All scripture from the Authorized Version—KJV
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.” Deut 16:17
Some years ago I wrote several articles for a Christian woman’s magazine.
It may be of help to some to read these articles, which come from my own knowledge and experiences. Here I will give as I am able, according to the blessing of the Lord my God, which He has given me.
It Ought to be a Thankless Job
We have heard these words so many times that they have no meaning or impact anymore. Words have definite meaning and, unless used in local slang, that meaning remains constant.
Do we understand what we mean when we say: It-is-a-thankless-job? (I will not, at this time, consider the fact that the word we use so often—thanks—is to be given only to God—yes, yes, do a word study.)
Where is it written, or who has said that our jobs must have someone’s gratitude attached to them? Did you enter into marriage and motherhood because there was, always, going to be someone thanking you? Did you vow to ‘Love, Honour, and Obey’ so that your husband could thank you for it? Why must one insist upon having someone else ‘prop her up’?
I hear women complaining about their house chores, rearing their children, shopping, serving in the church, helping a relative in need, or just about anything that there is to be done. For example, there is a Mom who had taken her children all over the city for this and that lesson and activity when I had met her that day. After the greeting niceties she began to recite her itinerary for the day; with her youngest pulling her skirt toward the car, she continued to talk. At the end of the recitation she showed disappointment that I did not acknowledge or encourage her self-pity. As she turned to walk away she said, (you guessed it): “It is a thankless job.”
Then there is a Mom who homeschools her children, keeps her house and is always cheerful and much involved in her church. One day she helps with the mailing; another day she cleans the lounge cupboards. She and her husband are in the greeting committee. When she was invited to attend a Bible study, she refused saying that she had no time because of all the things she was already doing. Then she threw in (for all to hear): “It is a thankless job!”
There is, yet, another Mom who homeschools her children and keeps her house and garden. She seldom ‘goes anywhere’. Her teaching keeps her busy and the younger children require all of her spare time. When her husband gets home the dinner is ready and the house is spotless and neat. I heard her tell her best friend that even though her husband appreciates all that she does, her job ‘is a thankless job.’
I could tell you more stories that have been punctuated with the pathetic ‘it is a thankless job’; but, I am sure that you get the idea. The resounding complaint is the same.
Do you have this complaint, carefully guarded, in your heart? Indeed, if you never speak it, do you think it? This is self-pity and it is pride. Self-pity is debasing and pride is a sin. When doing what we are supposed to do, what have we profited? (“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10) It is only after we have done more than the required that there may be appreciation and gratitude. I say there *may* be because we should never expect appreciation, gratitude or any kind of remuneration for what we do as wives and Moms.
Please read Luke 6:20-38 and apply it to your marriage and motherhood. These words of Jesus to His disciples—which includes you and me—are multipurpose, not just for Sunday morning, or when meeting adversity. Take God’s word off the sanctimonious shelf and live it already! We are His disciples and must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4—hey! Whaddayaknow.)
If we apply these words to our daily lives and toward husband and children we shall be blessed indeed! Things will begin to fall into place and to give us joy. I definitely believe that when I look for God’s hand in what I am doing, I do see it. What a joy! He is there with me, He sees what I do and is there when I do it. Remember…”As long as you did it to the least of these…you did it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40-45)
This morning my husband asked me to take his car in for repairs (something which I had not planned to do.) After he left for work, and when I was ready I left for the mechanic’s and arrived shortly after seven in the morning. Since I had no appointment, I came prepared to wait and wait I did.
There was a Mom there also, who had been waiting a couple of hours as I had. She had her little one with her, a boy of five. She played with him, all sorts of games, to keep him entertained. She read to him from the children’s books in the waiting room. She got him water and munchies from a dispenser; then she bounced him on her knees and chanted a sing-song-horsie-ride tune that ended, “he-falls-doooownnnn!”
I was amazed to observe that although she was bouncing quite enthusiastically, he was not holding on. When she stretched her feet forward vigorously for him to ‘fall down’ he only wrapped his feet around her calves and laughed, but did not ‘fall down’ and did not hang on!
This demonstrated to me how much he trusted his mom and how she must have, never, deceived him during his young life. He trusted her implicitly.
This mother was delighted to do the thing that moms do: patiently engrossing herself in the amusement and instruction of her child. Her countenance did not exhibit anything but satisfaction. I concluded that she was content for her actions brought her delight which was her reward.
I was glad for the unscheduled event. Would I have learned this lesson, and received such an encouraging blessing if I had not ran this errand for my husband?
My dear Sisters, make every effort to remold your thinking. See yourself as God sees you. “And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) Imagine that! We no longer need to do what the world does. When we do renew our minds we are transformed. By this transformation we put to the test—that is—prove the will of God. We are given by God a way to test His will. Do you have any doubt about God’s will holding up? Think abut it! You may say that you do not know the will of God. Then I say to you, spend time with Him reading His word every day. This is how you know His will and renew your mind. We live in a corrupt world and if we are not cautious we begin to think as the world and to perform as the world.
A daily meeting time with the Lord is fundamental. It is said of Martin Luther, that he spent two hours daily reading Scripture and praying. If he had a difficult day ahead of him he then dedicated three or four hours to reading and prayer. Knowing that you will argue that he did not have ‘all these little ones’ and ‘all these chores’, etc. etc., let me remind you of Susanna Wesley (John and Charles’ mother.)
She wrote in her autobiography that when all her children had been born she was very busy—she had thirteen children. There was no place for her to get away by herself to pray and read the Scriptures. She had a full day, unlike most of us. She decided that since it was impossible to get away alone, she would have to do with that she had—which was an apron. She would sit on a chair and bring her apron up over her face and head and thus the children could not see her face. This tenacious woman taught her children that when they saw her sitting in this manner they could not speak to her, neither could they interrupt her in any way. In the privacy that the apron afforded her, she prayed for her husband, who was a hard man, and for her children whom she had to instruct by herself without her husband’s support. This method she employed for many years. The rest is history.
Did Susanna know the will of God? Did she pray for a bigger house? Or for extra hours in the day? She may have.
I know by her words that she prayed that her children would follow God and be used of Him. Did God answer her prayers? Indeed He did. Did she receive thanks from her husband? Again, by her own pen we know that he was ungrateful. The fruit of her life, however, has touched you and it has touched me. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into they closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which seeth in secret; and they Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6)
May God be praised and thanked for all those who do “thankless work” as unto Him.
"Wither therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God!” (I Corinthians 10:31)
In His hands, ^__^