Do you think that parenting can be a mission field?
In her article “Motherhood as a Mission Field” author Rachael Jankovic says that it is. She writes:
The closer you get to home, the less intriguing the work of sacrifice seems. As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.” When you are a mother … your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home….
It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes.
There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.
Jankovic says that above all, “the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world as intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood.”
I would also add “and fatherhood” to that sentence. Jankovic’s article focuses on motherhood but her words apply for fathers as well. Fathers also sacrifice, clean dirty diapers, lose sleep worry for their children, put meals on the table, and work to shepherd their children’s faith. The principles below apply to one as well as the other. Jankovic’s thoughts should inspire all parents to believe that the calling to have children is a high and worthy one.
Questions for Reflection
Here are a few questions to think about as you read the article:
- How might thinking of parenting as a mission encourage us to live more deliberately as families?
- It is easy to see how something like wisely stewarding our resources connects to creation care, but how does having strong and godly families and connect to our call to care for creation?
- What might missional parenting look like? How might it affect God’s creation for the good?
- What are some ways that you can incorporate time outdoors into your parenting?