier as they get older). This lays an example to them as well as strengthening me.
My babies ARE my mission field. They are the work God has called me to. He called me to the Ministry Of Mother-