Colossians 3:23 is a strict reminder that our best efforts are required. But for what, specifically? Paul was very clear: whatever you do! That means that I must be wholehearted in cleaning toilets, washing dishes, changing diapers, grading homework, vacuuming, folding laundry, weeding the garden ... just as I am wholehearted about enjoying family time, going on walks with my husband, blogging, cooking, and doing my devotions. There is no standard that adjusts from task to task. Whatever we do, we are to do with the enthusiasm and dedication that we would put forth if the King of Kings Himself asked us to do it.
I struggled with that yesterday. A lot. In yesterday's blog, I posted a series of questions I am trying to challenge myself with. They came from John Wesley, and I must say that if that is the level of introspection by which he measured his life, it is no wonder that he is one of history's most revered men of God. But it certainly got me to thinking about my own personal life and the example I set as a parent.
It is easy to be whole hearted as a parent when the kids are wanting to cuddle, or they are proudly displaying artwork they worked on so painstakingly. It's fun to parent and easy to dive right in when we are doing bed time prayers, morning sharing, or baking in the kitchen. But it's really, really hard to be wholehearted when it comes to the icky things. Such as discipline. It hurts my heart to tell my children "no" or to see them cry with disappointment because we are having a teaching moment instead of going out to play. Sometimes it's easy to "miss" them fighting with each other so that I don't have to sit them down and talk about showing love, or to overlook the petulant face that is really an attitude of rebellion when they don't want to pick up toys. I am learning, though, that I am hurting them when I am inconsistent and that this thing called parenting is more than an activity; it is my life's work. And as such, it must be done wholeheartedly so that I can raise them up as little people who know their God and love Him, as well as understand the lifestyle He desires for them to live.
My prayer today is that God helps me be wholehearted (consistent!) throughout today in my housework, my love for Him, and in my parenting. Making my home is how I serve God, raising my children is how I serve God, and both are an investment of my time into the future. I want to do it passionately!