Friday, November 27, 2009

Wholehearted Singing

Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

I recently read the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. A story I've read many times before. But this time, it struck a chord. Unsure of the reason, I read the story again. Then I read the devotion that some pastors at my church had written on it. And I recognized the chord.

It's the main chord in the song I've been learning this month. The song of wholeheartedness. I've been realizing lately that in several areas of my life I've been doing enough to just get by.

Motherhood is at the very top of that list. I've been seeing a pattern in the way that I mother my two daughters. The pattern is one of almost survival mode. It entails just going through the motions. No intentionality involved. It involves doing the minimum to get through each day. Looking to the end of the day when my husband gets home so I can concentrate on my own life and getting the things done that I "need" to complete. The problem is, if I don't change this course I'm on, I'm going to find myself walking out of a college dorm room wondering what the heck happened to my little girls. And they'll be waving goodbye to me with the minimal amount of real life values and childhood family memories.

I admit this is extreme. I mean, my children are happy and very well-adjusted little girls. But the truth is, if I don't wake up now and start being intentional with the time I have with them, in each and every today, I'm going to end up missing it all! And I don't want to miss it. I want to be the mother they need. The reason God gave them to me instead of someone else. I want to train them to love and follow Jesus wholly. I want to love them like they need to be loved. Like God has purposed me to love them. I want to enjoy this calling of motherhood. Wholeheartedly.

And that's where Ananias and Sapphira fell short. They were pretending. Like I've been pretending. They were trying to fool Almighty God. Trying to appear to be doing something they weren't actually doing. Like I've been trying to appear to be doing the very best job I can at being a mom. Only, the truth is, I haven't been. I've been focused on the wrong stuff -- MY stuff. Everything I want to get done in any given day. Instead of focusing on the job that God has given me to do. The true nurture of my children, whether that be spiritual, physical, mental or emotional. The focus of doing this job called motherhood to the best of my ability. And finishing the song that started with the chord of wholeheartedness.


laura said...

I am SO grateful for you, Bria! Thank you for taking me there with you - I needed that.

Your posting prompted lots of deep thoughts in a couple directions, namely:

1. How can we love God with our WHOLE heart, and yet work wholeheartedly (Eph 6:7) as well? In this passage, God tells us to serve our masters... But I know our kids aren't our masters, so how do we apply this verse to our kids? Is it healthy to serve them like they are our masters? After some thought, I think no. I think as a SAHM, our masters are our husbands and they get the reverence and respect Paul is talking about in this passage. We still serve our kids (changing diapers!! lol), but we don't work FOR THEM the way Paul exhorts us to work like we're working FOR CHRIST... this one is tough! Need to blog it out! lol

2. If our command is mainly to teach our kids to love and obey Christ (Deut 6), how do we do that? It seems this passage is saying that we do it as we're doing other work (walking to somewhere, sitting at our work, going to bed, etc), not that we devote our entire day to our kids as the singular focus...

I will let theses questions stew, but in the meantime, maybe you have some insights?

May God bless you as you follow Him!

brianna said...

Laura, thank you for keeping me in context. I've been thinking about your comments and wanted to let it seep in a little bit before responding. So here are my thoughts in a nutshell...
1. I completely agree that it's not healthy to serve our children as if they were our masters. We serve them, but we do it as their leaders. (i.e. servant leadership) Like Jesus served His disciples by training them, healing them, teaching them, etc.) I truly believe the context suggests that we serve wholeheartedly, but that the focus of our wholehearted service is JESUS, no matter what our job (whether that is being a slave or a CEO or a SAHM). Verse 17 of that chapter in Colossians says "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Paul then goes on to describe specific ways to do that, i.e. as a wife, as a slave. So verse 23 ("Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men...") is more like an extrapolation (sp?) of HOW to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Specifically for slaves, but I believe it's safe to expand that to say that the way that I work, no matter what my job, should be wholehearted, as working for the Lord.
Also, I have to disagree in thinking that our husbands are our masters. I believe submitting to them as our husbands is different than "obeying them" as our "earthly masters".
2.I love your thoughts on Dt. 6 -- that teaching our kids needs to happen while we're doing life. Exactly! I guess my problem that I was blogging about is finding the balance. The balance between devoting our every minute to our children's wants and needs and the other side of that which is ignoring them in order to get done all the other stuff. I believe the key to it is BALANCE. Which is what I need!! And keeping the correct focus of my mission as a mother always in the forefront of my mind. So that when teachable moments happen, I take advantage of every opportunity.
This motherhood thing is tough, huh?
I'm so thankful for friends like you who help me think it all through. And hold me accountable.
Have a great day, Laura.

Jessica Fuller said...

Love this, Bria! Thank you for sharing from your heart. You've encouraged me to try "doing my day" a little different tomorrow. I don't want to walk out of a dorm room either and wonder what I missed. :( I miss you and love you!

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