Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It all adds up

My extended family had a party for all the summer birthdays.  We all, well all who like it, had lobster.  I decided to take the time to clean out all the meat I possibly could from mine and my husbands.  I sat for quite some time on the day of the party getting through those 2 and when I was done, it didn't seem like much.  I took one whole leftover lobster home to take care of the next day.

Now, if you have never done this or if you watch someone, it really does seem like a tedious and useless waste of time.  I watched my grandmother and others do it over the years as I grew up, but never tried it myself until a couple of years ago.  As I stood in my kitchen taking apart the whole lobster, I thought of how much patience it took to complete the process.  You have to carefully move little bones and pick to get at the meat you want.  That patience, that persistence, yielded me about 1 cup of lobster meat from the bodies and legs of 3 lobsters.  Now that is definitely enough to make a yummy lobster salad lunch for hubby and myself!  Definitely worth it!

And so it is with training our children.  We all know it takes patience, and some days it can feel so useless.  I know I have felt like a broken record on many an occasion!  But, every word, every moment we pour into the vessels of our children, add up over time.  Each lonely, tiny piece of lobster meat doesn't look like much, but they added up to an entire meal when I was done.  With lobster, if you are not careful, you can easily add pieces that are not edible.  But even that wrong, that negative, adds up with the good.  Our negative words and actions with our children add up just as our positive ones do.  Sure a few bad pieces mistakenly added here and there won't amount to much, but if too many are added they will ruin the dish.

I challenge all of us to ask ourselves- is there some negative I am pouring into my children on some level, even without realizing it?  Is that the harvest I want to see come to fruition in my children?  What steps can I take today to turn that around?  If I don't know what to do- who can help me (husband, trusted friend, pastor)?

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is Motherhood a Ministry?

I believe God created the role of mother so that children have someone to train them, alongside fathers, for life as adults.  While a father is to be the head of the household, the mother is designed to support him, particularly in the area of bringing up children.  It was only this year that I realized being a mother is a call to a ministry.  I had always thought being a mother was important and significant, but not to that extent.  It takes on a whole different significance when you consider it a ministry.   The World English Dictionary defines ministry as “a.) the profession or duties of a minister of religion  b.) the performance of these duties” (found on  Wow!  Parents are to “train a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), so it makes complete sense to me now to consider it a ministry based on that definition.  Parents are ministers of religion in that they pass on their faith to their children.

Let’s look at Psalm 127:3 in different translations.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. (NIV)

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  (NASB)

Children are a gift from the Lord;  they are a reward from him. (NLT)

Usually, people are thankful for a gift that is given to them and treat it as such.  If we hold our children as gifts from God, then we raise them up in loving care. A gift is given to someone in love and accepted with thanksgiving.  A reward is earned or given in recognition.  If we, as mothers, consider our children gifts and ourselves rewarded with their very presence, how different would some of our days look!  As for the ministry of motherhood, we train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord because we love them and want them to know the Lord.  What greater thanks can we show for the gift of children than to return them to His service as young adults!

As I make my way through reading and studying the book The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, I hope to explore and share what I have learned with you.