“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
I’ve been going back through the Old Testament and finally reading it from beginning to end. Maybe you’ve heard the story of Nehemiah and his mission. If not, let me give you a quick summary.
For decades, the Israelites had been led away from God because of false prophets and bad kings, poor choices, and doing “evil in the eyes of the Lord” agonizingly repeatedly. And because of it, God allowed the city of Jerusalem to be utterly destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who took hostages back to his kingdom over a period of many years. The hostages became known as the exiles.
Despite the Lord’s justifiable anger, He was faithful to His people. So He made sure one of the exiles was a man named Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was chosen to be the king’s cupbearer and confidante in the Babylonian palace. When Nehemiah heard about the destruction of his hometown, Jerusalem, he prayed that the Lord would soften the king’s heart and allow him to go back to his beloved city to rebuild its protective wall. The Lord granted his request and he became a man on a mission.
When Nehemiah got to Jerusalem with his army of wall builders, they found they had quite a job to do and got right to work. But after some time, some of the farmers of the area who were not exiled to Babylon decided to heckle poor Nehemiah. Daily they tried to distract him and draw him away from doing the Lord’s work.
So let me ask you…does this sound like something you’re going through right now? Is someone or something trying to draw you away from your “kingdom work”?
Maybe you don’t think you do any kingdom work. I thought so too for many years. Then one day my husband decided to go on a mission trip with our church. Again and again I was asked, “Are you going too?” My polite response was always the same. “No, no, I’m staying home to take care of the kids.”
But inside I was yelling,” Are you kidding me?! Me go on a mission trip with a preschooler and twin boys still in diapers? I’ve got plenty on my plate already, thank you very much.”
What I ended up discovering was that it’s okay that I wasn’t drawn to go overseas for mission work. I found I still had plenty of kingdom work to do right here at home. Not only that, I was already doing it and didn’t even realize it! I was reminded of the very important job God had given to me.
I am a mom!
As a Christian mom, my mission field was handed to me by my Lord whether I liked it or not. Turns out, I do. I absolutely adore my boys and I love teaching them about God. I love that they can recite and instantly recognize Bible verses, and understand the amazing, incomprehensible love Jesus has for us. When my oldest gave his heart to Jesus and was water baptized, talk about a happy moment!
Still, there are plenty of days when the hecklers of life try to distract me from my mission work, my kingdom work. No, I don’t have a group of people throwing rocks at me and calling me names like Nehemiah did (thankfully). But I do have a telephone that rings, dirty laundry piling up, meals to cook, and baseball games and karate practices to shuttle back and forth to. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Be Tactical In Your Mission
Satan uses all of the daily pressures and scheduling of life to try to consistently distract me from my main mom mission: to teach my boys about the love of our Almighty God, what it means to have a personal relationship with Him, how to let their lights shine in a dark world, and how to fight the enemy for the rest of their earthly lives. Some days it’s hard to stay focused.
It’s not always easy keeping the mission on track. So I came up with a few tactics that have worked for me. Maybe they’ll help you too.
Writing Bible verses on the art easel We have an easel that has a dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other, and we keep it in the kitchen where the boys will see it on a regular basis. I use one side to post a “verse of the week” for the boys to learn. It’s also where we keep a copy of the Lord’s Prayer. I like how it helps the Scripture to become familiar to the boys. And us parents.
Writing verses on 3×5 cards or post-it notes to put in lunchboxes Kids always love getting surprise notes from mom or dad in their lunchboxes. So if your kids take their own lunch to school, throw a quick memory verse in along with an encouraging word from you. If you don’t have time to write a note of your own, consider purchasing pre-printed Scripture notes from your local Christian bookstore. I have a stack from the Adventure Bible series that comes in handy. School can be frustrating and hard some days. A note from you will help to brighten their day while also reminding them that Jesus loves them.
Keeping two or three Bible story books in every room I am definitely a bookworm. I absolutely adore reading and I completely believe in the power of reading. So when my oldest was born I started stocking up kid-friendly books and Bible story books. You can find a bunch of them at Christian bookstores, of course. Also keep your eyes open at places like Walmart and even some grocery stores. My boys really enjoy the Veggie Tales series and there’s at least one book in every room so we always have one handy.
Reading nightly devotionals It’s a common activity to read to your kids just before bedtime. I read whatever they want, but I always include at least one devotional too. There are a lot of kid-friendly devotional books available that cover a variety of topics, plus a bunch that will walk a kid through the Bible in a way that they will understand. Right now we’re enjoying reading I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God by Diane Stortz that illustrates and describes the different names of God as it is shown throughout the Bible. Awesome book!
Lots and lots of praying at every chance possible It goes without saying that our kids need us praying for them. Growing up can be fun, but it can also be scary and frustrating. I pray with my boys every night, sometimes as a group and sometimes individually. And sometimes they fall asleep before we’re done. But I’m okay with that because I know the last thing they heard me saying as they drifted off was me talking to God on their behalf. As they grow I will expect them to not only stay awake but also pray on their own. But for now, I’m content to handle it for them. Every time we cover our kids with prayer we are inviting God’s power into their lives and establishing a road of upright thinking and, one amazing day, their salvation.
Sure, we miss days when no stories get read or I forget the 3×5 cards. But the sweet presence of the Lord is always sought after. Sometimes all it takes is a good hug or an encouraging word.
You’re A Mom With A Mission
How about you? Do you think you’re “just a mom”? Let me strongly assure you that you’re not. Not at all. You are a mighty warrior for God on a mission to teach the next generation about the goodness and faithfulness of our Creator. With every prayer and every mention of His name before your kids, you are building up His kingdom and doing good “in the eyes of the Lord.” And He will give you the strength and wisdom to complete your mission, just like He did for Nehemiah.
Nehemiah’s commitment is just one amazing story in the Old Testament. I encourage you to read it or read it again. So many great lessons for us all. He got that wall rebuilt. In record time too- only 52 days! And what a celebration there was on the day of dedicating it to the Lord during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Who knew that Nehemiah’s love for God and ignorance of hecklers and distractions would one day illustrate how I can be a better mom, building up my family for the glory of the Lord?
Good ole Nehemiah. I like him.
“All things are possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23
Note: I am not affiliated or have been paid in any way by anyone for the recommendations I’ve made. They are purely my own opinions and I think they are good ones.