Thursday, November 6, 2014

Faithful Cheerful Service

I once had someone tell me that I should stay home with our children for as long as I could so that I could "get out of working." Now I must admit that it was all I could do not to laugh in their face but I refrained. That is common thinking though. I'm not sure if there are stay-at-home moms that are that lazy or people just have these ideas about how nice it would be but I know that I do a lot of work. And that's my goal; it's not a complaint.

But in an effort to be recognized as working it's easy to complain about all we have to do and how much harder it is to do with children. Both of those statements are true but no one is blessed by whining or complaining. And I certainly don't want my children to grow up thinking I resent the work load of our family. There are a few reasons for the complaining of young mothers.

1. We're insecure in what God called us to do. We want to be sure others realize that being a wife and mom is a full-time job too. And aren't people supposed to complain about their jobs?

2. We're trying to impress people. (Twisted thinking: who's impressed by whining?) People-pleasing never gets you where God wants you to go. We are to be working for God's smile, not man's approval.

3. We've fallen into worldly thinking that says we must be miserable if life is not all about us and what we want. Newsflash: life is never about us and what we want.

Last time I checked nobody liked a complainer, especially God! (1 Cor. 10:10, Phil. 2:14-15) So I decided to shut up. (Or at least try to.) And you know what I found? I'm the one that benefits. Yes, in an attempt to please God and stop discouraging my husband by constantly reminding him how hard my life is, I have found more joy. (And yes, it does discourage my husband. His goal is to have a happy wife.)

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13. The last half of verse 15 also states, "but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." What's in my heart? I've been studying a lot about how my heart affects my words and it's scary to think how much I reveal about myself with what I say! Do I have a heart for God and the work He has given me?

So what is my new goal? Faithful, cheerful service! Here's some steps I'm taking to work on this.

1. Don't complain. Don't complain about the broken sleep, the potty-training, the constant discipline, the cleaning-up, the time constraints. Tell Jesus everything and then move on to thanking Him for the baby smile, the toddler feet running down the hallway, and the light in your preschooler's eyes as he learns something new.

2. Express your thanks out loud. Thank your husband for all he does for you family (even if you think you do more!). Tell him how much you appreciate getting to stay home with your kids (if you do stay home). Tell your children that you are thankful to be their mama.

3. Ask God to give you His love for your family and home. Your love is not enough. It won't sustain you through trying times or the day-to-day work that can be exhausting. God can do a miraculous work in your heart!

4. Commit to the work. Be there and do it. Read about it to help you do it better. Read about the work to help you understand its importance. Then do it. Do the next thing even if you don't feel like it. And do it to honor God.

5. Pursue excellence. Don't wait for someone important to show up to do your work well. Do you know who is in your home with your family? Jesus. You are working for Jesus. Change each diaper for Jesus. Kiss each boo-boo, discipline for wrong-doing, teach each letter, cook every meal for Jesus.

Yes, there is a lot of work for mothers of small children (and everybody who is doing anything with her life) but the attitude makes all the difference. Embrace the work that God has given you with a heart to please Him and you might find you even enjoy it most of the time.  Aim to "make your work look easy, even when it's not." (Beverly Hyles)


  1. Lisa,
    I have been meditating on Proverbs 15:15 alot lately. The Lord has been gently reminding me that I need to live this verse...and other verses about a merry heart.
    You see, my husband started a job with a brand new company. Recently, the Lord has blessed the company tremendously with unbelievable growth, which is wonderful but it also means my hubby is working 60+ hours per week to keep up with the orders that are coming in.
    I confess that I have been grumpy and self-pitying...trying to homeschool the 5 children, plus do all the outside work, plus take care of our farm animals, etc...not to mention laundry, cleaning and all the other homemaking aspects, and since my Dad's passing in June, I am helping my Mom as much as possible. In truth, I have felt like a single mom for past 4 months.
    But my husband is exhausted from the long hours and stressed out from his job, and the last thing he needs is a contentious wife. So I am trying with the help of the Lord to be a crown to him, and not rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)
    Thanks for a timely reminder. :)

    1. Lisa,
      That is so hard when your husband has to work so much! I start to feel sorry for myself when mine works late two nights in a row! I will be praying for you. It's so hard to look outside ourselves and see the burden the husband is under (and if he's like mine, he's probably upset he can't be there to help you more!) What a blessing you are to your family!!

    2. Thanks for the prayers, Lisa. Much appreciated. :) And I will be praying for you as you adjust to another little one in your home. :)