Dear Discouraged Mother

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” C.H. Spurgeon

Dear Discouraged Mother,

I know how you are feeling right now. You’re discouraged. You’re wondering if any of this really matters. You’re wondering where those wonderful feelings of usefulness and service to God and your local church have gone since your years of singleness or early marriage. “I did so much then,” you’re thinking. “I led the children’s choir, I taught Sunday School, I helped build orphanages in Mexico. Heck, I even had time to sort the Sweet n’ Low from the Splenda in the church kitchen before the coffee break. Now all I see is the backside of my toddler running circles around me while I try to down my 12th cup of coffee while humming the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song. I wipe snotty noses. I pack my husband’s roast beef sandwich for lunch. I play referee for my bickering teenagers. I’m the internet/technology police 24/7 for my high schoolers. I drop my children off at school and pick them up again. If the dog is lucky, I’ll remember to feed her today. Perhaps if I’m lucky I’ll get 15 minutes of quiet to read my Bible and pray (if I put in earplugs) for the first time in over a week (okay, let’s be real, a month). Why can’t I serve like I used to?”

Oh sister in Christ, you are serving 500 times more than you used to! That children’s choir you led? Your lullabies are the first music your children will ever hear. Those hymns you sing to them when they are afraid at night? They will carry those words in their hearts for years to come! Those Sunday School classes you taught? You’re teaching those classes every day when your child asks you why they can’t see God. Or why that serpent in the Garden of Eden was so sneaky? These years of having children at home are rich with teaching moments, far more moments than an hour Sunday School class once a week. How about those orphanages you built? That is wonderful work, truly, making a place of shelter and safety for the motherless. Dear friend, by God’s grace, your children are not motherless. They have shelter and safety in your arms. They feel love in the way you kiss their scraped knees. They are assured of your care for their soul in the discipline you show them. They see a picture of the gospel in the forgiveness you extend to them. All of these things are acts of service that are more needed than ever in our day and age! An orphanage built in your 20’s will likely not be standing in 200 years….but your child’s soul will go on forever. It is the most worthy effort in all the world to serve your family in the fear of the Lord.

Do you have a heart that desires to serve God and his church? Love, discipline, and instruct your children. Let us take care that we don’t serve only in ways we WANT to serve, and neglect serving in the clear ways the Lord has called us. Do not grow weary in well doing; God’s grace is sufficient. Be encouraged and press on! Our children will not be in our homes for ever (we hope!). Each day, this fact becomes more and more real to me. God has put them in our care to nurture, love, discipline, and instruct. Lord willing, you are bringing up the future generation of Christ’s church, and there is no nobler calling.

Do not let your mommy-guilt, the rising feminist agenda, your next door neighbor, internet standards of “Pinterest” perfection, or anyone deceive you into thinking that your work for your husband and children is insignificant. When souls are at stake, your very mothering can make an eternity of difference.

Love in Christ,

Reformed Ruby