That word has meant a lot of different things to me at a lot of different points of my life.
When Tim and I first got married, we worked full time with a college ministry. That has definitely been one of our favorite memories so far as well. At the end of our time there, I was pregnant with David at 23. That seems crazy to me now!
Anyway, all of the sudden my life seemed to STOP. My ministry became diapers, feedings, schedules, few showers, fewer adult interactions.... ect.
God changed my heart though. I had to train myself to be at home and be content. It's easy to go, go, and GO all the time. Just as any transition to a new job, I think staying at home you have to take on as a job and adjust to it. And give it time.
I just think so many women need to hear that your biggest ministry is within your 4 walls. That doesn't mean you shouldn't work. Each family is different.
I remember thinking when I was staying at home that I wasn't "doing" enough for God. Who was I leading to Christ? Where were the poor? The needy? The sick? And how in the world was I going to live out the Great Commission stuck inside my 4 walls all day???
How was changing a diaper going to save anyone?
I find myself at 30 a different mother than when I started out! God broke down what ministry looked like, broke my pattern of thought that God was waiting for me to DO something, and that God would love me more if I were more useful for Him.
It's all a lie of the enemy. The fact-of-the-matter is this: Jesus loves you know matter what you do. No matter if you are running a nursing home out of your house or if you woke up and decided you were going to sit on your couch the entire day. God doesn't love you more one way or the other. If you REALLY can believe that, it is life changing. It brings FREEDOM of feeling guilt, busyness, or purpose. Your purpose is solely to know that you are passionately loved by God no matter what.
Jeremiah 31:3. I have loved you with an everlasting love.
I know our love for Him will be an overflow, and that is what it should be.... overflow. We will naturally tell others about Christ and reach out. I just feel like sometimes we are....
Your marriage is a ministry. Your children are a ministry.
If we aren't doing a good job at ministering to those people, then why in the WORLD are we trying to show Jesus to neighbors and nations????
Honestly, the last 2 1/2 years, my biggest ministry besides my children has been Tim. He went through a major career change that was spurred by one of the biggest crashes in the housing market. I knew that God was calling me to be Jesus to him through the past chunk of time in our marriage. To love him, encourage him, help him, take him dinner at school, take on side jobs and extra work to take some pressure off him financially, being a good mom to the kids that he loves, being a good steward of the home that he comes home to. And I still work a little now to help cash-flow our home renovations, my husband's dream and one I have fallen in love with now as well.
Call me old fashioned, that's fine. But, I think if we all really got SERIOUS about our roles as a wife and mother, then that would cause some people to see Jesus. Because, really, how many people are doing that well??? Exactly. It is real life ministry. I'm sure every woman would want this:
Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and called her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
I fall very short of being an perfect wife and mother, but all I want is for my husband and kids to know that I have their back. That I love them. And that they are the ministry I have right now. They have my full attention. I have the same dreams of reaching people besides them, but there is a time and season for it. (see below devotion).
Don't put pressure on yourself or others to think you need to start a movement. Start with your family first. Value the season of life that you are in, because it will surely pass.
During seasons of your marriage, you may also be the one that needs ministering to. Lord knows during all the babies we lost it was Tim pushing me on.
If you can view your marriage as a team and a ministry, it's a game-changer. What can you do to be Jesus to the man you vowed to and the children you probably dedicated to the Lord?
Don't get distracted, don't get off the path. You have a very clear mission and I hope reading this empowers you.
That's the end of all my deep thoughts from Jen, haha! I had so many freeing truths this summer that I really was dying to post them so I will look back and re-read what God told me. I need reminders to stay focused.
This is a great passage if you need a devotion today: Ecc. 3:1-15.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~
2 A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor, it is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. 15 That which is has been already, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by."
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