I was taking a break from the never ending laundry, when I came across an article in the Health area of Yahoo News entitled "Love makes kids smarter."
In a recent study of 46 baby chimpanzee orphans, Kim Bard of the University of Portsmouth in England and her colleagues demonstrated that primate babies that have tight relationships with mother figures do much better on cognitive tests than babies who receive only the basics of food, shelter, and friendship with peers.
While my kids are not monkeys - most of the time - there is a strong message in that science. I am so thankful to have real relationships with my kids all day every day. School friends are nice and some teachers are great, but it's just not the same. Teachers can't raise my kids the same way I will. They can't love them the same way I do. It reminded me of a blog post that the president of our homeschool group read this month for the moms.
"OUR FAMILIES ARE OUR NUMBER ONE MINISTRY.
If you are married…your husband and his needs are number one. God created you to be your husband’s help meet. HE IS YOUR TOP MINISTRY. It is the most blessed ministry you will ever be a part of. It may also be the most challenging. Helping to make your husband strong, confident and successful…encouraging him to be the leader of your home…working beside him in what God has called him to do. This is your most important work as a Christian woman/wife.
If you have children, your mission is to take care of them, train them, love them, and help them to grow in the way of Jesus. They need you more than any other child or adult or charity or organization outside your home needs you.
Because your family is your number one mission, you really are “doing your ministry” everytime you do a load of laundry, wipe a nose, cook a meal, wash the dishes, clean up a mess or shop for food. Everytime you smile at your husband or read a book to your kids…you are ministering to them.
I say all of this to reassure you of two different but specific things:
1. If you feel like all you do all day is run from one chore to the next or from one dirty diaper to the other…and because of that you don’t feel like you are being productive for God…think again. The things you are doing for your family is your ministry to them and for God. (”Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:31-40…)
2. If you are doing all sorts of good things for the community, for the church and for the needy families next door…but you keep telling your own kids “just a minute” and are so busy running from one “outside need” to another that you don’t have any smiles left to give to your husband at the end of the day…you need to re-evaluate your ministry priorities.
Above all…focus on your family’s needs first…their physical, emotional and spiritual needs."
Now, back to the laundry - I mean - my ministry. ;o)