Ministry at Home

Mom and babies

I have been reading and thinking through a great article posted on Reviving our Hearts, and it is so good and thought provoking that I wanted to share it with you. The post is titled Ministry at Home.

Like this article discusses, it is so easy to define “ministry” as something that happens outside of the home to people outside of our family and to forget that the most significant ministry that we’ve been entrusted with as mothers is right in front of our eyes… or our knee caps!

Of course it is also 100% true that God has called us and fully enabled us to be salt and light to those outside our family as well. By suggesting this article I am not discouraging anyone from doing the “ministry” that you are called to, BUT I do think it is so very necessary for all of us to examine how we are doing at our primary ministry, that being to our family, before we look elsewhere for ministry opportunities. Motherhood is hard, time consuming work and will by necessity demand the bulk of our attention and heart! We need to evaluate and ask God how much He is actually calling us to beyond this great calling that exists in the daily ministry of motherhood. God gives mothers an abundance of opportunities to be salt and light while never neglecting our primary calling, meaning that our  families should never need to be sacrificed for “ministry.”

Two things are true. We are clearly instructed in the word to value and excel at our work as wives and moms, and we are also very clearly instructed to be faithfully holding out the word of life. I think all of us can tend towards focusing on just one or the other of these callings. It is easy to be focused exclusively on our lives at home and to forget to forget to participate in the ministry of reconciliation that we have been entrusted with, or we can become wrongly convinced that what happens in the home is not as significant as the ministry that happens outside of it, and thus neglect our highest calling.  Since many of your families are in ministry or are strong believers, I am assuming that you might battle the temptation to forget the value of your work as moms as you see all of the other ministry opportunities around you. I know that it is a temptation for me if I don’t consciously combat this lie.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and article! I’ll leave this post up for a few days to give you time to think and respond if you need. Do you ever find yourself believing that “ministry” is something that happens primarily outside of the home? What helps you place a correct value on your role as a wife and mother? Do you wrestle with the opposite challenge of struggling to look outward? Would you like to share your thoughts on finding the right balance?

“…and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure,working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:4-5

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16

(If anyone is looking for more great thoughts on this topic of ministry at home, please check out the post Mothering As Ministry from the Stay-at-Home Missionary blog.  Joy’s blog is absolutely one of my favorites. Her blog actually where I first found the link to the article above. She is a wise woman and all of her posts on motherhood are so encouraging and convicting.)

(Post by: Ashley)


4 Responses to “Ministry at Home”

  1. 1 Shilo October 23, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    My perspective on this has changed SO drastically…I hardly know how it happened (except for God). This post and also Joy’s blog were both instruments that God used in my life towards that change.

  2. 2 Nicole October 24, 2009 at 6:06 am

    I am a HUGE fan of Nancy Leigh Demoss and the whole Revive Our hearts Ministry. I look forward to attending my second True Woman conference in March. That was a great article, thanks for posting!! 🙂

    My husband and I do neighborhood ministry so the struggle for me is always guessing am I or we neglecting our family. Its not like my husband work a nine to five where he can come home and leave his work “out there”. WE have been called as a family to live among the proclaim the HOPE OF THE GOSPEL and to model what a healthy, godly marriage looks like. ( i tell you what…its not easy) But with the help of the Holy spirit I have been equipped to do both and still keep the main thing the main thing. (my family being MY FIRST PRIORITY)

    A few practical ways:

    One of the many ways I am able to keep my family a priority in the midst of it all is to FIRST seek my husbands counsel on what I should be doing. A lot of times we engaged in things outside of the home not asking our husband what they think we should do, or asking them how would what we are about to do not only SERVE HIM but the KINGDOM as a whole. When you are asking your own husband at home you are obeying the LORD in what you are doing. My husband and I are also HUGE fans of biblical counseling. We make sure when things get too crazy (if they do) we have a group of elders and older women in my case, whom we can go to to hold us accountable when our families seem to be suffering.

    Second, we make it a priority every week to have family night as well as date night.As a matter of fact this is a HIGH PRIORITY as staff for all the families that serve along side us. This helps with burn out in our marriage and those times with my little girl are such special ones. I homeschool so I am thankful for the additional time I get in being able to instruct and train her in righteousness. Thanks again for posting this article..such a great reminder!!!

    ps- it would be good for us to make sure we do not make rash judgements against a sister who is ministering outside her home. We dont know what kinds of freedoms she has. This may the LORDS way of using her in the lives of her family and on the outside. There is nothing like your kids watching you love the poor,the cripple, the blind, & the stranger. (Luke 14)

  3. 3 Ashley L October 24, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Nicole! I haven’t read a ton of Revive our Hearts in the past, but it seems like it has had quite an impact on many lives and I look forward to checking out more. I love the idea of maintaining a family and date night. We do a date night (in theory, but recently we’ve been in the quest for a new sitter since our move).

    Also, I REALLY agree with your point about not making judgments against anyone else! I definitely believe that our primary responsibility as mothers is to our family (and that point I don’t think is arguable), but I also know that this will look slightly different in every family. I think there are many wonderful ways to be involved in ministry outside of our home while still putting our families first and making sure everyone is very well cared for. I think that it is critical to have experiences ministering to other people for us to maintain our vision for our ministry and life as Christians in general. I linked to this article though to provide a hard-hitting message that might bless some moms as we battle the temptation to devalue the work we do at home.

  4. 4 Addie October 24, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for bringing up this topic Ashley! I struggle with balancing ministry inside and outside of my home so this was very timely. Thank you Nicole for your helpful tips. I definitely feel better and closer to God when I limit the amount of outside commitments and have more time just with my family. I struggle with feeling like I’m “not being missional” enough, but the truth is I already have two (and almost three) little people who are still learning about Jesus that I’m ministering to all the time. I definitely find that doing ministry outside of my home works best if it’s kid-friendly and I especially love letting my kids meet and serve others who are different than them and teach them to have a heart for others because Jesus has a heart for us.

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