Watching the efforts that mothers put into raising children has given me a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a missionary to one’s own family. In particular, the need for “mommy missionaries”. The importance of a mother in their child’s life to train them in the paths of righteousness and godliness cannot be underestimated, especially when we recognize the sin that dwells in all of humanity. Even in the cute, little kids. As Augustine phrased it, “the infant’s innocence lies in the weakness of his body and not in the infant mind”).
An excellent article about the importance of mommy missionaries was posted on the Resurgence blog entitled Missional Mothering. I have copied the blog in the space below:
Young mother, it seems like everyone wants something from you. And you’re probably already giving way more than you ever thought you could give. But even with all your giving, you might struggle with guilt—lingering, joy-drenching, energy-sapping guilt—that you should be doing more, giving more, accomplishing more.
Don’t waste that guilt. Pay attention to it. Use it. Take it out of the shadows and examine it in light of Scripture. Is this a godly grief that leads to repentance or a worldly grief that produces death (2 Cor. 7:10)? Is it life-giving or life-depleting? Ask yourself, does this bring fresh joy and peace to those nearest me, or does it add unnecessary stress and strain to my home?
Mother: You have a mission field
Our first and primary mission field is our children. God values our children. Jesus became indignant when the disciples didn’t embrace the worth of children in God’s expanding kingdom (Mark 10:13-16). God tells us that children are his blessing to us (Ps. 127:3). And he places great importance on our teaching our children to love and serve him (Deut. 6:7-9).
Don’t feel guilty over making your children your primary ministry investment in their early years. Your availability, sensitivity, affection, and unhurried attention are irreplaceable.
There are no neutral moments in a young child’s life. Someone is going to be influencing your children, inculcating values and imprinting standards on their impressionable young minds. Let it be you!
Accept your calling from God to serve your family. As a mother, you are helping to shape the souls of your children for Christ and ultimately influence the world. Your children are your gift to the future.
Stay on mission
Does this mean you will never invest in others outside your family? Goodness, no. But if you are a young mother, stay on mission. Use your primary ministry of mothering to serve Christ now. Don’t let anything diminish your unique role as a wife and mother. It is not godly guilt that would call you away from a wholehearted investment in your little ones for his sake.
This season in your life is just that—a season. And each season is a divine calling from our creator and king. Organizing a new event at church is important. Teaching your little boy to be kind to his sister is also important. But which one can best be done by you during this season? Serve God well by ministering to your children first. Very soon they will be grown and gone, and you will be unable to recapture the teachable moments you have now.
Mothers, listen to Psalm 78:4-7: “We will . . . tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders he has done . . . that the next generation might know . . . so that they should set their hope in God.”