by Tiffany S.
from Virtuous Daughters, September 2008~Volume 8, Number 6
Recently the Lord impressed it upon my heart to earnestly reach out to those He has placed first in my life, specifically my brothers and sister. It’s easy to develop a dull mindset. Although we’re happy, we tend to view home life as a strand of daily, uneventful occurrences with its chores and responsibilities. Maybe we don’t recognize the countless opportunities each day offers to make a difference in the lives of those around us and to bring God glory.
God wants us to take full advantage of every second He gives us breath. We are here for His glory and can be seeking opportunities to further His kingdom. Too often we are deceived into thinking that the only way to do this is through outlets like dynamic ministry. Yet Colossians 3 tells us: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. . . . And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Ecclesiastes 9:10a says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
Doing all things to the glory of God includes washing dishes, vacuuming the floor, helping a little brother with his lunch, and even schoolwork! A.W. Tozer said it well:
“The ‘layman’ need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister. Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living itself will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never-so-simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory’ (Isaiah 6:3).
“Lord, I would trust Thee completely; I would be altogether Thine; I would exalt Thee above all. I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of Thee. I want constantly to be aware of Thy overshadowing presence and to hear Thy speaking voice. I long to live in restful sincerity of heart. I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thoughts may be as sweet incense ascending to Thee and every act of my life may be an act of worship. . . .”
[Taken from his book, The Pursuit of God, chapter titled “The Sacrament of Living.” I would have loved to copy the entire chapter!]
So, I began to contemplate on my time at home with my family. Every day I am with the people God has placed first in my life. Every day I work with them, talk to them, and interact with them. I would never want to look back some day and sigh, Here I spent all that time with my brothers and sister and never thought to really invest in their lives!
Thinking of this, I prayed that the Lord would give me a small way to invest in the lives of my brothers and sister. Of course I was already doing this to some extent, but I was wanting a unique little something that would be an extra blessing. My ultimate goal is to find something for each sibling, but right now my focus is on Gideon (9) and Ethan (6).
Gideon loves to find cards and letters in his bedroom mailbox. Thus, I had the idea to every Monday write him a fun letter with questions and thoughts. Included would be a reference to a Bible verse that I would want him to look up. I ask him to really think about what it means and how he can apply it to his life. I try to make it fun by using cute letterhead and using a sticker on the envelope for a postage stamp.
One week I completely forgot, and late Monday night, Gideon shyly walked by me with a slight grin on his face saying, “I guess there’s no mail this Monday!” Although I felt bad that I had forgotten, the fact that Gideon had noticed was an encouraging indicator that he was enjoying this new trend. It quickly took on a new facet—Midnight Mail!
Ethan loves to talk! Many of you probably know what I mean. Sometimes it’s easy to nod my head, smile, and say “Okay, that’s nice.” But that is not being a good listener or a good big sister! What he has to say is important! Shouldn’t I be excited that my brother wants to tell me about his Lego guy’s cool motorcycle and the trailer he built to go with it? And shouldn’t I listen eagerly when he’s giving me all the details of his very unusual dream? In fact, I have learned to go beyond listening. I try to ask him questions about his story. If I’m sincerely interested, it’s sincerely exciting. And that smile on his face is worth every second of my time, not to mention the joy it gives him that his big sister loves him enough to sit and listen to his stories.
Another thing I’ve enjoyed doing is reading stories to Ethan. The truth is, Ethan and I have really been enjoying one another’s company. He’s such a fun guy, and I love to spend time with him. Time passes much too quickly, and I don’t want to ever miss an opportunity to share a moment of smiles with my precious brother.
Obviously, I love to spend time with my other brothers (Justin, 17; Jonathan & Jason, 2; and Nathan, 2 mo.) and sister (Brittany, 12). But I felt led to especially reach out to those two siblings since I tend to naturally spend a lot of time with the others in my daily routines and work.
My encouragement to you is to seek the Lord concerning investing your time. You see, it’s really easy to go through each day, doing all our work thoroughly and even with a smile on our faces. But we tend to forget that wherever God has us right now, He intends for us to bring Him glory and to minister to those in our realm. It’s kind of like the common goal to simply “get along with” siblings. Yet it reaches so much deeper! There is opportunity in sibling relationships to be best friends, not merely being polite to one another and not bickering. So in our home life—we can do more than just complete our chores as our parents ask and politely serve our siblings. We can actually go a step further and invest in the lives of our family!
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”—1 Corinthians 3:12–15
Keep seeking Jesus!
The Article Library
This "Library" contains articles that were published in previous issues of Virtuous Daughters. It will keep growing as we continue to upload articles from the 20 years of printing. We pray they are an encouragement to you!