Tuesday, May 27, 2014
It's Okay If Motherhood Is Your Mission Field
The college ministry I was a part of was very intentional and strategic about Matthew 28:19.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."
We went to great lengths to fulfill that mandate, starting on our college campus. My friends and I joined flag football teams to meet lost girls, build friendships and share Jesus. We helped freshmen move into their dorms. We hung out in the caf longer than necessary to perpetuate conversations. We joined and created discipleship groups. We gave up summers and holiday breaks to get training and go on the mission field. In my circles, all these things were normal and honestly felt like the "most godly" things we could be doing.
And then I had a baby.
In a matter of six months, my husband and I graduated, moved, and had our first daughter. Everything was different. Two years passed before I could blink my eyes, and suddenly we had two babies, who were my world. My life was nothing like it had been before. I didn't sleep through the night and I wasn't well-rested. I didn't have lengthy quiet times with my Bible and notebook and Hillsong United. I didn't attend large social gatherings, I wasn't in a discipleship group, and nobody was asking me what God was teaching me. The only "lost" people I was around included the one on my hip and the one on my heel (who, when screaming, did seem quite sinful...).
But in my four years of motherhood, God has been teaching, reminding and re-teaching me that this is ok. This is right where I'm supposed to be. Although I try to be active in my church and community, my availability is limited. I can't spend long hours in a cafeteria or anywhere else hoping to build relationships. I can have quick chats here and there, but even then, two girls are probably hollering at me in the background. And that's ok. Right now, they are my mission field. I should never feel guilty about making them my focus. There is no greater influence on a person than his or her mother, and I want to invest everything I've got into this gig.
One of the most impactful things I've ever read is a post called "Motherhood as a Mission Field" by Rachel Jankovic. Read it now, and read it often. It nearly brings me to tears every time. Rachel knows what you're thinking... "If I was really doing something for Christ I would be out there, somewhere else, doing it." But she counters those sentiments with truth: home is the headwaters of missions. One of my favorite lines from the post is this:
"Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?"
Having vision like that is so refreshing. My ministry to my children is intense life-on-life discipleship -- the most effective kind. And it doesn't end there because the goal is that they'll go on to reproduce what I've taught them in the lives of countless others. Even Jesus poured into just 12 men during his ministry -- 12 men who went on to propagate the entire Christian church. Just think of what my children, or yours, intentionally trained up in the ways of Jesus for 18+ years, could accomplish for the Kingdom one day.
I still think it's important to build relationships and share the love of Jesus with those outside our family. But I won't overload my plate with obligations that pull me away from home.
Because motherhood is my mission field, and that's more than ok.
"It's Okay If You Tell Someone You're a Mom" and enter to win a copy of the book "The Mission of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson. This book gives fun and creative ideas to touch your child's heart for eternity. Giveaway will end Friday, May 30.
And in case you've missed any of the previous "It's Okay If..." posts, here's a round up of them all.
"It's Okay If Your Life Isn't a Facebook Fairy Tale" -- me
"It's Okay If You Don't Have What Your Grandparents Have Right Now" -- Amanda Farris
"It's Okay If Your Kids Eat Pizza Once a Week" -- me
"It's Okay If You Let Your Kids Pick Out Their Clothes" -- Amanda Farris
"It's Okay If Your Kids Are Hyper" -- me
"It's Okay If You're Not Using Your Degree Right Now" -- Amanda Farris
Let us know what you thought of this series!