Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Train Up Tuesday: The “Small” Kingdom Work of Being a Mom

Last week I referred to the “small” Kingdom work of being home with our children (indeed, being a Mom). I received some feedback when I posted the link on Facebook appreciating the reminder of our “small” Kingdom work. This week, I’d like to encourage you by referencing a book I just finished reading - “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God,” by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald and one I read about a year and a half ago - “Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother,” by Carolyn Mahaney. I highly suggest both books for those of you seeking to be a biblical, godly wife and mom.

I want to encourage you today not because your work is trite and you need a self-esteem booster, but rather, I want you to really understand the value and importance of what you do.

I know as a mom, there are days when you wish you could be saturated in the Word or being heavily involved in an outside ministry (other than your home). There can be a danger in feeling that our family is getting in the way of actually serving in the Kingdom. When we feel that way, it is likely that we have lost the vision of seeing that serving our family indeed is worthy Kingdom work. Now, I’m not suggesting that your life should be an “us four and no more” situation. And I’m not saying that in our service to our children, that our home becomes child-centered.

However, in today’s culture, we have been “educated”, “enlightened”, and “liberated” to believe that real service happens only outside the home. And we all want to make a big change to impact the world now more than ever. So how can being a mom ministering at home make a real eternal impact for the Kingdom?

I’ve come to love the passage in Titus 2 relating to our roles as wives and mothers, but it wasn’t until I read Carolyn Mahaney’s book (“Feminine Appeal”) that I came to understand that all that Scripture wasn’t given just so that Christian families would have a more blessed or happy life together. The older women were commanded to teach the younger women how to be godly wives and mothers so “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (verse 5). Some translations say “so that the word is not reviled” or even “so that no one can speak evil of” or “criticize” God’s word. Wow! That means that what we do in our “small” kingdom affects how the world sees Christ (Christianity). Are you starting to see how big of a deal our job as wife and mother truly is?

Perhaps you are thinking, “yeah, but so much of what I do is tedious work...not real life-changing, anointed stuff.” It sure can feel that way. But, as Stacy McDonald says in “Passionate Housewives,” that is a wrong assumption because “the hands that bathe your baby at night are no less holy that the hands that serve you communion on Sunday.” The mundane daily tasks can be a holy act when we do them as “unto the Lord.” We are responsible for cultivating our children into God’s precious warriors and ambassadors. We are responsible for creating an environment of worship in our home. It doesn’t just stop with our immediate families, either. Our homes can provide outside ministry opportunities as we open them up and let them shine to an outside world as a city on a hill, as they were intended to be, by inviting people into the Kingdom (by way of our “small” kingdom). Each of us has been given special gifts that we can use in our homes not only to enhance our homes, but to enrich our families and train our children...which can lead to a heritage of having that Titus 2 testimony.

So don’t get discouraged, my sister, in the routine of your housework and mothering “duties” that seem to sometimes go unnoticed or as you ache to be on a “real mission field”. I close with this quote from “Passionate Housewives”:

“Jesus made himself of no reputation. He did not seek after degrees or recognition. He was content to stay in a tiny area and minister to a miniscule group of people whom the world viewed as insignificant. Kind of like a homemaker, under the authority of her loving husband, ministering to the children who need her.”

Be encouraged wives and mothers!

Much love,



The Barbee Family said...

WOW, I really needed this today, so much that the next time I see you I am going to have to give you a hug. Thanks Ashlie, this was great!!

HPS said...

Ashlie, this is wonderful and something I think about so often. It slo is one of the biggest reasons rwav was formed. Thank you for reinforcing and the encouragements. I imagine I'll need this encouragement even more in the days ahead as life as I know it is about to cease!

Melanie said...

Amen! I do not regret any of the time I have spent with my children in the "small Kingdom" work of being a mom. Having just laid my 12 yr. old son's body "to rest" 5 weeks ago, I do not regret the years of home schooling, praying with all of my children, giving up my wants/needs for theirs and seeing to it that they know Jesus personally. It is a BIG job, a HUGE privilege but it truly has ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE which we are just really understanding.

AmyA said...

The book "Feminine Appeal" is such a wonderful and encouraging book, and I'm so glad you highlighted it!

Ashlie Miller said...

Ladies, thanks to each of you for the kind feedback. Melanie, what a beautiful testimony! I look forward to reading more of it on your blog.