Missionary Mama

Almost 2 years ago, I became a missionary. It was not a job title I had asked for, and I honestly didn’t even know it was a job title I had until a few months into the gig. When my first baby arrived, almost 4 weeks into 2016, I had just started reading through my Bible. I started in Genesis on January 1. I had never read the Bible all the way through before. And I had no idea that through that experience, God would communicate to me that I was a missionary, or that He would teach me how to be a missionary.

missionary

I grew up in a Christian home, so I always knew that moms and dads are supposed to take their kids to church and teach them Bible verses and send them to AWANA camp and vacation Bible school. But outside of that, I didn’t really see parenting as being much more involved in their children’s spiritual lives than that.

Now, it wasn’t because my parents took a hands-off approach when I was growing up. I know more Scripture because my parents quoted it than I do because I memorized it on my own. But some things you just don’t understand until you’re a parent yourself (and yes, I’m sure I have many more of these realizations to come!). And that was one of them.

That year, as I read through the Bible, I desired God more and more, and I desired the things of God more and more – including the desire to be more Christ-like and help the members of my family draw closer to God themselves. And God began to show me that my primary responsibility as a mom is to be a missionary to my children. They are my un-reached people group. And my home is my mission field.

I’ve learned a few things in these two years. And I know that God will continue to refine and sanctify and teach me in my work as a missionary. Here are some of my biggest take-aways.

  1. “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” Dr. John Trainer (often attributed to CS Lewis)

  2. Every moment, every conversation, every interaction is an opportunity to weave Gospel Truth into my home and my kids’ lives.

  3. Loving and respecting and honoring my partner in ministry (my husband) is one of the most effective ways I can share the Gospel with my kids.

  4. It is never too early to start teaching Bible verses.

  5. It is never too early to apologize to my kids if owe them one.

  6. Stopping to pray, in the middle of a difficult moment, will show them that I mean what I say about the importance and power of prayer.

  7. Stopping to pray, in the middle of a difficult moment, is sometimes the only way to survive that parenting moment, and that is okay.

  8. When I ask God for grace and peace and patience to help me get through the difficult moments, He is gracious enough to provide it. And sometimes I ask for it two or three times in an hour.

  9. I know that despite my best and most holy efforts that my kids will grow up and make their own decisions about their salvation and their faith. But the stronger the foundation that I lay for them now, the better they will be able to find their own way when they are ready.

  10. There is no detail about their lives today or in the future that I should not give up to God. He loves them more than I could ever imagine loving them.

Archer’s favorite Bible story is the story of Moses. Although I think he mainly likes it because of the way Pharaoh looks in one of his story books (he always wants to read “bad king” – and that’s what this book calls him!). So I read that story a lot. And I think of Moses’ mother and how she must have felt. Can you fathom knowing that there was someone who wanted your little baby boy dead? Who could come into your home and take him? How brave she was to keep Baby Moses hidden. And how much faith she had to put him in that basket and put him in the water! Her obedience and faithfulness saved an entire people, as God used Moses as His instrument.

And we all like to quote Hannah when she says “for this child I prayed…” (1 Samuel 1:27) She was also obedient and faithful to promise her son to the Lord. But you know that could not have been easy. My biggest prayer as a mom for my boys is that I would raise them to be used by God, and that I would never deceive myself into thinking they are mine. God entrusted these little humans to me so I could raise them up as men of God. And to do that best, I need to be a woman of God. Who prays and gives and serves and loves. Who talks about doing those things, yes, but more importantly, who does them with and in front of her children.

God, forgive me for the times I make motherhood about myself. Forgive me for the moments where I let my flesh win, and I don’t exemplify the Fruit of the Spirit that I try to teach. Help me to make every moment about You. I pray that my boys would never doubt who is King in our house. I pray they would know, no matter where they go or what they do, that their mother loves Jesus more than anything. I pray they know that I love Jesus more than I love their father and more than I love them. I pray they would see miracles in our home. I pray they see a difference in how their mother loves and acts and how the world acts. Align my priorities, Father, to match Yours. Help me to seek You first, and to have my treasure in heaven. Remind me always that there is a war going on for the hearts and minds and souls of my babies, and do not let me grow weary in the hard and holy work of raising men. Bless my mission field, prepare the hearts of my un-reached people group, and make me a soul-winner who honors and reflects you.

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