Mommy & Her Bible

crazy-household

I don’t know what the mommy world is like. Yes, I am the eldest of six kids, the youngest of whom was born when I was seventeen. Yes, I have worked in the church nursery for years and babysat countless hours. But at the age of thirty, I am still pretty much an outsider to the mommy world.

So, in this bittersweet passage some call “singleness,” I fight to live a life of Scripture-saturation – and dream of living said life with littles in tow.

. . . but my dream world might be falling apart before it starts – because this mommy thing is hard! All I have to do is watch a few moms who aren’t playing make-believe to know that my future plans may be a little idealistic.

Though my schedule-crazy, overly-perfectionist, OCD-to-the-max self likes to think I could have a house-full in ship-shape order and soaked in Scripture, too, I’m rather beginning to doubt myself.

You can’t just command your 2-year-old to be quiet for an hour while you open Scripture with your study group? Is it really that big of a deal to get you and four, fully capable {albeit completely helpless}, little people into your mini-van, and out again? What’s this about snacks and naps and potty training emergencies? Since I’ll have so much time on my hands {a.k.a. no “real” job}, won’t I be able to run a perfectly clean, orderly home, personally and masterfully educate my dozen children, not lose my mind, and still have mental space in the evenings for the Word, too?

Maybe I can, maybe I can’t. Perhaps I’ll find out one day.

But here is my pressing concern: that, for the sake of family, we have little to no time for God’s Family gathered around the Word.

I get the importance of family. God designed the family as the central structure of society. And mothers {since we’re talking about the “mommy world” here} have a wonderfully beautiful job that, in my estimation, exceeds all others should they be rewarded with it.

I’m not looking to downplay the family or the biblical function of the mother. But let’s consider both – physical family and spiritual family.

Human relationships are bound by blood and dissolve at death. Spiritual relationships are bound by the blood of Christ which has defeated death.

Yes, we are responsible for family, but aren’t we also responsible for our brothers and sisters in Christ? Yes, we should prioritize family, but shouldn’t we also prioritize the family of God?

And so my perspective changes.

Not, how can I fulfill all the responsibilities of family and motherhood and still fit the Bible in somewhere?

Not, how can I fill my life with time in the Word and juggle family on the side?

But, how can I love my children well and teach them that opening God’s Word with family – God’s family – is the greatest joy?

From one who has yet to enter the mommy world, here a few practical tips:

  • Aim to involve yourself and your family in as many Scripture studies with other believers as possible while maintaining the proper, biblical health of your physical family.
  • Study Scripture as a family or in groups within the family: mom/daughter, father/son, husband/wife, older sibling/younger sibling.
  • Host Bible study groups in your home and encourage young moms with children to join. Make it a casual, kid-friendly environment and encourage participation by all.
  • If you homeschool, use the flexibility of your schedule as an opportunity to join day-time Bible-study groups. {This is at least one reason why you homeschool.}
  • Patiently and lovingly train young children to play quietly during Bible-study time. Teach them that God deserves our careful and worshipful attention.
  • Incorporate Scripture memorization and Scripture-study training into your child’s education {with discretion to the unbelieving}.
  • Fill your home with Scripture in ways that don’t require time: printed passages placed at all eye-levels, Scripture songs playing regularly, etc. {resources here}.
  • Foster great enthusiasm for the Word by creatively making Scripture-study a fun and natural part of life.
  • Send your babies-now-grown-leaders into the world as equipped and eager fellow-travelers on the journey.
  • Please feel free to add your own tips in the comments below!

 [image credit: unsplash.com]


18 thoughts on “Mommy & Her Bible

  1. I believe that family is a ministry all in itself, and the number one ministry those who are married and have children have. I think within the last century, as the church became a center focus of Christianity, the family has sadly been neglected and seen as a hindrance to our Christian faith and often members are separated to leave each on their own under the instruction of other Christians or leaders and church and spiritual abuse is more apt to divide and conquer, instead of the structure of the home being strengthened. I think your tips are a wonderful way to incorporate scripture studies in with family but also believe that even in doing laundry, dishes, cooking and bathing kids we are also engaging in ministry work.

    As a wife and mother there is a biblical call and role in serving our husband, loving them, respecting them and loving and training our children, being a homemaker and being busy at home. If anything in the home is lacking we can not take on the responsibility of training others or hosting studies and it’s often at the families expense that those committments take place.

    If a man is scripturally forbidden to be a church leader if his family is not in order it is utmost importance to make sure the family is taken care of in all aspects first – after all discipling an individual for 18years 24/7 certainly is full time ministry work, and a parent has that responsibility for each and every child they have which could bear fruits of that labor for generations upon generations as each child forms their own family one day.

