Sunday, February 28, 2010

When ministry turns into duty.

Duty, according to the dictionary, is "a moral or legal obligation, a responsibility" or "a task/action that one is required to perform."  Duties can very easily turn into drudgery.  As mothers, we can think of many duties that are needful to keep a home "running," be it preparing meals, cleaning spills, wiping bottoms, washing laundry, teaching lessons, discipline and the list goes on and on and without a Christ centered prospective these duties can easily turn into drudgery {"hard, menial or dull work"}. 

I confess, when I woke up this morning I dreaded getting out of bed for the fact that I had "duties" that I was expected to perform.  And this is how I have been waking up for the past month. What happened?  I had slowly been led astray/deceived into thinking that more than anything motherhood was full of duties. 

"If we do something simply out of duty, we are trying to live up to a standard that competes with Jesus Christ...We have put our sense of duty on the throne of our life, instead of enthroning the resurrection life of Jesus Christ."

What would it look like if we let the Holy Spirit lead our ministry instead of a sense of duty? 

Tozer once said this, "If God were to take the Holy Spirit out of this world, most of what the church is doing would go right on and nobody would know the difference."

Is this true in our homes too?  Are we so set/firmly rooted on a daily schedule that we leave no room for the Holy Spirit to minister?  Do we keep time to the point that we turn away a hurting friend or neighbor.  Does finishing the next worksheet take precedence over a child who needs prayer?  If God were to take the Holy Spirit out of your home, would most of what you are doing remain the same?

I can remember many times that I was so dead set on finishing a lesson with my children that I ignored the Holy Spirit's prompting that one of my children had a more important issue that needed tending to.  I have made the excuse that I spent hours preparing these lessons and therefore this "pressing matter" would just have to wait.  Or, a child is progressing so quickly in their reading that I can wait to deal with their sinful attitude until they have perfected their pronunciation of a particular word.  

Some may argue, "but our home runs best with a schedule." Consider the words of Dr. D Martyn Loyd-Jones.

"We all tend to go to extremes; some rely on their own preparation and look for nothing more; others, as I say, tend to despise preparation and trust to the unction the anointing and the inspiration of the Spirit alone.  But there must be not either/or here; it is always both/and. These two things must go together."

The Lord wants to transform our ministry of motherhood.  But first we need to see that our daily duties are actually not duties at all.  And secondly, we must allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign.  Often I have heard the Holy Spirit speak into my day, but I was so focused on my schedule/list of to do's that I missed a blessing that He wanted to rain down onto our home.

When it comes down to it,  the ministry of motherhood is an act of obedience.  

"When we do something out of obedience to the Lord, there can be not other explanation-just obedience.  That is why the saint can be so easily ridiculed and misunderstood." Chambers

My heart rejoices, and a burden has been lifted, as I have once again been led back to the truth! MOTHERHOOD is MINISTRY.  A daily worship that rises like incense to our Lord.

P.S.  Another element to remember, and something that I will expand on in another post is,

"Without love for people {our children} we serve, ministry becomes drudgery."


His Hands His Feet Today said...

Amen! I can't tell you how many times, we totally "scrap" our "plans" to do something else.... not because we're unfocused... but instead we DO give our days to the Lord. If He wants us to worship, pray, bake someone cookies, whatever... THAT is what we will do. However... there needs to be an intimacy (what many Christians are lacking today) with the Lord to be able to hear his voice to be able to do the things he's asking!

Shonni said...

I loved this. I can see that part of my missing joy it that I have lost sight of the truth that motherhood is ministry...I had let it become drudgery. Thank you friend.

Cheryl said...

Oh! how I let the temporal things have too much attention while leaving the eternal things neglected!!

Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the truth that Motherhood is a precious ministry not to be neglected!!

~ shi ~ said...


Just wanted to let you know that I am still I am keeping up with your posts and thinkjing of you often as you make this change..Sorry for the physical problems..Having had to go thru so many simular problems I so relate...and am TRUELY sorry for your strugles...on top of daily tasks!..
Comtinue to hold you up and I am sure Oregon misses you too!...It has been a very mild winter this year :) oxox

Cathy said...

Fantastic inspiring post! Thank you so much!

BETHANY said...

Sending this here because I know you check your blog more than your e-mail, though I obviously don't intend for it to be a blog comment. Your "mccourtney3" e-mail account is sending out spam "the I'm trapped in London, send me money" variety. Just a heads up. :)

Sara said...

Friend, just wanted to tell you that I believe your email has been hacked. I just received a letter from Zane McCourtney saying he is in London and needs me to wire him money immediately to finish his business and fly back home. The signature is like yours, even has a link to this blogspot. Many of our mission friends have had this same type of message sent out. You might want to send a note to everyone on your email list to keep them from falling for this fraud.

Sarah Dawn

Mommyof6 said...

I got an e-mail in my inbox this morning from "Zane" saying he is in London and needs $2700 pounds. Is this true? I didn't really sound like Zane and sounded suspicious to me. Came from your account. Wanted to check with you and let you know.

Laurel said...

Oh dear ... I have to let you know ...

an email scammer has used your blog address to make a plea for funds ... they say that they are Zane McCourtney and that they need 2,700 pounds today because they were robbed in London. They want the money sent via Western Union.

They sign their name "The McCourtney Family" and then use this blog address.

I can't imagine that it would be you ... and am so sad that someone would try to use the addresses of legitimate Christian families. (a 2nd blog address was listed, as well).

I am wondering if anyone else that links to your blog has also received such an email today.

mama of 13

Cathy said...

Hi Summer!

Posted your book today. Hope it arrives soon. Incidentally, I have just received an email from your yahoo email account, using your usual family signature, requesting £2700 from someone signing themselves Zane, saying that they are stuck in a hotel in London needing money. Guessing someone has fraudulantly used your yahoo account.


Emily said...

I gave you an award, check out my blog :) Thanks for this post, came at a most needed time!

love2bmom said...

Someone is using your email address to ask me for money.


Gary and Michelle said...

Hi Summer

Just to let you know I have received some very disturbing emails from someone calling themselves 'Zane' and using your email address.

They are asking for money. Obviously I have not sent any. I tried to email you back and they wrote back again. I guess they have hijacked your email address.

Hope you can sort all this out.


PS I didn't know of any other way to contact you than via your comments

patchworkmommy said...

Very good post.I very easily get all out of balance during my days.

Kaylin said...

Oh Summer! I love how you use yourself as an example! You tell it like it is! It is so beautifully orchestrated by the Holy Spirit! I know many people who will hear the Holy SPirit through this! Keep following God's direction!