7 AM and it’s the usual morning lineup. Diapers and dishes and dressing the kids. Kissing your husband as he heads out the door, then putting in pigtails and picking up spills.
The job of a mom is never quite done. But somewhere in the chaos of shopping lists and tickle fights, errands and naptimes, pretend tea parties and chores, there has to be room for your own heart to grow.
Quiet times, devotions, whatever you might call it, I’ve learned it looks different when your time isn’t your own. Your single friends post pictures of their coffee and their Bible, with captions that share just how much they’re learning. But you’re doing mental gymnastics just trying to figure out when you can squeeze in a shower. All the while, you want to be a growing and godly example for your kids, and you sure could use some of that quiet time with Jesus to fill your cup.
While there is no substitute for God’s Word in your life, in this season of motherhood it might not look like lighting your favorite candle and sitting down for an hour at a time. But that doesn’t mean you are without the opportunity to practice spiritual disciplines that help you grow more like Christ. In fact, as a mom you have a unique opportunity to practice one spiritual discipline more than most: the spiritual discipline of serving.
The Bible tells us, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, NIV).
Did you catch that? Christ came to serve.
You are practicing Christlikeness when you serve.
I’ve always thought that Martha gets a bad rap in the story about Mary and Martha. Sure, Martha got a little grumpy and snappy when she was left with all the chores. But if we are practicing Christlikeness when we serve, where did Martha go wrong? The key is found in Luke 10:40 when it says, “But Martha was distracted with much serving” (ESV).
It wasn’t the serving itself that got Martha off track. It was that she let herself get distracted. She separated the work of serving from the purpose of serving. She became so consumed with the tasks that she forgot the very person the tasks were for.
It’s so easy as a mom, as chores pile up and tiny hands keep grabbing for attention, to remember the heart behind our to-do list. But there is no greater opportunity as a mom to practice Christlikeness than as we serve our families.
I can get overwhelmed by the growing mountain of laundry, or I can be grateful that my family is warm and clothed. And as I fold pajamas and try to match tiny socks, I can pray blessings over my children because it is a privilege to be their mom.
I can rage clean the living room and vacuum up Cheerios with a storm cloud over my head, or I can choose to remember the happy memories my children made playing that day.
Either way, the laundry will get done and the Cheerios will get vacuumed. But there is a world of difference in how I get things done. I can get distracted by all the tasks, or I can do them joyfully as a way to serve my family and honor the God I love. And as I serve joyfully, it’s an opportunity to become more like Christ!
Real talk: we do need to take care of ourselves. But in a current culture that idolizes self-care, Christ sets the example of caring for the needs of others. As moms, we have abundant opportunities to practice the spiritual discipline of serving in such a way that we will grow to be more like Christ.
Here is a prayer you can pray today:
Dear God, help me to serve my family well today. Keep me from being distracted as I fix my heart on the example of Jesus who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life for others. Help me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but rather to value others above myself. Help me to look not only to my interests, but also to the interests of others. Help me to have the same attitude of Jesus who, being in very nature God, humbled himself and took the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:3-7). Amen.