Most of us have been involved in one ministry or another at some point in our lives. The desire to serve God through serving and evangelizing others brings a special joy to our hearts. As a mother and wife our most important ministry is serving our family, but if we feel called to do ministry outside of the home, how do we effectively balance that with our role within the home?
In the Catholic Conference 4 Women video, “The Importance of Staying Involved in Ministry and How to Balance that with Kids,” Becky Roach, mom of five from Cleveland, Ohio, shares with us not only the importance of being involved in ministry as a model to our children, but also some key points of how to ensure that the ministry you do outside of the home complements your ministry within your home, instead of deterring from it.
Becky blogs at CatholicLink.com and has been involved in various types of ministry over the years. She begins by sharing how being involved in ministry helps her to stay accountable to her own faith life. She must practice what she preaches. When you do ministry, it’s a sacrifice of time, but God provides the grace necessary to serve and He blesses your efforts. There are different ministries that lend themselves more naturally to the different seasons of life that we all go through. Whether you have little ones, you are in the stage of raising teens, perhaps you are in a season of a combination of both little ones and teens, or you find yourself an empty nester – Becky encourages you to find a ministry that fits the season you are in. Get your children involved in ministry and help form their hearts with a love for serving others. Provide the opportunity for them to experience the joy that comes from sharing their time and talents.
Seasons can change so swiftly, therefore it is important to continually be in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit to discern what ministry God is calling you to. Know what your talents and skill set are so you can use the gifts that God has given you to best serve Him. Becky talks about knowing the WHY behind your desire to serve in ministry. Pray that your intention to serve is pure and not self-seeking, but rather a desire to grow closer to Christ through ministry and sharing the Gospel with others. Make sure your husband is on board. Often husbands are a good barometer for us to gauge how we are doing balancing everything. Do not use ministry as an escape from the perhaps non- appreciated everyday tasks of life as a mother and wife. It can be tempting to do ministry instead of doing the dishes and wash, but in these moments, it is good to remember that God calls us to be faithful in the little things each day. These mundane moments can be the seedbed for great sanctity.
Through trial and error Becky has learned how to schedule her time and how to look at key factors that indicate whether the time spent away from the home doing ministry is too much of a sacrifice for her family or indeed the right balance that produces fruit within and outside of the home. Family comes first. As Mother Theresa would often say, “Love begins at home.” Be honest with yourself and seek God’s will each moment. Ensure that your family is not being sacrificed at the expense of using your time, talents and treasure for ministry. Some ministries might have a season within themselves where you are temporarily more active with the ministry than normal. This is ok -just be sure to plan for it. It is important to continually reevaluate and prioritize your schedule to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your family while doing active ministry.
Becky encourages those in ministry to be diligent and safeguard their prayer time, making sure that ministry does not take the place of prayer. Ministry can be a prayer in action, but personal prayer time is where your source of strength and grace comes from to do the ministry that God is calling you to do. Take care of yourself — you cannot give what you do not have.
Remember that your worth comes from Christ and not from the good works that you do. You might find yourself in a season that you are just trying to stay afloat. Tragedies strike, illnesses come, babies are born, aging parents need us, etc. Indeed, for everything, there are seasons of the heart and home.
In closing, Becky underscores that the Church needs mothers. Do not let your desire to have the Pinterest-perfect home deter you from serving in ministry. Trust that when you give God your time, He will provide for you and your family. The blessings that result from a heart willing to serve are immeasurable!
Copyright 2017 Kathleen Billings