by Shayla Asselin
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
As a new mom, I have recently started to love the quote “Some of the most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” And what a crazy, beautiful, busy, fulfilling “work” motherhood is! To live a life that inspires my daughter to cultivate her own relationship with God has been my prayer since the moment I found out I was having a child. John explained it so well in III John when he said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” The only thing better than being a Chrisitan and going to Heaven is being a Christian and going to Heaven with your family.
I hope I expressed my heart clearly enough in the above paragraph so that you will not misunderstand the rest of what I write. Even though I am new to the mother hood, I know that life can get C.R.A.Z.Y! Sometimes, I seriously worry that I may be losing my mind. So please know I’m not trying to discredit what you are already doing. (And just in case someone hasn’t told you today, you’re doing a great job momma!)
While raising children may be the most important work you ever do, I do not believe it is the only work we must do. As christian women, we often look at the model of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. Throughout this chapter we see a woman who is trustworthy (v. 11), skilled (v. 19), entrepreneurial (v. 16), smart (v. 26), AND charitable (v. 20). In the midst of managing her home, she also makes time to bless others in need of her help. Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” What an inspiring example of who we can be for God and our families.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a new mother and have a long way to go before I’m “qualified” to give motherly advice. So this isn’t really coming from the perspective of a mother, but rather a daughter. But one of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me was a front-row seat to what it was like to be involved in ministry and outreach. Everything she was involved in, I was too. I was dusting window seals while she vacuumed the sanctuary. I was riding in the back seat while she picked up kids on Sunday mornings. I was separating plastic forks and spoons while she was getting food together for the youth groups party. Even when her charity meant I had to wake up really early on the weekend or give up a family vacation so they could take the youth group somewhere, I rarely complained.
That is not necessarily a reflection of me as much as it is a reflection of her.
It was never a chore or an inconvenience for mom to love people. Helping others was just what we did.
I’m learning as my daughter, Adalyn, gets older, she likes to base her reaction off of ours. A few weeks ago, my husband was using a chainsaw to cut down trees. Adalyn had never heard a chainsaw and had never seen a tree fall. When he fired up the chainsaw and began cutting down the tree, Adalyn didn’t know what to think. She immediately turned to me to see how I was reacting. I started smiling and singing a song about how fun it was to be outside watching daddy cut down a tree. From that moment on, she smiled and laughed.
It was then I realized, parents don’t reproduce what they teach as much as they reproduce who they are.
Let’s show our children what it means to sacrifice a Saturday or a few hours of sleep for someone else. Let’s show them how to love the very people Jesus died to save. Let’s show them how to say “yes” to opportunities that give God glory and point men and women to Him.
*If you would like to read Part 2 of this article, "Why You Should Say 'No'", please come back on May 6th.