    As we age and our children leave home, our new call enables us to do more in the body of Christ, training other woman to the call of motherhood, homemaking, loving their husbands… (Titus 2) and we can more frequently host studies and make commitments in free time. And as we may have more time, our responsibility changes so that we don’t become idle and continue in ministry.

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    1. I agree 1000%. With everything you said in mind, my question is, How can we prioritize time in the Word personally and with other believers so that we don’t neglect that calling and so that we can teach our children the importance of the family of God? That question was the focus of this particular article.

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  2. Fun to find this post on FB at Sisters Spurring Sisters, and I must say that you have a much more balanced view of real live motherhood than I did before I became a mum. I have learned that my heart is such an efficient idol factory that I can make a god out of even my study time. Love yields the preferred activity for the necessary, and does it without expecting to be lauded for the good choice. Thanks for your wise ponderings, Lydia.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your heart here.

    I am a Mimi now and as such, I feel like I’ve come full circle to an even bigger circle of being a wife, running a household, working part-time outside of the home, babysitting my precious granddaughter and being actively involved with my church family.

    I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed lately and can feel like a failure in many respects. But God has given me a peace about “my system/His system” now. I need to remember that my main purpose is to please God not man, no matter what form that comes in, and which can look very different on any given day.

    Your insights and suggestions are extremely helpful.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. I’m not sure how valid my thoughts will be – I’m a dad to dogs. My wife had a hysterectomy before we met, and with severe my PTSD (combat veteran) adoption would have been a terrible idea).

    But it’s still a ministry; we’ve taken in the abused and abandoned (and one with a broken back) and given them all the love and care we have.

    God made them to love us; we can do our best to return the favour.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/10/your-dying-spouse-218-solitude-and.html

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  5. You have a lot of insight and wisdom! Also, don’t be discouraged. My youngest daughter began to doubt she would ever find the man God had for her, and at 32 God finally answered the cry of her heart. He was worth the wait! They are expecting their first baby, due on their 2nd anniversary!

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  6. Life with babies and toddlers is exhausting, and because of that, you can’t really do it well without seeking God. I never was able to have regular devotions like you are saying here, (sometimes it was just necessary to sleep!) but did always stay connected to scripture and God’s Word in some fashion. I can say that clinging to my faith is what got me through those early years. Thanks for posting your thoughts!

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  7. I am a first time mom and being a mom is the most absolutely beautiful, exhausting thing you can do! Entirely worth it, and yes we should spend as much time in the Word as possible. I have found I literally have to listen for the Holy Spirit to tell me to go read. If not I can start and it could be the wrong time, the baby will wake up. So I think one thing mom’s truly need to stay in the Word other than family devotional times and reading before bed with your family is a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s prompting form time to time.

    Thanks for sharing!
    God bless,
    Patty

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  8. I think that it is possible to keep BOTH Family & Scriptures at high priority. I think a LOT of the secret is to stop thinking “Jesus and Me” and start thinking “Jesus and US.” Replacing part of your private time in the Word with family time in the Word, part of your private Prayer time with Family Prayer time. Part of your private Theology study with Family Theology study. Part of your Volunteer time for the poor with Family volunteer time. Yes, the time on the clock may not be as much as when you were single, but it will be much richer : )

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  9. Family studying the Bible and praying together is important including the children. My mother read a chapter from the Bible each morning before we left for school. We also memorized a scripture for the week. I did the same for our children. The children you Lydia, teach, and influence will always remember you as a loving person who loves Jesus. You may have more children to your credit than some mothers who think they are doing such a good job.
    Your thoughts about God’s family are interesting. God has nurturing capacities, even though He is not the mommy, He dearly loves his children. Jesus said, “As a mother hen gathers her little ones, under her wings, so I would want to gather you as my children.” (My translation). Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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  10. Great suggestions! I too am no in the mommy-stage but we are praying and hoping that God will grow our little family soon- I will definitely be taking these suggestions to heart when He does bless us with our heritage!

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  11. As a mom of four, who’s youngest is sixteen, I can assure you that the time you spend in scripture study will change a hundred times while raising your children. One thing will work for awhile and then suddenly you’ll have to find something new. It’s no different than any other time in life. The point is to not lose your DESIRE to study. If you want to and ask God for help, He will find creative ways to fit it in. In this stage, I have the privilege of spending a couple of hours each day growing and learning during my Time With God, which I also get to blog about every day. It will work out. Be flexible and don’t force it, you’ll just get frustrated.

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