Ministry is such a noble, beautiful thing. I love the account of that woman whose name is withheld, Peter’s mother-in-law, who after being healed by the Lord Jesus “arose and ministered unto them”. It was given her to minister unto Christ Himself! Then there’s the woman who washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with oil. Have you ever wished you could wash the feet of our precious Saviour? There is the account of Mary and Martha, one who listened and one who served; have you ever longed for the grace to do both?
Before marriage my family was involved in ministry, and it was an honour to try and reach people for the Lord or save babies from death, in His name. After marriage these things continued for a while, but when baby came after baby it became much more impractical for me to join in on any of these ventures.
I suppose because I had been thinking of “ministry” as doing those services it became easy to forget that being a wife and mother itself is a ministry. Oh, I’ve said it before, and it’s been said to me, but it’s easy to lose the delight of truly recognizing it for what it is in the day-to-day sameness. Ministry just isn’t always as exciting as seeing a person who has never really heard the truth, delivering the gospel to them, and seeing them mull it over; it isn’t always as exhilarating as being a vessel the Lord used to turn the hearts of a father and mother toward their child; it also doesn’t always break your heart and compel you to earnest prayer with weeping like it does when you see someone reject the gospel or choose death over life, and so it sometimes can be easy to stagnate, to lose sight that your ministry truly is a ministry, because it isn’t always “new” or “something different”.
Sometimes it’s working with the same people every day, nearly every moment of every day, loving, leading, and training. Sometimes it’s scratching your husband’s back when you “should have” given birth a week ago and could use a serious back rub yourself. Sometimes it’s washing his feet at the end of a long day when you haven’t had a chance to shower in 3. Sometimes it’s giving your child a glass of water when you’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down after being on your feet the last 5+ hours. But it’s ministry. Not just service to your family, but serving the Lord.
Truly the homemaker has one of the most joyous and fulfilling vocations if only it is kept in perspective! which is indeed so very hard. To think that we as wives can in a sense wash the feet of Jesus, by our doing so to him who was chosen to represent him in the home, or as mothers by doing so to “the least of these”, is a very great honour.
And now, I must go, for I need to go minister to my son who just had another accident that he needs cleaning up from. 🙂
ETA: In no way am I trying to minimize the importance of evangelism and baby-saving! And having been involved in those I know that that ministry as well isn’t always “exciting”, “exhilarating”, or even “heart breaking”; there are many battles to fight spiritually and inwardly with those as well. My post may have been poorly worded in that regard!