April 30, 2010

A Dose of Encouragement

Day after day, you feel like it's the same thing. You get up, take care of the children, cook, clean, do laundry and the dishes. The next day, you do it all over again. Some days may not be as ordinary, repetitive and mundane: you might run errands, go to church and fellowship with other families and such. As wives and mothers we can easily feel like the tasks that occupy our time, day after day, caring for the needs of our families, goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It becomes especially discouraging when you see evidence that your work is taken for granted. You begin to doubt and ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Temptation comes to become bitter and listen to the lies of the devil, "You know that the burden outweighs the blessing. You should just give up."

And you get tired. Not just physically tired from the tasks of the day, but the kind of tiredness that carries over each day, more like a mental tiredness or exhaustion. You wake up the next morning still tired from the previous day's, week's and month's tasks, feeling unable to catch up in a way that you would be fully prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually to serve the needs of your family with joy. You cry out for an extended vacation or at least someone to help you bear your load.

Here is a little encouragement that I have received from God's Word.

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Genesis 2:18

Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
Genesis 3:20

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against these things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
Ephesians 6:5-8

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands,so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Titus 2:3-5

Women were created to be helpers as wives and to bear children. This is the will of God for all women (generally) because it is the reason we exist. This is the greatest way that we can glorify God, by taking up our created calling as wives and mothers.

In Christ we are able to put off the works of the flesh and to freely walk in the good deeds for which the grace of God was shown to us. In Christ, we now have the desire to do that which God wants us to do, to glorify God in Christ. His Word has revealed to us what those good works are which He prepared beforehand for us to practice.

Although slavery has been abolished many years ago, we can still feel like slaves to the daily work that we feel must be done. Our husbands are not holding us down, our Master is Christ. It is from Him that we must seek our approval. Although we may feel all our efforts are unappreciated and taken for granted, Christ sees them all. When we do them, we do them as unto Christ and not just for our families. Our families receive the benefits of our labor (read ministry), but in the end, if we remain faithful and gentle in our work, we will be rewarded in the end. Let our desire be to hear Christ speak these words as He looks us in the eye, "Well, done my good and faithful servant." And we may receive some of those awards even in the short-term when our children grow up considering it normal to serve, even desiring to serve others. Let's not grow weary of doing good, but let us persevere in hope. Before we know it these years will be gone and a new chapter of service will open up on our lives. Keep pressing on, looking to Christ.


Erin said...

Good words of encouragement, Meggan! Keep pressing on toward your higher calling (Phil 3:13-14) :-)

The Culbertsons said...

Wonderful encouragement on an especially trying day from my sweet 2.5 yr old! I am reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and it is great. Have you read it?