Tuesday, July 01, 2008
A thought for Wives and Mothers
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much, and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous in much. Luke 16:10
This verse means so much to me, and, yet, it challenges me on so many levels.
Last night, I read from a book about five orphaned children whose late parents had always trusted God for everything. Throughout the book, the point is made that the children, specifically the oldest daughter, remind everyone of their parents. This is especially meaningful to their aunt, who had been been aloof from her sister (the children's mother) for many years. She now regrets that she didn't know her sister as an adult. Then, she realizes that she does have a chance to learn more about her sister and her sister's faith. She can see her sister's heart reflected in her children.
In one scene, the oldest daughter is sweeping out an enclosed porch. She thinks about sweeping only the exposed parts and moving on ahead to something else that needed to be done. She certainly had "reasons" enough to think in terms of just surviving her days -- just doing a good enough job to get by. She was grieving her mother's recent death, striving to fulfill a promise she made to her dying mother to keep the family together, realizing that in order to fulfill this promise she and her siblings might have to move -- which would mean giving up marrying her true love and also her way of life, handling heavy chores, stepping into a mother's role at the age of sixteen, and considering a teaching job, as well. In my heart, I was rooting for her to do a passable job and sit down for a short break.
Now, there are times to skip sweeping corners and fretting about cobwebs in order to devote more time to the Lord and to people. One way we know that is from the example of Mary and Martha. Martha fretted about the serving to be done, while Mary chose the better thing -- to sit at Jesus' feet. Also, there are times we need to get adequate spiritual, emotional and physical rest.
However, there are times when I cut corners out of laziness or selfishness, rather than out of godly motives. As the girl in the book contemplated her work, she remembered that her parents had taught her that if she was going to do a job, she should do it well. So, the girl chose to spend the time and effort it took to move things on the porch and sweep it the way it should be done.
Throughout the book, she displayed this kind of character. She was faithful in the little things that no one notices unless they aren't done well. She was faithful in disciplining the motives of her heart. She was faithful in remembering the Lord's word and the teachings of her deceased parents. Because these unseen things were a part of her character, she was able to be faithful when it came to large, more outward things. She had her faults, but her great strength was faithfulness out of trust in the Lord and love for her late parents. That character inspired me.