Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My home is a training-ground.....

A good friend sent me the following article that has really impacted me this week. Joy, the author, talks about the goal of the home as being a "training ground" where my little one is taught about God. I spend a lot of time planning out my daughter's cognitive growth and experiences that will help her grow emotionally, intellectually and physically. I really want to be more intentional about her spiritual training. I have started adding some Bible study "work" to her learning room. I have also determined to start a little Bible study time with her on a daily basis (as much as possible.) I am keeping this simple. Since we are using the Moses book, we will get it every day and read through it. Q loves repetition, and as we reread it each day, I can relate more details of the story to her. Also, I want to teach her how to find the story in one of her Baby Bibles (more details on that to come). We may also incorporate other activities such as singing and prayer. I'll keep posting my experiences as we experiment with a "Onesie Bible Study." :)

I also love Joy's discussion of ways to minister to others with your children. I will be putting thought into what that translates into for our family.....

Guest Post: Mothering and Ministry

from Biblical Womanhood by Crystal Paine
Guest Post by Joy Fourney from Joy in the Journey

As a missionary, many people ask me what I see as my role in ministry. I'd like to share from Scripture and my experience concerning what I believe a married wife and mother's place in ministry should be.

First and foremost, I believe that, as wives, our primary role is one of support. As a wife, it is my primary focus to make sure that my home is an oasis for my hardworking husband, making sure he has good meals, clean clothes, and lots of encouragement. There is much more I'd like to say about this, but for this post I want to focus on the role of mothering.

As a mother, my role is to train my children in "the way they should go". The home should be a "training ground" in which I impart wisdom to my little ones by teaching them about God, His Word, and life.

"She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26.

Where did we get the idea that to be a godly woman we must participate in all church activities, as well as lead as many of them as we possibly can? There's this idea that doing "ministry" can only take place outside the home, and that only "real" ministry can be done when the husband and kids are out of the way. Mothering these days is looked at as something to get through, or get away from so that we can do "real ministry".

Well, we didn't get this idea from Scripture, because Scripture is clear. Instead, we got this idea from our modern Christian culture, where appearances are paramount. We must "look good" to everyone else, and in so doing, let the most important thing slip through our hands.

Dear ladies, what are our children doing while we are out "doing" ministry, and who is watching them? God has given us such an important ministry! He's entrusted us with little souls who are searching for truth. What could be more important than that?

Yes, there is lots of ministry that we could be doing outside the home. But then, where would our precious children be? The only One we should be concerned with pleasing is the Lord. What is His plan for our lives in ministry? He is so clear: our first, our primary, our most important ministry, is right in our homes, training our little ones.

" 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 that the Word of God will not be dishonored." Titus 2:3-5.

This, as women, is our primary ministry. This, in and of itself, is enough. And, this is exactly what God has called us to. More than anything, I want this verse to be true in my life: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4

So, if our primary role is mainly in the home, what can ministry to others look like? Let me just clarify that I am speaking mainly towards women with young children. Since that is the stage of life I am in, I could never speak to women older than I am or outside my stage of life.

First, before you think of expanding your realm of ministry in any capacity, you need to look around and ask yourself honestly, "Is my family cared for to the very best of my ability?" and "Is there something that I could be doing for them, that I'm not doing now?"

Whatever ideas you have about ministry need to be discussed with your husband first, and then prayed about to seek God's leading. So, what kind of ministry am I talking about?

First and foremost, wherever you go, whether it is to Wal-Mart or McDonald's, always seek to share the love of Christ. Make sure that you are the "sweet aroma of Christ" anywhere and everywhere you go!

Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

-Hospitality is a great area for the whole family to get involved. Invite your unsaved neighbors over for a meal. Here in Indonesia, I enjoy walking around with the kids and getting to know our neighbors. This has produced many wonderful friendships.

-Make sure friends and family know that they are welcome to drop in anytime, for a meal or for a night.

-Invite a single girl from church over to your home. She will feel honored and blessed by your invitation. Your house doesn't need to be spotless, you don't need to serve the best meal, just making your guests feel welcome and wanted is enough.

Find something that you and your children can do together to reach out to the community.
Some simple ideas might include:

-Prepare a meal as a family, and take it to a sick friend, a new mom, or an elderly member of your church. The kids will think it's great fun to help mommy cook, and then to share their creation with others.

-If you are baking for your family, make extra. Then get the kids and all go together to deliver it to a friend. Why? Just for fun--the recipient is surprised and the kids think that it is great fun.

-Have your kids write special notes to elderly members of your church or local rest home and then deliver them. Notes from little ones will melt any heart.

Any of these things can greatly enhance your life, as well as the lives of your children. However, you need to make sure you keep it all in perspective. If you're making a casserole for the family down the road, but have nothing to feed your family, perhaps it's time to rethink your priorities.

-Joy is the proud wife of a missionary pilot, as well as the blessed mommy to five. She and her family live on the island of Tarakan in Indonesia, where they serve as missionaries. Joy has a passion to encourage women to find contentment in the "mission field" right inside their home--their family. You can visit Joy at her personal blog, Joy in the Journey.