My family currently serves in the inner city in New England as missionaries. We are currently revitalizing a church that was started in the 1800’s. Ever since my senior year in high school I knew the Lord had called me into ministry. I saw myself living in a hut in Africa or ministering to the outcasts in India. Instead the Lord had different plans and placed my family in the second largest city in New England. Even though we are in America our city is 2.5% evangelical.
In my visions and dreams of living in full time ministry I think I was naïve in thinking what it would be like with children or being pregnant. I love ministry and I love people, but having a toddler running around or a baby attached to you makes it very difficult to have meaningful conversations or serve, like I had imagined at 18 years old. At first, I was frustrated about this. In my mind I was thinking, “why can’t I serve in a way that I believe the Lord has designed me to be?” I was telling God what he called me to do, rather than recognizing what he actually called me to do. This was until I read this verse:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17.
This hit me like a ton of bricks and honestly took me a while to fully understand this concept. In this verse, we are being told that in everything we do; word or deed, do it to glorify Christ. After reevaluating my life, I concluded I was not doing what was prescribed in this verse. My days were filled with changing diapers, cleaning dishes, folding laundry, and playing with my daughter, while my husband was away working for the church or meeting people. When we had mission teams I was either chasing my daughter around or watching her in another room, so the group could meet. I was frustrated that I was home and not doing “ministry” every day like my husband was. I thought I wasn’t doing enough. How foolish.
I was telling God what he called me to do, rather than recognizing what he actually called me to do.
I was failing to remember where my first ministry was, my home. In Genesis 2 God created woman for man to be his helpmate. My first ministry is to my husband. I am called to pray, love, serve, and help my husband. I can do this in many different capacities. I can encourage my husband in his work, I can serve him by providing him clean clothes, a clean house to come home to, I can help him in ministry by watching the kids in specific ministry events or doing background work while he is with the people.
The second part of my home ministry is to my children. I have been given a great task of being a mom. This means the Lord has given me these two beautiful children to grow, love, and nurture; not just in the physical sense but spiritual as well. Each day I have the opportunity to show them God’s love and teach them the gospel. I have the ability to share the gospel every day without even stepping outside of my home. Wow. This realization helped me become intentional with my day to day life. I desired to share the gospel with others and I had forgotten that the Lord gifted me with two children who need Jesus.
While recognizing what my purpose is in the home I must ask the question, “how can I glorify Christ?” When I am washing dirty dishes, folding laundry, changing the 5th dirty diaper of the day, how am I glorifying Christ? First, I am glorifying Christ by giving thanks to him for the things he has provided our family. When I am washing dishes, I am treating the things the Lord has blessed us with well. I also am providing my family with clean dishes to eat on. When I am doing laundry, I am providing my family with clean clothes. While these day to day tasks may seem small and unimportant, they are serving my husband and two kids in a great way.
I can glorify Christ simply by changing Titus’ (Our son) diaper in a joyful manner and thanking him for my son. I can glorify Christ by cleaning the bathrooms with a thankful heart for running water and two bathrooms. I can glorify Christ by cooking a meal for my family while being thankful for the food and utensils he has blessed us with. We so often think of the big things like traveling across country or serving the homeless, when it comes to glorifying Christ that we often forget the first ministry he has given us, our home.
I desired to share the gospel with others and I had forgotten that the Lord gifted me with two children who need Jesus.
I would encourage you today ask yourself “how am I glorifying Christ within my home? How can I give thanks to God for the things he has blessed me with? And how can I minister to my first ministry, my family?”
Soli Deo Gloria
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