During a recent ladies class, I was reminded and encouraged about the importance of the mission field in my home: my children. As I was meditating again on the importance of the mission field in my home, a thought about my mission work struck me in a way it hadn’t before.
I know that I am uniquely well-suited to teach the mission field in my home, well, because after all they are my children, and I should have the closest relationship with them. I’ve been with them from the beginning. I know their fears and joys. I know their weaknesses and struggles. I know their tender hearts and their lively spirits. I know their experiences, and how their experiences have molded them into the person they are.
But I’m also uniquely well-suited to teach the mission field in my home because I don’t just get to plant the seed of the Word in my children’s hearts, I get to prepare the soil where I will plant the seed. In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15) Jesus describes the seed (the word) being sown on different soil types. Some seed is snatched up by the devil; some seed grows in rocky ground, has no roots and withers away; some seed grows among the thorns and is choked out; and some seed grows in good soil and bears fruit. I need to prepare my children’s hearts so that their hearts are “noble and good” (Luke 8:15), ready to receive the word and produce fruit.
I must be careful to not allow the truth of God’s Word to be snatched away from my children. As a Christian mother, I am commanded to be a homemaker or a keeper of the home, literally meaning to guard the home (Titus 2:5). Do I guard my home from influences that would steal the seed from my children?
I must also be careful to not place rocks or thorns in my children’s soil. Do I place rocks in their soil by undermining their future faith in God’s Word by my actions? My life must exemplify faith in God inside and outside the home. My children will not be fooled; for example, they will know if I am submissive to my husband and if I speak kind words. If I am hypocritical, I am placing rocks in my children’s soil.
Do I place thorns in their soil by teaching them to love material things or to be worried with the things in this world? My children will see if my emphasis is on the material rather than the spiritual; if I am storing up treasures on earth rather than treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Rather, I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them to love God’s Word. I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them the importance of respect and obedience. I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them about self-sacrificing love.
Though all souls are precious, the souls in my home hold a particularly precious place in my heart. The mission field in my home is a constant work and blessing. Am I placing rocks or thorns in my children’s soil? Am I allowing the seed to be thrown to the wayside where it can be quickly snatched away? Or am I preparing my children’s soil as a farmer would before planting the seed so that their hearts are ready to receive the Word which is able to save their souls (James 1:21)?