Homebuilder's Essay October 13, 2010
Being An At-Home Missionary
Children / Grandchildren
A missionary is a person who is undertaking a mission and especially a religious mission. We want to talk about being a Mother at home and undertaking a religious mission with our children and grandchildren.
Mother's, it is quite a privilege and responsibility to be a missionary at home. We must remember our lives are observed everyday. So that makes it very important that we are setting a good example to them. We need to be a true child of God, our sins washed away and living in victory. Our love needs to radiate to our husband and our children. Ephesians 5: 22 & 23 says about love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and meekness, against such there is no law. If we have a good portion of these fruits in our lives it will be an asset to our missionary work in our home.
Psalm 127: 3,4,&5a - "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them."
Our mission is to raise our children for the Lord so someday he can have them back.
We were blessed with nine healthy children. Each one has a very special place in our heart. We learned that each one has different traits, personalities and needs. We are not able to meet the challenge of raising these children for the Lord without God's help. We need to talk to God daily about the needs of our children. God can guide us while we strive to do our best in building Godly character in our children.
Our little bundles come to us very dependent. We gladly receive them with open arms. We are glad to give them the love and care they need. Although, there may be times we feel worn out and so tired from disturbed nights of sleep and all the work that we hardly know how we can keep going. But we wouldn't trade our calling of being a mother.
It is not long till they learn what the word NO means. One of our little grandsons says "No, No, No" sometimes after he is told no when he wants to get in the cupboard, or whatever it is. It reminds me of the time when we need to say a lot of "No" words. We do need to follow through with what we say to teach them obedience. We need to be consistent with what we tell them and their obedience to that.
It is important for us to teach them to be thankful. We can first teach them by being thankful ourselves. When they fold the washcloths and towels for us it is proper to say thank - you for doing a good job for your age.
Sometimes I was tempted to refold some of the washcloths or towels if they were not folded quite right because of me being too particular. They need to learn to do them right, but we as mothers need to have some patience for them to learn exactly how we want it done, whatever it is. We can try to weave thankfulness in these little hearts as we tell them that we are so thankful that God blessed us with all these good vegetables from our garden. It helps us to have food for the winter. Tell them their Dad is working hard to provide for them, so they have clothes and a warm place to live. We need to thank God for Dad.
We need to teach our children to love each other and be kind while they play together. Being able to share their toys and not grabbing toys from each other. Learning to talk nice and not yelling and screaming to show their feelings. As you know, these are daily duties of ours if we want to help them learn love and kindness at an early age.
It is good to teach our children to pray to God about things that bother them and thank God for things they are happy about. It blesses my heart when I hear children say they prayed for their Dad or Mother because they were not feeling well and their prayers were answered. Praying for safety as their dad has a dangerous job to do and then thanking the Lord when he returns safe. There is something so special about seeing these young children learn about faith and trust in God. My Dad was a man of prayer. I remember one time he was trying to load a steer onto a truck. We were standing by the fence. The steer was giving them a hard time. Dad took his cap off and prayed to God about it. That left an impression on me. Early in life he learned to cry to God during difficult times. His Dad died when he was fourteen years old, and he was raised by a relative.
Each child has his own special traits and needs. Learning to see our children's needs takes a watchfulness. We need to communicate with our children all through their lives. We need to start early if we want to have good communication with them when they are older. Years ago, when my husband came home from work the children would often be near the door, ready to see if the lunch kettle had anything left in it by the smaller ones.
But the other children would often have something they wanted to tell Dad. Sometimes they made out with each other who would tell which story. As I look back at that, I am so glad I left them tell, at least sometimes, the story I would have liked to tell but they told it instead. It took some patience to wait till I could communicate with him because of their talk. I am so glad they were able to share things with their dad. When they come to the age of being accountable to god, it is an advantage to parent and child if they had good communication early in life.
Some of our children were past the middle teens when they gave their heart to the Lord. It was important for us to know how our children felt about accepting God's call to salvation. Did they not want to answer the call or were they waiting and not sure of God's call? When we understood that they were waiting for the call then we would rest in that and wait with them till God made it clear. They need to understand the call of God themselves.
It is a wonderful experience when our children come to us and express their desire to become a Christian. It brings so much joy to us. It seems like a heavenly experience. It is not long till the special day of their conversion is in the past and they face struggles and temptations. We need to teach them to fear the Lord and obey his commandments. If they have the proper fear of God it will help them want to be obedient. They need to understand the importance of reading God's word, practicing obedience, being thankful, having a genuine love fot others, being kind and forgiving others. It is important for them to learn to say I am sorry, I was wrong. It does us all good to sincerely say we are sorry to someone.
When our children are in their upper teens or early twenties there may be some very difficult experiences. There may be some valley experiences. There may be some valley experiences that are long and hard to understand. We need to be there for them and ready to listen to them. We must try to understand their hearts cry even though we may never have experienced what they are experiencing. They may wonder where God is in all this. We need to help them see the good that God is doing for them. God is still there. God loves them. Telling them we love them and are praying for them many times helps to encourage them. They may experience a few negative situations, one right after the other and it looks like everything is going wrong. We may not have the words to express to them at first. But being there to listen, showing we care and expressing our love for them is an encouragement for them to keep going one step at a time. After some if their experiences are past they will be able to see more clearly God's love to them. I treasure the experience of seeing a son or daughter come through their difficult times victoriously.
Our children may take an interest in some other youth that are struggling or discouraged in life. While it is good to help others, we need to be alert to influences that may be affecting them because of their close contact with them. I have seen youth being tempted with a similar temptation that the youth they were trying to help was struggling wath. The evil one is so sly. Good communication with our children over these times is a tremendous help.
Grandchildren are special blessings given us from God. We can weave truths into their lives by our words and our examples. If we have grandchildren that the parents are not faithful to the Lord, we must take the opportunities we can to teach them the ways of the Lord.
Mothers and Grandmothers, we need to teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, having good discernment in conduct or speech, being pure in thought and action, being keepers at home and obedient to their husbands. We need to express these principles in our lives and encourage our daughters and granddaughters to possess them in their lives. I believe it is important to convey to our daughters and granddaughters the joys of being a missionary, keeper at home.
Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
The Cry of Mothers
My life is so narrow, so narrow Environed by four bare walls.
And ever across my thresh hold The shadow of duty falls.
My eyes wander oft to the hilltops, But ever my heart stoops down
In a passion of love to the babies That helplessly cling to my gown.
In the light of a new day dawning, I see an evangel stand,
And to the fields that are white to harvest, He lures me with beckoning hand;
But I have no place with the reapers, No part in the soul-stirring strife.
I must hover my babes on the hearthstone And teach them the lessons of life.
But at night when the lessons are ended And I cuddle each sleepy head.
When the questions are asked and answered And the last little prayer has been said;
When the fruitless unrest has vanished That fretted my soul each day.
Then I kneel in the midst of my children And humbly and gratefully pray:
"Dear Lord, when I stand with the reapers, Before Thee, at set of sun
When the sheaves of the harvest are garnered And the labor of life is done
Let me lay at thy feet these, my children, To my heart and my garment they cling.
I cannot go forth with the reapers, Yet these are the sheaves that I bring."
Essay by: Lois Halteman