I grew up in a Christian home, the daughter of a pastor, to be exact. My parents always taught me to share the gospel every chance I could. I remember my mom dropping me off at school, and everyday before I got out of the van, she would look me square in the eyes and say, “Do the right thing today, Lauren. Remember to love the unlovely.” So many times I remember he words in the back of my head as I would go about my day. It caused me to stop before I did or said anything and to try and do the right thing; to do what Jesus would do. She also taught me to always look on others with love, no matter who they were or what they believed, and to look on them with out judgment, but conviction. I am so thankful for her persistence in saying those words.
I also remember my dad daily reminding me to tell people about Jesus whenever I felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me to. He always told me that wherever I was in life, that God could use that place as my mission field. I may not have always heard an audible voice in my head, but I remember feeling urges as a child to invite my friends to church or explain why I did certain things-because it was how Jesus wanted me to live. You would think that a little girl would only say these things to her friends, but I often remember sharing about Jesus with my teachers. Whether it was in a “daily journal” entry (yes, you remember doing those) or asking them how I could pray for them, I always had a desire to reach out to those who I knew didn’t know the Lord. I wanted my friends so badly to go to heaven someday.
As an adult, my mission field was primarily my job. Meeting people at their lowest points had many advantages to sharing the gospel. People were searching for answers, worldly answers. But what I desired to share with them was eternal hope. In the years I worked as a nurse, I have only had ONE person reject my offer to pray with or tell them about Jesus. It’s amazing the openness that people have when they are in the middle of a crisis. Especially at the clinic, I had the God-given opportunity to share Jesus almost every day. It was beautiful. But until I became a SAHM, I didn’t realize that I had become quite comfortable with sitting back and letting the lost come to me. I wasn’t going OUT and seeking new opportunities to share the gospel.
Let’s be honest, staying at home with your kids can get lonely sometimes. You crave adult interaction and corner your husband when he gets home just to have a few minutes of meaningful, back and forth conversation (as your husband is standing there looking like a wild animal is about to devour him). I felt a huge piece of my heart missing once I was staying at home; a piece of me that was yearning, not just for adult time, but for ministering to other people besides my daughter (and by ministering, I mean changing diapers, feeding bottles, doing laundry and singing nursery rhymes). Part of my problem was that my heart was in the wrong place at times. I didn’t see doing the everyday, sometimes mundane, chores to be ministering to anyone at all. Although I wasn’t sharing the gospel with Nora or Eric, I had forgotten that by doing all of the things that I do for them around the house IS ministering to them. It’s taking care of them and loving them with the love of Jesus, with out even speaking His name – THAT was my new ministry. Showing my daughter patience when she doesn’t obey, giving my husband grace at the end of a long day, encouraging Eric daily and reminding him of the blessing that he is for providing for our family…those are the things that I can do to minister to my them.
As Nora got older, I got braver and ventured out of the house more often. We were able to take trips to the store, visit friends for play dates and help my mom out at her boutique. These things were so exciting for us to finally be able to do together, but for a while I was missing huge chances to use them as ministry opportunities. I continued to feel a void in my spiritual life during this time, and I believe that was why. Once I realized that I could use my time with other moms and wives, not only a fun time out for me, but a ministry opportunity, my heart suddenly began to feel so full. At first I was feeling great because I was finally encouraging other women to follow hard after Jesus. But it started to fill my heart with even more joy when I was able to watch these friends growing closer to the Lord. Praise God!
I want to encourage some of you who maybe are not as bold in verbally sharing your faith. We have all heard that “faith with out actions is dead.” Your actions, sweet friends, is a tangible way to show Who you belong to, with out even opening up your Bible or reciting verses. It can be as simple as making a meal for a family in need, showing up with Starbucks on a rainy day, making a call just to see how someone is doing or sending a sweet card and flowers. One person always comes to mind when I think of a quiet evangelizer – my sweet husband. Eric is not a man of many words (probably because I say enough for the both of us. Oops.), but when he speaks, you listen. Eric is known by his friends, not because he quotes scripture to them or calls them out when they are wrong, but by the way he speaks. Eric chooses to not use bad language, talk poorly about his wife and family and is kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it. Time after time, he has had people call him out, asking if he is a Christian and ask him questions about his faith; asking him why he is DIFFERENT. And time after time, he has had the opportunity to share his heart, with out even having to bring it up on his own. It has been so neat to watch him grow because of this over the past 4 or 5 years. He, like so many other quite believers, makes having a relationship with Jesus attractive to others. And friends, people WANT to love of Jesus in their lives. It’s the most beautiful gift.
When all is said and done at the end of the day, are we really STRIVING to show the love of Jesus to those around us? Are we truly taking every opportunity to really invest in our fellow moms and wives? There have been so many times, as I’m sure you all have had, that I look back at the end of the day and I wish that I had said or done something more when the opportunity was present. I don’t want to live my life with regrets, dear friend. I want to know that I have taken every opportunity to love people as much as I can, in a way that I can’t love them alone. So let us get outside of our comfort zones and run the race before us, and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12). Let’s take the opportunities in our home, at play dates, at the grocery store, heck, even when your playing at the park talking to strangers, to show Jesus’s love and show it in a big way. Don’t make them come to you. Let’s GO and bring the love of Jesus to the world.