Motherhood is a ministry.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." —1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
If I was giving a book report on my book for moms, Beyond Bath Time, I would simmer the contents down to four words—motherhood is a ministry. A summary that brief probably wouldn’t earn me an A from any teacher, but it truly is a simple and radical message that has the power to revolutionize your attitude toward motherhood.
If motherhood is about more than just raising good kids, we don’t have to get so flustered when our children struggle to obey. If the housework has meaning beyond clean floors and empty hampers, we can do it with joy over and over (and over!) again. If mothering well is kingdom work, then we can work toward kingdom gains instead of in the direction of our own expectations. Seeing motherhood as ministry also inoculates us against the feeling that we should be doing something “more” with our lives.
Martin Luther wasn’t a mom, but he understood that ministry isn’t limited to what happens from behind a pulpit or even within the walls of a church.
He wrote, “The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by works done therein. . . . The whole world could abound with services to the Lord . . . not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, and field.”
Action Step: Get the message.
Grab a stack of sticky notes, and write, “Motherhood is a ministry” on several of them. Now stick them in places where your role as a mom feels mundane or meaningless. Perhaps the washing machine is a good place to start. It can be hard to see all of that laundry as anything more than a time eater. But God is able to use even the most mundane acts of service to bless, train, and inspire. Put one on your steering wheel if the carpool is sucking the life out of you. Put one on your baby’s changing table or on the stove. Wherever you tackle jobs that make you feel like you aren’t accomplishing much with your time, put a note that reminds you that motherhood is a ministry.
A Mom’s Prayer: Father, thank You for using my life. Help me to see what I am doing in my home and for my children as a ministry to reach my children for Your kingdom. I present the tasks of motherhood as loaves and fishes to You. Please multiply them so that my kids will know that You are God.