The Ministry of Motherhood 

If you’re anything like me, you often get inspired and challenged by messages you hear at church about missions and those sharing the gospel all over the world.
Stories about rescuing girls, building orphanages, and reaching thousands overseas are thrilling! They always inspire me to want to do my part better. But, if I let comparison creep in, it can often leave me feeling like motherhood is so… Well, small.

For a long time, I sort of lived with the mindset that since I couldn’t do those big things for God (because I’m a mom), there wasn’t much a could actually offer Him. In fact, this misguided pattern of thinking made me feel like I really couldn’t do ANYTHING for Him at all. I didn’t actually see motherhood as a ministry.

Can I be honest?

Then, when I figured out that motherhood IS a huge and important ministry (more on that in a minute), I started to wear it as my banner. Motherhood is my ministry. Please don’t ask me to help with anything else or to speak to my neighbor about Jesus or to share the gospel with the greeter at Walmart. I’m in the middle of mothering. I can’t juggle anything else for Jesus because I’m a mom.

Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is a 24/7/365 ministry. But hear me out as I preach to my own heart a little bit:

If we say we can’t share the gospel because we are too busy being moms, how will our children ever learn to share the gospel? In a class? In Sunday School? What better teacher than their own mother? Who better to model the way Jesus lived? And…forgive me for being harsh, but aren’t we hypocrites to send our children to a class to learn how to share Jesus with others while we never do it in front of them ourselves? Ouch.  {Can I delete that? It’s convicting me even as I type this.} So much “ministry” can be accomplished with our kids in tow (and… dare I say, even with their help?!) The commission Christ gave to tell the world didn’t say, “except moms.”

 

I’m not suggesting we add more commitments or time constraints to our already-hectic lives. Seasons of motherhood shift and change and while you may not be able to be involved in many ministries in this season, you may find time for more in another season. Instead, I’m challenging all of us (myself included) to take ministry with us. Share Jesus everywhere you go. Teach your kids how to encourage others and be ready to share the love of Christ with everyone you meet. It may seem small, but every thing you do as a mom is for His glory. (See 1Cor. 10:31) And we don’t need to look any further than Jesus Himself to see what He thinks about kids. A little context: parents brought their children to see Jesus.  But the disciples tried to shoo them away, frustrated that they’d bother Jesus with their kids.

 “But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’ And He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them before He left.” Matthew 19:14-15

Jesus had time for children, and He willingly gave of His time to pray over them.  Your ministry as a mom all boils down to doing exactly what those parents did: bring your children to Jesus.  Every parenting decision, every response, every disciplinary action—are all opportunities to carry our children to Him.  When we pray over them while they sleep, we are bringing their little hearts before our Savior.  When we teach them to take care of their belongings and clean their rooms, we can teach them to be good stewards of what God has given us.  Do we always get it right?  Of course not.  But we can ask Him for help to love our children the way He does.

Your ministry as a mom truly can be the most important work of your life.  As you model Christ-likeness, you teach your children ministry in action.  As a result, they may grow to lead great ministries themselves one day.  Your work can plant a seed that becomes a forest one day.  I love how Sally Clarkson put it:

“The most important gift you can give your child is to help them begin a walk of faith with the God of the universe.  From the moment your children arrive in your home, you are teaching them how to see the world, what to consider important, what to seek, what to love.  As a mother, you have the opportunity to form your home and family life in such a way that God’s reality comes alive to your children each day.”  (emphasis mine)

Take heart, sweet Momma.  Don’t be discouraged if you are feeling as if you have no ministry.  You have one of the greatest ministries on earth.  But don’t be overwhelmed if you feel as if mothering is all you can juggle right now.  Instead, take baby steps.  Isn’t that how we learn to walk?  Falling a little is natural.  We aren’t born sprinting.  And a baby step or two–praying with the cashier, inviting a friend to church or a lifegroup–is celebrated in heaven the same way it is celebrated here on earth: loud cheering and great excitement!  Keep it up, Momma.  You are doing a great work.

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