Realms of Influence

As a stay-at-home mom, there are times when my life can feel mundane. I do the same tasks over and over again. Dishes, laundry, groceries, diapers, clutter, meals etc. all wait for my attention day.after.day. No matter how well they are done, they will always need done again tomorrow.  And the only people that it seems to affect are my husband and the three little people who are living here with me. Surely, I could be doing something more valuable in life than this!

One day, as I picked my husband’s clothes up off the bathroom floor and began to fold them, I was hit with the realization that by doing this simple task, I was helping to make his life easier. If I hadn’t picked the clothes up, he would have had to do it himself at some point. The same went for the time spent making his lunch, preparing dinner, doing the dishes, paying the bills, and so on. By making his life easier, I was enabling him to come home from work and take time for rest and refreshment. In turn, this was allowing him to go to his job and serve well, without extra life responsibilities weighing him down. He would be a better teacher because I was in his life. So, technically speaking, my realm of influence had just gone from just four to over twenty people.

My influence doesn’t stop there. The Bible states multiple times that we can have an affect on future generations.  Deuteronomy 4:9-10 shows us the influence that the Israelites were commanded to carefully guard: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children”

Psalm 78:5-7 also shows us that “…He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”

So, just as it was true of the Israelites it’s true of me: the things that I am teaching my children will in turn affect my potential grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth encourages us to live our lives in such a way that for the following generations it will have mattered that we were here. This resonates with me! It also makes me ask the question “What opportunities am I missing to positively influence my husband/kids, who will in turn influence others?”

In light of all this, the choices I make and the people I serve in the every day moments couldn’t matter more! God’s glory is at stake. I was reminded of this again one day as I straightened the blanket at the bottom of our bed; the bed I had just made 10 minutes ago and that had since been messed up by my almost 2 year old daughter. I found myself questioning God “What was the purpose of that? Surely there could have been a better way to spend that extra 30 seconds of my life.” His answer came so quickly that it almost caught me off guard. “It was an opportunity for you to show your daughter patience and love when you could have gotten upset instead.” I was humbled. Nothing in our lives is a mistake. Nothing. And ultimately, every situation in our lives is an opportunity for us to display God to the people around us. God cares way more about my heart and the influence I’m having on my daughter’s heart then He does about a perfectly made bed.

So, the next time we’re tempted to feel caught up in the mundane and that nothing we’re doing is making much of a difference, let’s remember that our faithfulness has the opportunity to bring God glory in ways that will extend far beyond the four walls of our homes.

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