Every morning as I shuffle into my galley kitchen, I am greeted with five little words:
“Children learn what they live.”
Normally, I walk right by and begin sorting out the breakfast menu, starting a pot of coffee or double-checking the calendar by the fridge. But this morning, my mind is flooded with conversations of the past week. With all the swirling bits and pieces of each causing me to ask:
“What will I teach my children today?”
Perhaps it is this question that forces me to dig deeper, to pause longer and to wonder just how I will affect my kids’ perception of what it means to not only love Jesus, but live Jesus.
Today, will my fear of the unknown teach them that God is untrustworthy? Or will my faith assure them of just how big He is?
Today, will my obsession with order lead them to micromanage their own little worlds? Or will they know, without doubt, that kids are more important to Jesus than a clean kitchen floor?
Today, will my tongue convince them that Jesus is in the business of gossip? Or will I speak of God’s kids with the love I would want given to my own?
Today, will my relationship with Him be littered with rules and crammed with Christian activity? Or will it instead convince them that He cares more about the content of their hearts than their day planners?
Today, will my children see me? Or will they see Jesus?
Now even as I arrive at these last two questions, I am forced to face a rather unflattering answer. If I am brutally honest, my kids see more of me than they ever do of my Savior. Too often, I find myself buying into the lie that sharing Jesus is something I do outside my home, when just the opposite should be true.
Motherhood isn’t simply a job or a giant to-do list that has to be accomplished. Motherhood is a sacred ministry. And from the moment they arrive, my kids are my primary mission field.
If I miss that, I miss everything.
You see, the sacred isn’t just found overseas or downtown or at church. The sacred sits in my minivan, throws Cheerios on my kitchen floor and offers precious, incoherent prayers at lunchtime. Each and every day, this same sacred is measuring my life, my walk and the truth reflected in it against what it is to love and be loved by Jesus.
If I forget that, I miss an opportunity.
As I allow the words of Psalm 127 to crown my children as a heritage from the Lord, this opportunity becomes more than just making sure my kids are with me in eternity. Instead, it turns into a chance for them to become the measure of faith that I leave behind. And it opens a window through which God can bring more light into a world that is in desperate need of it.
If I forget that, I miss my purpose for being here.
Now for those wondering, I’ll freely admit that the responsibility of missional mothering is a whole lot scarier to me than running a church ministry or serving my neighbor or teaching a Bible study. And maybe that’s why I gravitate towards such escape. It is far less intimidating.
And I fail far less often.
But from the moment I brought my first baby home, I was committed to motherhood as a ministry. I was charged to set the “job” aside. And I was called to begin the everyday journey of being Jesus with skin on to my kids.
Because like it or not, our children will not only learn what they live, but who they live.
And if our kids miss Jesus, they miss everything.
Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful.