Motherhood is a Ministry

Recently, while visiting with a college student, listening to her explore her thoughts, hopes, and questions regarding career, ministry, and motherhood; I could tell that her aim was to get it right. When I pitched the idea that motherhood is a ministry she responded by saying that she had never thought of it that way.

So here we are. Perhaps you too can be encouraged to know motherhood is in fact, a ministry. You can call it a job if you’d like, it certainly isn’t an idle pastime.

In my own journey as Mom, I have organized my time in various ways. I have homeschooled, never left the house, worked part-time in multiple settings and left the house far too much. Finally, I have slowly pursued a professional career. What has remained true through my hodgepodge experience with motherhood has been a strong conviction that motherhood is my greatest ministry.

When I refer to the “job” of Mom, this is a reflection of intentional work. My role of Mom in the life of my children means that my priority is to provide care, affection, and training. It is a lifestyle where I hope to be always aware of how my presence and priorities impact my children and how I reflect the love of our Heavenly Father directly to my kids. When I bring the love of God to people that is a ministry, my children are not an exception.   

In the world of mental health, we have a term called “Adverse Childhood Experiences.”  This term is used to describe events that are considered traumatic in the life of a child from birth to 17. Examples of these experiences include violence, abuse, neglect, divorce, and a variety of other events that leave children feeling unstable, unsafe or unloved.

Thanks to the dedicated work of researchers, we know that we can confidently connect ruptures in stability with children directly to mental health issues, like depression, anxiety and even suicide as well as a variety of serious long term health issues, and risky behaviors. (Study)   

So, every time a Mom (or Dad), provides positive, caring, intentional time to a child they are battling for the future, fighting to invest in children who will one day be participating adults capable of serving and loving others in the same way and actively protecting their body and minds.

The research only supports what we as believers already know. Over and over again the Lord speaks of the blessing of children, the importance of providing structure, training, scripture and prayer all encapsulated in the life of Christian parents who are charged to provide these elements through the fruits of the spirit (Prov. 1:8-9, Prov. 22-6, Psalm 127:3, Deut. 6:6-7, Matt 5:22-23).

Of course other adults and mentors can provide this type of structure and training to our children, but the Lord actually charges parents with the job (Ephesians 6:4).

The Bible paints a beautiful image of a Godly home, a home where we remember that the Lord has richly blessed his people with his faithfulness, and our hearts are full of love and gratitude because of the goodness of our God. We are charged to speak of this truth daily to our children in and out of the home and to speak the truth of scriptures over our lives, even committing them to memory (Deut. 6:4-7)! 

The tapestry of our lives is woven in and out of our jobs, our homes and our roles. But the role that a Mom can actively play in the life of a child has the opportunity to bind all of this together. We have been entrusted with our children, asked to provide stability for them through love, joy, gentleness, peace, patience…the list goes on. We can choose to spend the hours of our days in so many ways, but let me implore you to walk in the power of your presence as a Mom, believing and knowing that it is indeed a profound ministry.

Catharine Griffin was born and raised in Covington, Georgia. She earned an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2012. She enjoys mentoring and discipling college women and is currently doing so at East Texas Baptist University. She is passionate about hearing people's stories and helping people see their potential in Christ and serves this calling out as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. She has also been coordinating ministry to women for several years in various churches and longs to equip women to serve the church with biblically sound teaching. She is a mother to three boys, wife to a Baptist Student Minister, and enjoys teaching, writing, cooking and all things outside.

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