Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Mother's Ministry

This morning, as a sat in my big office chair praying and waiting in the dark and silence, I heard, "Feed my sheep."  My first thought...What is THAT supposed to mean???  But as I studied the passage that I found through a concordance search and really dug into the Word here is what I found and how it relates to this season of my life.

After the resurrection, Jesus appears to several people, most often to his disciples.  The third appearance to this disciples is recorded in the gospel of John...
John 21:15-19 "After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
“I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.”Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?
Peter answers, "Yes, Lord, I love you!"
Jesus tells Peter, "Feed my lambs; Take care of my sheep; Feed my sheep."

The lambs (young sheep=young Christians) and sheep in Christ's flock need the loving care of one who loves the Great Shepherd.

What does that have to do with me as a mother?  A LOT!

Let's take a look at what the Word says about it...
 Acts 20:28 "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bough with his own blood."
 1 Peter 5:2-3 "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money but eager to serve."
That word overseer, in those verses, in the Greek is episkopos, it means authority or guardian {epi =on and skopos=look intently}. 
The focus is on the responsibility of caring for others. To "look intently on" is literally to keep an eye on; to watch over. 
(“Overseer.” HELPS Word-studies. :Helps Ministries, Inc., 1987, 2011. Bible Hub. Web. 23 May 2013.)

Paul, in Acts, is speaking to the elders of the church of Ephesus.  He is compelling them to keep a watchful eye on their congregation.  He warns that even in their own flock lies "savage wolves" that will "arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."  Although Paul is speaking to the elders of the church, the leadership and authority of the church, I believe that as mothers, we are obligated to be the watchmen of our homes. 
I find in Proverbs 31, the Bible's description of a wife and mother of noble character...
Proverbs 31:27 says, "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."
Furthermore, though Paul speaks of other members of the church, I believe that you can parallel this with the world and the enemy's schemes to draw our hearts and the hearts of our children away from the TRUTH of God's Word. 

Our job as mothers is multi-faceted.  Obviously this is just one area that we should focus on..."Keeping an eye on" our children's spiritual walk and FEEDING them, spiritually...  

A Mother's Ministry Manifesto
  1. We are called to be the watchmen or guardians of our home and our children.  We are responsible for the care of our children not just physically but also spiritually. Tend your children's hearts.
  2. Next in priority to our own relationship with Christ is our children's relationship with Him, primarily, how we are leading our children to the Truth? We are to disciple our children and teach them to love Jesus.
  3. Our motivation for this VERY important but also very seemingly overwhelming task is our love for our Savior. We love Him, because He first loved us.  {"love for Christ is the only acceptable motive for serving Him" - John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. }
  4. Our guide is Jesus' example in the Word of God, the Holy order to know what to do, we must know what it says.  Study the Word of God and learn the way of the Master.
  5. Our focus should be on Jesus Christ and not on what or how others are doing it.  {in John 21:22, after Jesus explains to Peter how he will glorify God in his death, Peter asks, "what about John?"  Jesus' answer, "Follow Me."}  In other words, don't worry about anyone else...Follow Me alone.

Of course, this task, as viewed from our perspective may seem daunting and unobtainable.  But,  take heart, 2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness."

What does "mothering is a ministry" mean to you?  What techniques do you use to help in discipling your children?

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