I feel absolutely privileged to have a guest post from Rebekah Hargraves today. Rebekah is the author of a book I recently read, “Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)” and the “Lies Moms Believe” Companion Bible Study which releases March 30. I couldn’t have picked a better first guest poster for my blog!
Bio: Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah’s first book, “Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)” released last fall, and the “Lies Moms Believe” Companion Bible Study comes out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via her podcast.
Facebook: Hargraves Home and Hearth
Website: Hargraves Home and Hearth
When Motherhood Just Feels Too “Little”
What mama has never before referred to her daily work as a homemaker and mother as being “mundane”? To be honest, there probably isn’t one! We have all used that word to describe what we do as moms day in and day out, and yet I have come to the realization that it is actually inappropriate to do so. Motherhood is not at all mundane when actually viewed through the lens of the Kingdom work of God.
Motherhood is Great Commission work, a daily mission and ministry of shepherding, stewarding, cultivating, teaching, inspiring, and encouraging little hearts and souls – souls that will last for eternity! Nothing could possibly be mundane about that! While “mundane” refers to merely earthly work, mothering is heavenly work (though I know it doesn’t always feel very heavenly!). While “mundane” refers to dull and boring work, mothering is exciting and purposeful work when we remember its lasting implications which will carry on for generations and even on into eternity.
This kind of persecutive, however, cannot be found by social media binging and lamenting the fact that we may not be the newest and biggest Instagram or Facebook celebrity. This kind of perspective cannot be found in the parenting books written by the world’s “experts”. This kind of perspective, sadly, isn’t even seen very often in Christian circles as it should be. The place you are going to find this kind of perspective is strictly in the Word of God (which is why all throughout Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them) I consistently emphasize the importance of moms knowing and studying the Word of God – without it, we are ill-equipped for life itself).
3 Things to Remember When Motherhood Feels Too Small
- God’s ways are not our ways.
In Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord reminds us that, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” In an age of people making idols out of how many social media followers they have or how well they are known online, the daily work of mothering can feel too “small”, too “little”, too “insignificant”. This is not at all how the Lord views it, however, and as Christ followers, it should be our aim to reorient our thinking around HIs truth (see Romans 12:2). Jesus said in Mark 9:35,
“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
In the very next chapter (Mark 10:42-45) He says,
“You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
That sounds a lot like how we would probably describe our days as moms, right? Full of serving, self-sacrifice, perhaps even feeling a little like a slave sometimes. Note closely, though, what Jesus has to say about such a life: it leads to greatness, it is comparable to the great work done by those in high places, and it is precisely the kind of work that the Son of God Himself did on a daily basis. See mama, you are in some pretty great company right there!
- God delights in and uses the little things.
We see time and time again throughout Scripture the ways in which the Lord delights in taking the seemingly small, insignificant things of this world and transforming them into something truly impactful, important, and world-changing so that He might thereby display His power and glory.
Take, for example, the little boy’s lunch of loaves and fish we read about in Matthew 14:13-21. Imagine for a moment the mama of this little boy. No doubt she was likely the one to pack his little lunch of five pieces of bread and two small fish, perhaps thinking her task to be mundane and insignificant. But was it? Not at all! Her willingness to be faithful to the task of providing her son with a meal was used and multiplied by Jesus to feed over five thousand people! This mama had no idea the lasting implications of her work that morning; she simply thought she was putting together a simple meal for her child. In reality, however, she was doing a work that was about to be touched by Christ in a miraculous way and used to feed the hungry bellies of a whole multitude of people. This was a miracle that not only, by meeting their physical needs, enabled this multitude to remain with Jesus for a while longer rather than having to leave to find nourishment, but it was also a miracle which most likely led to many in the multitude coming to saving faith in Christ as they had their eyes opened to Who He truly was. Sweet mama, don’t ever again feel as if what you are doing is too little or too insignificant. Don’t limit the great God you serve or forget all that He is capable of – with Him, all things are possible!
- Being faithful in the “small” things leads to opportunity for bigger things.
We know that there is truly nothing small or mundane about motherhood – it is eternal, life-changing, soul-altering work. We also know, however, just how “small” it can feel sometimes when we are at home cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, breaking up sibling fights, and doing it all over again while all the “big” things seem to be happening outside the four walls of our homes. But here’s the thing: if God has placed you in the season of life you are in right now, if He has entrusted those little souls to you for you to steward well and train up in the way that they should go, then that is a big thing. But, not only that, it is the perfect training ground for when those things which, in and of themselves feel bigger, come along.
Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Do you want to someday be impacting hundreds of souls for Christ? Then first be faithful to pour your all into the handful of souls who live in your own home. Jonathan Edwards once said something to the effect that if we want to serve the church of God well and with integrity, we had better first be serving our families well.
I was going through one of Priscilla Shirer’s Bible studies recently when she made the excellent point that in 1 Samuel 9:1-17, young Saul had been sent on the seemingly mundane mission of finding his father’s lost donkeys, but (as you will see if you read this passage in its entirety – which I encourage you to do!) it was precisely his going on this very mission which led to him being in the presence of Samuel and being anointed to be the leader of Israel. It was Saul’s faithfulness to carry out the mission given to him by his father – that of looking for lost donkeys – which led to his life forever being changed and him becoming something he likely never expected to be – the leader of all of Israel. How is that for proof that our seemingly “mundane” work isn’t all that mundane after all when viewed through the eyes of God and His plans for our lives!
You are doing a big thing, mama!
So, take heart. Though it oftentimes feels like it, the work you are doing for your children is not little. It is not insignificant or unimportant or mundane or purposeless. It is not only important, but in the hands of our mighty God, it is a really big thing indeed! It is work that can truly alter the course of nations, for as you have likely heard before – “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world!” Take joy from this, mama. And go out and do your work with faithfulness, to the best of your ability through Christ.