Motherhood: Ministry to “The Least of These”

by Jean Stockdale

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It doesn’t take long to discover this truth, but MOTHERING IS HARD. No phase of mothering is easy. This whole process got started with a thing called LABOR!! Turns out, labor is the easiest part!

Mothering is hard work. It is 24/7 with no time off for good behavior – no vacations, no sick days, no bonuses, no payroll, nothing but hard work. Mothering little people is tough! Raising them is hard. Releasing them is hard. Everything about the process is hard! Can I get an amen in the house!? However, there is nothing more rewarding than committing yourself to partner with God to work eternal things into the life of your child.

In Matthew 25:39 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” The Lord is keeping meticulous records of attitudes and actions done on His behalf. “Whoever…gives a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward,” Matt. 10:42. Mothering gives us unlimited opportunities to minister to the least of them – offering a cup of cold water, wiping a tear, whispering a word of encouragement, and leaving our fingerprints on the soul of a child.

But let’s get real. Mothering is a tough job.

We are called by God to teach our little children obedience and respect in the midst of a world that has neither.

The task before us is daunting and the stakes are high. If we fail to teach our children to fear God, the devil is ready to teach them to hate God. If we fail to teach them to love and honor God’s wisdom, the devil is happy to teach them his lies and perversions. If we fail to teach them to choose good and godly friends, the devil will be happy to act as social chairman and build unhealthy attachments to unwise friends. If we fail to teach them to reject anger, the devil will fill them with rage and venom. If we fail to teach them to obey their parents, the devil will move in and teach them to rebel and resist authority. If we fail to teach them to watch their words, the devil will fill their mouths with profanity and filthy talk. Beloved, we have been assigned an enormous task. We need God’s Word and His wisdom in order to be able to fulfill it.

Although I knew the Lord called me to be a homemaker, I often felt more like a zookeeper! Maybe you can relate. Two little boys, born just two years apart, made my life chaotic and confusing. No small menagerie of bugs, worms, and beetles found their way into our house via little muddy munchkins who longed to share their prized possessions with me. Add to that an assortment of stray dogs and motherless kittens and our happy home often looked like Noah’s ark, and smelled like the basement of his boat! The sound of bouncing balls was a given if either of the boys were awake. They learned to make car and truck sounds before they could speak. And although I was not keen on guns or other toys of mass destruction, they would eat their sandwiches into the shape of a gun and riddle my kitchen with play bullets! The noise level was often deafening and the sounds of laughter seemed to shake my walls. Tyke bikes and bicycles littered the carport and lay wherever those active little guys had landed. Yes, those were the days. As an empty nester, my house is amazingly quiet and a little sad without the lively energy and loud soundtrack my guys provided. Thankfully, I have precious memories pressed into my heart of the glorious years spent raising boys to men.

Mothering may appear to be a thankless, obscure job without the benefit of sick days or vacation. But when God is in the midst of your home, He turns the mundane into the miraculous.  “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me,” Matt. 25:39. When we care for the least of these in the name of Jesus, we are serving HIM! Don’t lose heart, sweet momma! Jesus is taking note, and He doesn’t miss a thing.

*Jean Stockdale is a mom of two sons and grandmother to 5 littles. She is also a Christian speaker, a Bible teacher, and an author of a number of Bible studies for MOMS. You can read more about Jean’s ministry, Standing Near the Cross, on her website. To read more of her posts for Missional Motherhood, click here.

 Jean Stockdale*Please leave your thoughts below in the comment section! Thanks for stopping by today; feel free to take a look around and stay a while!

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