Monday, October 3, 2011

Messages for Mamas

I posted this on my Facebook status, but wanted to elaborate here.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

I think we all (including myself) occasionally need this reminder. When I am serving my family, I'm serving the Lord and I need to walk through every task throughout every day, not as if it's a burden, but as if it is a privilege to serve my Lord through serving my family. When I first learned this lesson as a young Mom, there would be days that I would repeat to myself over and over (usually while doing the much dreaded task of laundry) that "When I'm serving my family, I'm serving the Lord." I think that often the attitude in which we serve our family is very indicative of the attitude we also have while serving the Lord. Especially when He asks of us things that we don't necessarily want to do.

"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless." Philippians 2:14-16

Some translations use the word grumbling in place of complaining. I think it's easy to get frustrated with changing diapers, washing clothes, cleaning a room for the 2nd and 3rd time in a day, taking care of meals, paying bills....the list could go on and on. It's a LOT of work to be a Mama. What we have to remember, though, is that just like any other ministries (and maybe even more important than others), the ministry of motherhood, is one that He has called us to. Being a Mama and wife is a calling. When we walk through life grumbling and complaining about the tasks that are involved as a wife and mother, we are complaining about the very thing that God has called us to.

"As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." 1 Samuel 12:23

While the previous verse is speaking about praying, it also serves as a reminder that when we sin against others it's as if we are directly sinning against God. That means that when you've snapped at your children or your husband, you've snapped (yelled, etc.) at the Lord.

By the same token, Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Which also means that all of the good things we do for our family, we do unto the Lord. When we serve our family with gladness, we serve the Lord with gladness. I heard a definition several years ago that really stuck with me. It was that Obedience is doing what you're told, when you're told with a right heart attitude. I believe I read that in relation to parenting, but I've learned over the years that often I need the very lessons that I'm trying to teach to my children. If I raise my children with a rotten attitude, have I truly been obedient to the Lord. Is that really what He was asking of me?

The Word of God also tells us to "Choose you this day, whom you will serve..." Joshua 24:15

We must die to our flesh (our selfish selves) daily and with our attitudes we make a choice who we will serve each day. Who will you serve today?

P.S. If you ever get a lesson that proves to you that you're doing things wrong, handling things in the wrong way, it is soooooo important to remember that Conviction comes from the Lord to lovingly teach us to walk in His ways. Grab those lessons and learn from them. However, if those lessons make you feel guilty, like you're not good enough or make you feel like a failure, remember that guilt is not from the Lord and it can often be bondage that keeps you from being able to move forward. Take on the lesson, learn from it, ask the Lord to forgive you and work your way to walking out what you've learned. Remember that we don't learn everything overnight. We don't expect our children just to hop up and walk one day, it takes practice and little by little you will get there.