Our church concludes each service by having the entire congregation recite the Great Commission mandate as found in Matthew 28:18-20,
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I love that this is the weekly practice of our church, because as we embark on a new week ahead and all that that entails, this recitation reminds us of what our mission and focus ought to be each day. But for the stay-at-home mom, this passage can be rather defeating and discouraging if we allow it to be – if we do not have a proper understanding of how we fit into this Great Commission. For the mama who finds each of her days filled to the brim with changing diapers, nursing babies, answering never-ending calls of “Mama!!!”, breaking up sibling squabbles, tending to toddler temper tantrums, wiping noses, making dinner (again!), cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, and seldom finding an opportunity to potty alone, it can seem impossible to ever be faithful to fulfill the calling of the Great Commission. But I want to encourage you Mamas with a truth today and that is this, [clickToTweet tweet=”You’re already faithfully fulfilling the Great Commission each day of your life as you pour truth into your children!” quote=”You’re already faithfully fulfilling the Great Commission each day of your life as you pour truth into your children!”]
Right where you are, within the four walls of your home, surrounded by your children, you are daily obeying the commission issued to you by Jesus as you train your children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6), as you daily disciple them, and as you teach the Lord’s commands diligently to your children, talking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7). [clickToTweet tweet=”After all, your children are your disciples. They are your mission field.” quote=”After all, your children are your disciples. They are your mission field.”] The Great Commission is all about teaching God’s truths and commands to others and what more is raising your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, than just that? [clickToTweet tweet=”The point of the Great Commission is not so much the where, but the who and the what.” quote=”The point of the Great Commission is not so much the where, but the who and the what.”] Don’t allow your focus to be on the fact that you may not be a foreign missionary, spreading God’s truth to people in the jungles of Africa or the urban cities of England. Yes, the Great Commission does speak of us going and making disciples of all nations, but I want to point out two things about that,
- This is merely to make it clear to us that we are to leave no one out of this Good News of the Gospel – we don’t withhold the truth from Asians, but share it with Europeans, hide it from Arabs, but share it with Americans. God’s truth is for everyone everywhere! But this does not mean that you yourself have to go off to one of these far off places as a missionary in order to faithfully fulfill the Great Commission. After all,
- In a similar passage to that of the Great Commission, Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus speaks of His children spreading His Word to people both near and far, both in local cities and far off countries. But get this – He never places one region in a sphere of more importance than another. There is no differentiation. Again, God’s truth is for everyone everywhere, and so if you are being faithful right where God has placed you to share God’s Word with those in your particular circle of influence, then you are pleasing God and fulfilling the Great Commission just as much as is the missionary on foreign soil.
You, sweet Mama, are already a missionary! For some reason, we have made the mistake in our day in age of believing missionaries to be solely folks who serve people groups in foreign lands. But a missionary is simply one who is commissioned to proclaim the Gospel, making you in your home just as much of a missionary as the dear folks serving others around the world.
But am I Really Accomplishing Anything??
It can be easy for us stay-at-home moms to look at the great feats of faith and acts of service conducted around the world by foreign missionaries and then to look at our own day-t0-day lives at home with our children and think, “Am I actually accomplishing anything? Yeah, I read the Bible to my kids but mostly it seems like I’m merely cleaning up messes and breaking up fights. How is that as worthwhile or important as serving those in impoverished nations?”
