Article Written by Lisa Jacobson
I want to make a difference.
You might not think a stay-at-home mom like me would be aware of what is happening out there, but I am. I can see far too clearly the world falling apart and feel much too deeply the relationships crumbling around me – and it nearly breaks my heart.
No, my head is definitely not buried in the sand. We can all read the headlines. Nor do we have far to travel to find heartache or hopelessness.
But this home-centered mom wants to do something about it…and you?
So what’s a mother to do? I can’t merely go through the motions of raising a family: hauling kids all over town to practices and lessons, preparing hundreds of meals, and washing multiple loads of laundry. Not that I mind that part of my job, it’s just that I’m desperate to know my efforts are not empty or vain, that my work is going to have eternal value.
I want to raise a family who loves the Lord and who’ll be a light to an ever-darkening world, a family who’ll offer hope to the aching and the anguished.
So how can one simple but faithful mother make a difference? Below are seven ways I believe we can powerfully impact a lost and hurting world, starting with our very own family.
1. Fill our home with joy and laughter
If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy….a phrase often repeated teasingly around our house. It’s all said in fun, but it doesn’t make it any less true. As the mom, we get to set the tone for the home, so a wonderful way is to begin the day with a loving smile and a cheerful greeting. And if you don’t “feel” like it? That’s okay, just fake it! Then keep right on smiling until the warmth becomes genuine and shines down over your entire family.
2. Offer grace freely
Our children need to be lavished with grace (and sometimes our husbands too J). Mistakes, mess-ups, mix-ups – it’s all part of being a family! Let them know that you can overlook their various and sometimes downright irritating faults and you love ’em like crazy anyway. Don’t be devastated, or even surprised, when your people let you down. Consider the abundant grace showered down over you and me and then offer the same to their tender hearts. They need it at least as much as we do!
3. Share meals together daily
Doesn’t really work with your schedule…? If our lives are so busy that we don’t have a moment to dine and discuss around the table together, then we are dangerously too busy. Our children are far more likely to look back someday and fondly reminisce over meals enjoyed together, than they ever will over that “soccer season” or that “music recital”. While it doesn’t always seem worth the trouble to gather everyone for this daily event, it does add up over time and one of the greatest investments you can make for your family.
4. Ask forgiveness…and grant it fully
If someone sins or hurts another family member in any way, he (or me!) should be swift to humbly seek forgiveness. And the response should be as quick and wholehearted as the request made. Don’t let any bit of relational garbage linger to rot and decay! Keep all your hearts clean and bright.
5. Be willing to take a strong stand
It’s a fact: we moms get less grief if we say “yes” than when we say “no”. But, if your spirit is troubling you then don’t compromise for the sake of peace – it’s simply not worth it. Stay true to what you believe is right and stick to your guns. We have to be more concerned about our children’s character than their temporary “happiness.”
6. Take the time to talk it through
Talking through misbehavior and misunderstandings with our children takes a gargantuan amount of TIME. Sometimes this means discussing issues late into the night (especially if you have teens!) as you seek to get to the heart of the matter, to reach the depths of their hearts. No such thing as a shortcut to this critical process – unless it’s sweeping it under the rug which only results in distant, painful relationships. So what are a few bleary nights compared to close, loving relationships?
7. Celebrate the uniqueness of each child
We can’t expect our children to be just like us. Or even like the other. So enjoy each one’s special qualities and embrace each unique individual! Teach your children to appreciate one another’s differences too. Don’t allow anyone to despise or belittle a brother or sister because they happen to have their own giftings, their own particular style, and their own way of doing things. Encourage your children to celebrate exactly how their Creator made them to be!
Although I might be only a wife and mother – and sometimes don’t feel much like a world-changer – I’d like to think I’m making a world of difference. That we mothers can impact more lives than we ever thought possible through our ever so simple, often hidden, but meaningful ministry at home.
The Lord bless you, sweet Mama, and remember what a difference you’re truly making!
[accordion title=”ABOUT THE AUTHOR”]Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson and the mother of 8 children. She has a passion for sharing the rich life of loving relationships, a godly home, and the high calling of wife and mother at Club31Women.com. She is also the co-author of several children’s books, including a winner of the C.S. Lewis Silver Award for Children’s Literature.[/accordion]