Before I was a SAHM, I would listen to Christian talk radio during my commute to and from work, and occasionally when I’d leave the office for my lunch break. I cherished this time alone, in my car, gleaning so much wisdom from teachers I enjoy, and respect because they teach sound doctrine from God’s Word. Now that I’m home, I truly thought I’d be able to take advantage of this teaching via radio even more. I don’t know what I was thinking; it’s not been the case.
This morning, however, as I was leaving my son’s school, I turned on Moody radio, which is my favorite Christian broadcast network. Not being familiar with the programming guide, I wasn’t sure who I might be listening to. I was happy when I recognized the voice of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, formerly Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Her radio program, Revive Our Hearts, has been a lifeline to me on many occasions. Today was no exception. She, along with her guests, were talking about the ministry of motherhood. Think about that with me: the ministry of motherhood.
One of Nancy’s guests said she receives letters from many young Moms saying, “God has really put it on my heart to write books, to teach, to have a ministry.” Her reply, “What you are doing as a wife, as a mom—what I’m doing pales in significance, except that it’s what God has called me to do. But in terms of impact and longevity and multiple generations and the kingdom of God being furthered, as you love your husband, as you love and train your children, as you train younger women, you are furthering the kingdom of God.” She goes on to say “I think sometimes we want “ministry,” but we forget that we already have ministry. If God has given us children, if God has given us a husband, we have built-in ministry already. Those things are not an obstacle to me doing ministry. They are my ministry. That has to be my first ministry. If I can love my husband successfully according to God’s Word, if I can love my children and nurture them in the admonition of the Lord as Scripture says, then I believe God will bring ministry out of the platform of the diligence that I’ve given to those primary areas God has already called me to.”
Whoa! I have to tell you, this conversation really whet my appetite for more. How many times have I myself questioned “am I doing all I can?” or “is there not more for me?” I have heard Moms talking to each other complaining that there is much more to life than being a Mom; I need something for myself, something to call my own. It may seem like your desires for a career, even your hard-earned rather expensive degree is taking a backseat to the season you’re in as a Mother. Motherhood is a gift, a calling. Sometimes when we’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to forget that. Believe me, I need reminding often myself!
It (motherhood) takes sacrifice. It takes diligence. It takes that self-control that we’ve been talking about. It cannot come from inside us. It has to come from God living out His life in and through us. The tool He uses especially in my life happens to be motherhood. Motherhood actually becomes one of the tools God uses to shape and mold me; as one author said, “to chisel me for eternity.” So if we recognize that motherhood is part of God’s process . . . it’s not an obstacle to God’s process in my life; it is God’s process in my life. It’s that sanctifying, making you into the image of Christ. Again, that’s as we embrace whatever the calling is in the role God has for our lives; there’s purpose to that, and it is through that that we are sanctified.
The interview continued, “We do have to be very, very intentional about getting time to hear God even in the midst of all the stuff that’s going on in our life. It’s hard sometimes. It takes a lot of intentional focus for that to happen. I think that’s probably the most important aspect of mothering, is that our children see and recognize how important the Word is to their mom—that we’re in the Word, that we’re praying for them. They recognize that. They see it. It’s foundational. And hopefully, that gives them a desire to put that as a priority in their own lives.”
What this radio show taught me today is that my calling is ultimately to be a wife and a mom. That doesn’t translate as “I’m only a wife” or “I’m just a mom”. Marriage and parenting are two of the highest callings in God’s economy. To heed this calling is a huge undertaking and will keep us plenty busy. Caring for the home, or managing the household, is a machine. Organizational skills, communication skills, leadership are all required for this job description. It is not for the faint of heart. I feel like there is always a heap to be done around the house. Laundry, errands, groceries, cooking, cleaning, making meals, etc., etc. is no small task. In fact, when littles are around, It can be a real challenge to accomplish even the most minute of details. It’s okay. Patterning and modeling these roles to our children of what a godly Mom and wife look like is time consuming and it’s not a race, rather a marathon. After all, our children are on loan to us from God. We have them for such a short time and our role is to groom them into responsible young adults to live on their own one day. That’s a challenge, folks!
Mothering is like ditch digging. As mothers we can do nothing to persuade or convince our children to love God. We can dig the ditches, but we can’t fill them. We can teach our children about God, pray for them, live the Christian life before them, and expose them to others who love and serve God. But only God can give them spiritual life. God doesn’t need our help, but in His sovereign plan He invites us to take part actively, to co-labor with Him as He works in their lives.