I have a heart for moms; they’re one of my own kind. Standing on this side of motherhood gives me a bright, new perspective! My side of the fence is filled with sweet words of appreciation from my grown daughters. Memories of their childhood are spoken from them with fondness and laughter. I’m seeing the “green side” of parenting. It’s the side where the fruit is ripening. It’s wonderfully sweet!
I remember when I was on the other side of that mothering fence, though. My husband worked two part-time jobs while pastoring our new church, and I was often the Lone Ranger parent. I did school all day, managed the bickering between sisters, along with the pouting attitudes and grumbling spirits. Green grass was often a dream in the distant future. I was standing on the dirt where I was trying to sow.
Then I would come across a verse in my daily Bible reading that would so encourage my heart and help me to keep my perspective. It would be a verse like this one that I read this week. It would be an unlikely verse that the Lord would use to snap me back to remembering my purpose in motherhood.
This is not a passage on parenting, but it was a command from King Jehoshaphat to the judges. He was reminding these men that their work was to be done for the Lord – not for any man under their jurisdiction. Do you know what the work of a judge was? The judges of these courts were to:
- keep the people in the worship of God
- to punish the violations of the law
- to decide controversies between man and man.
It sounds like they were doing the work mothers do! Look at the similarities…
- Have you taught your child about God? Prayed with him? Read Scripture to him? Sung to him about Jesus? Reminded your child to fold their hands during prayer, have their devotions, or pay attention in church?
- Have you disciplined your children when they disobeyed?
- Have you tried to decide which sibling started the fight that is shaking the living room floor at the point of a 5.6 on the Richter scale?
If you’ve been a mother for more than a day, and you love the Lord, you’ve at least done #1. This is a great reminder that your mothering, as King Jehoshaphat said to the judges, is to be done for the Lord. Do all you do as a mom for the Lord. Make that peanut butter and jelly sandwich, clean up the spilled milk, teach that math lesson, discipline, sing, pray for your child – all as unto the Lord. Sometimes when you’re getting weary and your patience is growing thin, you may literally need to say out loud, “Lord, I’m doing this for you.”
You won’t need to be concerned with what others think about your mothering skills, or whether or not your children still like you. You also won’t have a bad attitude about your responsibilities as a mom if you’re doing it all not for man, but for the Lord!
Let me address those of you that may not be moms. This verse applies to each of us. If you’re going in to a job today, taking college classes, or staying home in the retirement years of your life, keep the thought in mind that everything we do is not for man, but for the Lord. There is eternity in front of each of us. If we’re living with this attitude that Jehoshaphat encouraged, we will have crowns to cast at our Savior’s feet. The rewards will also be for the Lord.