Oh, dear Mama, let me encourage and inspire your heart today! It can be so easy to feel defeated and discouraged when we share God’s truth with our kiddos and apply it to issues of their daily lives, only for them to act out, present themselves as little heathens in public, and for us to feel like they will never get it and as if nothing we are teaching them is actually sinking in. But let’s remember the condition of our own hearts – many of us have been Christians for years, could spout off several Bible verses and like to think of ourselves as believers and embracers of truth. But, in spite of this, how often do we ourselves sin and fall short again and again and again? Even the great Apostle Paul struggled with this! He said in Romans 7:15 that, “For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” So, take heart when you see this happening in your children, too. It’s not your fault or a sign that you are failing as a parent, for we adults are no different! It’s all a part of the sin nature which still resides in us even after we are redeemed and washed clean (Romans 7:17-20). As you raise up your children into disciples of Christ, just remember what the Lord promises in Isaiah 55:11,
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Furthermore, I do not want you to be discouraged by the fact that you may not be a foreign missionary doing great things in a foreign land because you need to understand that if the Lord wanted you yourself to be a missionary on foreign soil, He would have called you to that and sent you there. If, however, for this season of your life at least, He has called you to live at home surrounded by your children day in and day out, that is the mission field He has in mind for you. That is where He wants you, those are the souls He wants you to reach for His Kingdom, and to do otherwise is to be in grave disobedience to His calling on your life. To forsake your God-given ministry to your children because you want a more glamorous or popular or public or seemingly more productive ministry out in the world is to forsake the Great Commission in your life. The Lord knew what He was doing when He entrusted your children to you and He has called you to raise them up for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. Nothing could be more important or worthwhile or productive than that. Trust God and obey His call on your life. Lest you begin to think that to do so is to succumb yourself to a life of smallness and insignificance, consider the encouragement and inspiration found in this quote,
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa
That, Mama, is exactly what you are doing at home! Isn’t that exciting? You yourself are just one person and, even through the Lord, are only capable of so much. But! When you pour your life into the lives of your little ones, you create ripples across the very pond of the world itself! For example, do you have four kids? With just those four kids, you are expounding your influence on the world four times over! You could be raising the next great political leader, another influential stay-at-home mom, a pastor to be the next Johnathon Edwards, bringing about another Great Awakening, and a doctor who will cure cancer! You never know just what your kids will go on to do or how the Lord will use them and work in and through them. You simply know that He will and rest in that exciting truth, thankful to be able to take part in the amazing story God is unfolding in their lives and in the world at large. Consider, for example, these inspiring quotes,
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” ~ George Washington
“I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“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.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“If I am Thy child, O God, it is because Thou gavest me such a mother.” ~St. Augustine
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Fulfilling the Great Commission with Your Children
Before closing, I just want to share with you Mamas another thought on fulfilling the Great Commission and that is this – not only are you fulfilling the Great Commission yourself when you are raising your children up to be disciples of Christ, but you can also emulate for your children how they, too, can fulfill the Great Commission and then go about fulfilling it along with them side by side as you do life together. The Great Commission is all about service – loving and showing one another grace and truth, meeting peoples’ needs and pointing them to Jesus to, in turn, meet the needs of others and so carry on the cycle of ministry and disciple-making. It can be so easy for me sometimes to want to be out doing something – serving meals at a homeless shelter, counseling teens at a crisis pregnancy center, or so serving some needy soul in some exciting way rather than sitting at home cleaning the kitchen or vacuuming the floor again. But you know what? As my children grow, that sort of service will be something that I can do more and more! Will I also have other time-consuming responsibilities of things like homeschooling as my children grow? Of course! [clickToTweet tweet=”But an important part of homeschooling is not mere book work. It’s life work! ” quote=”But an important part of homeschooling is not mere book work. It’s life work! “] It is influencing, preparing, and equipping our children to make it their mission to love and serve others throughout their lives. [clickToTweet tweet=”We need to view our families as a team whose mission it is to impact the world for Christ.” quote=”We need to view our families as a team whose mission it is to impact the world for Christ.”] So, as we instruct our children in the ways of the Lord, instilling truth into them, and by so doing, fulfill the Great Commission, we don’t just stop there. We then give them opportunities to actually put those truths into practice themselves by sharing them with others who are in need of the Good News of Christ. We fashion them into little Great Commission workers, as well! I love how Sally Clarkson so often speaks of how, when her children were young, she would not only read to them some great story of faith and heroism from the Old Testament or about some great Christian in history who, by God’s grace, did amazing things for His Kingdom, but she would then apply it to their lives by asking them, “What do you think the Lord can accomplish through you? What great thing could you do to advance the Kingdom of God? What great act of faith will you perform?” As we all know, through the stories of people like David, Jeremiah, and Timothy, the Lord delights in using people who are young and who others would think incapable of great feats. So, as we go about fulfilling the Great Commission, let us not fail to inspire our kids to themselves be Great Commission workers, too. Through the Lord, they, too, are capable of so much, for the same Holy Spirit the Lord gave to us as Helper is in our children, as well, when they are saved.
So, Mamas, go forth today in purpose, inspiration, vision, possibility, service, excitement, joy and intentionality, for you are a Great Commission worker right where you are with the family the Lord has given to you. You are accomplishing great things in and through your home. Never forget that!
God bless you!
Until next week,
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