Introduction: So what did you do today? Cook? Clean? Work? How about drive the kids somewhere, or grocery shop, or bandage a skinned knee? We moms juggle many hats in one day. Finding time to be alone with the husband is hard enough, let alone finding time to be with the Lord. So how do we know what things each day we should prioritize?
We are to –
1) Love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Colossians 3:23 suggests that we are to do everything, EVERYTHING, for the Lord; and not for man. So everything we do should not be motivated by what others might think, or by the desire for praise for ourselves, but all work should be “from the soul” and only to glorify and love God. This really calls into question my motivation for the things I do. And it also changes my bad attitudes toward things of drudgery. It changes them to an attitude of “I get to do this for God.” No matter how insignificant we may consider something, if we have dedicated that action or decision to the Lord, we may be powerfully used by God and not even know it.
2) Read the Bible. Psalm 119, in its entirety, is dedicated to the law. It speaks on how we should diligently keep God’s ordinances, how we should desire teaching about the scriptures, and we are to not forget the law. The scriptures have been given to us by God for the specific purpose of teaching us how to not sin against our Creator. There is a lot of uncertainty in parenting and knowing scripture “in and out of season” can shed light during hard and dark times. The word of God is as bread and honey to our lips. It’s nourishing. But just as it takes work for a baker to make bread and a bee to form the honeycomb, we must work at getting the scriptures into us. Memorizing and reading scripture takes discipline and will fill up the hungry places in our hearts.
3) Pray without ceasing. How come?
- Because Jesus said so. (Matthew 7:7-8)
- To pursue a relationship with the Father. (Psalm 27:8 and Luke 5:16)
- To bring Him near to us. (Deuteronomy 4:7 and James 4:8)
- To know the will of the Father. (Jeremiah 42:3 and John 4:34)
- To secure our children’s salvation and enhance their growth in Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 43:5-7 and Matthew 19:14)
- To fight for our children and prevail. (Nehemiah 4:10-18, Proverbs 14:26, Isaiah 54:17, Ephesians 6:10-13)
- To unleash God’s power. (Ephesians 3:20 and James 5:16)
- To glorify God. (John 14:12-14 and John 15: 7-8)
4) Love our Neighbors –
What kind of love are we to have for our neighbors? The same kind Jesus had for us: sacrificial; loving in deed and truth; and giving to those in need. Loving our neighbors means putting “skin” on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Who are our neighbors? The author of this study had us read the story of the Good Samaritan and think about it from a mom’s perspective toward her children. Here’s where I struggle: Many times the church pushes and pushes for us to be mission oriented and look for ways to minister to those in our community. I have absolutely no problem with this, because that is truth. We SHOULD have a mission mind set. But after reading this scripture it dawned on me that my CHILDREN are my neighbors. My HUSBAND is my neighbor. Am I choosing to “walk across the road” to be mission oriented with others while leaving my kids and husband in the dust? Am I so preoccupied with my own plan and purpose, my own agenda for life, that I forget that my family might need more of me? My children and my husband are my mission field. They are my neighbors FIRST and then I can look beyond the walls at others. “Loving your neighbor starts with those very close neighbors – the people who share your address.” (pg.22)
5) Praise and Thank God. We are to offer a sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice means something has to die. Something has to be given up. So when you praise the Lord, what part of Him are you giving Him? Are you giving Him your whole heart? Are you caring what others might be thinking? Do you only praise the Lord in church? or do you worship Him with a thankful heart at home as well? Humble people realize that everything (materials, family, joy, love, etc.) they have comes from the Lord – a sacrifice of praise is the total surrendering of ourselves to the dependance of God.
Learning From One Another:
Which priority is the most difficult for you to keep at the forefront of your life? For me, I’d have to say “loving my neighbors” is the most difficult. I am so selfish. I’d much rather curl up with a good book and read than clean house, or cook dinner, or teach school, or go to the grocery store. All of these activities involve others, my neighbors. Talking to people, especially those I don’t know, goes against my personality. But I know that my God requires me to love my neighbors; and so I do my best to love those around me first and put my agenda to the side. Besides, I find that when I begin to make relationships in the Lord, those turn out to be my most treasured friendships. There are many times a day I fail at being a Good Samaritan, but I make a mental note, pick up the pieces, and try again.
Bringing It Home:
Really think about this question: What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Can you come up with a list of 5-10 things? I urge you to take the time to write down your list. This list reflects what you consider success to be. Now…what do you have to do to make sure this list is true about you?
Just for Fun:
We were to form an acrostic using the words “THANKS” and “PRAISE.”
What words did your family come up with? I thought the vowels were hard!
(Please write your comment in the section below so others can add to the conversation and encourage as we learn from each other.)
What has the Lord revealed to you about Himself? What does He want you to do to better prioritize your time?
God’s Wisdom for a Mother’s Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth (all quotes come from this study)
Raising Responsive Children by Judy Rossi