Thursday, 14 February 2008

Shouldn't I be doing something more important?

Here's a common scenario. You, a Christian, used to be busy in many front-line "ministries". You were teaching people the Bible, helping arrange events, talking to outsiders about Jesus, organising help for the poor, etcetera. But now you're not. You're a full-time parent. You spend almost all your time doing "dead-end" jobs like changing nappies, tidying mess, washing clothes, giving milk and then being too knackered to do anything else. Here comes a thought into your head - shouldn't you be doing some kind of "ministry"?

Chase those foolish thoughts away with some of these more accurate ones...

  • Training the next generation is the most important ministry of all. One day your generation will be dead and buried! The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
  • Godly families are a main plank of God's plan to influence the world. Who is in a better position to serve the kingdom - someone hauled out of a lifetime of open sin, completely ignorant of the things of God - or someone taught by word and example day by day for years and years?
  • God wants to teach me that his work is a long term, patient work. I used to think that long term meant 2 or 3 years!!! Boy, I'm learning!
  • When I'm just "doing ministry" on and off, I can hide my secret sins and hope that they won't rub off on anyone. But little Johnny or Joanna see them all - which means I have to deal with them and get rid of them!
  • So - this is what my mum/dad did for me! I never realised. How could I be so ungrateful? Truly God has been patient with me all these years.
  • In our day godly families are so few and far between. God has given me the opportunity by his grace to be a shining light in this dark world. That's a privilege.
  • These little ones will teach me what it means to "pray without ceasing".
  • My little ones come to me as their parent with such trust and delight - even though I'm sinful. Doesn't my heavenly father want me to do the same?
  • I never knew I was so proud. Since when was wiping bottoms beneath me? The one I serve came to the earth to serve sinners, even to the death of the cross. I'm just being asked to serve my own flesh and blood!
  • How much I've learnt through being a parent. I had no idea what patience, self-sacrifice and the rest were like - and what I know now is that there's a huge way still to go! Thank you Lord for teaching me this, even through changing endless nappies.
  • This little one knows nothing about the world, life or death. When I ministered to people out in the world I had to start by correcting all their mistaken ideas. God's given me the privilege of teaching this one right from the beginning!
  • That little smile is a gift from God worth more than 1000 dirty nappies! Thank you Lord for letting me see it!
  • These little ones will one day reflect me to the world. I can put on a face with others because it's only temporary. These ones though see all sides of me - and pick up my habits, good and bad. Their way in the world will in large part be a testimony to the effects of being with me for 20 years.
  • God uses means. If he's going to bring the world into submission to the Lord Jesus, it's going to be through the service of holy men and women. If there are going to be holy men and women, they need to be taught and trained. The Lord has given me an opportunity to teach my little one to his glory.
  • God doesn't give us tasks like this to mock us. If it's his will for little ones to be saved, then it's his will for little ones to be patiently instructed about the Lord Jesus, little by little, day by day. What greater privilege and responsibility than this, to teach the little ones?
  • This task is so enormous - I need so much help. I cannot do this unless I look each day to Jesus.
  • Nothing worth doing can be finished quickly. There's nothing more worthwhile than raising little ones in God's world to his glory - that's why it's such a huge task!
  • God's given me a little church. Here I can teach, question, comfort explain, hold and hug, every day. This is my dear little flock, to care for. Here we can prove that God is worthy to be glorified in big things and in little. Here we can show that it's a delight to serve him whether worshipping as a family or flushing away filthy nappies. Thank you Lord!

And many more such thoughts! Feel free to pile them on in the comments.

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