"Let Us Not Grow Weary..."
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
Are you struggling with exhaustion, discouragement, or a tendency to give up on your responsibilities of doing good? As a homemaker, wife, and mother of three boys, “exhausted” is a common self-description. However, I often find that it is the battle I create myself which causes the fatigue! Whether you have the same responsibilities or different ones, I know I am not alone. As the verse in Galatians instructs, we must NOT become tired of carrying out the good work God expects of us! Our reward will only come at the proper time IF we do not become faint-hearted. It is a challenge, for sure; but not impossible. We need to recognize and address what causes our “give up” attitude; at the same time, we should actively seek opportunities to sow seeds of goodness, which will lead to a bountiful harvest!
First, let us remind ourselves that in keeping the commands of God, we are doing good. If you are a wife, your “good work” includes helping your husband (Gen. 2:18), having a desire for him (Gen. 3:16, 1 Cor. 7:2-5), loving him (Titus 2:4), and submitting yourself to him (Eph. 5:22-23, Col. 3:18). We need to challenge ourselves to think of specific ways we can excel in those areas, list them out, and work toward putting them into practice. As a homemaker, showing hospitality (Rom. 12:13, 1 Pet. 4:9) and managing the house well (1 Tim. 5:14) are worthy goals. Again, write specific ideas and implement. The responsibility of having children may be the most important. We labor to raise the next generation of God’s people! We must love them (Titus 2:4) and train them up in the Lord (Prov. 22:6, 2 Tim. 1:5). This takes a lot of effort…requiring strength, yet gentleness; expectations, yet patience; creativity, yet complete trust that God’s way is best.
With these things in mind, let’s examine some destructive thoughts that can lead to an unproductive cycle in the particular areas mentioned above.
We don’t do enough! (or so we think) Sometimes we fail to realize that taking care of our husbands, our homes, and our children are important aspects of our good deeds, feeling guilty for not doing more for others outside our own homes. Please do not misunderstand--helping others is a goal of every Christian woman, but we must not neglect our role within the family. We should find a way to do one without leaving the other undone! Realize that by creating and maintaining a Christian home, we will, by default, help others through our example of following God’s commands. And don’t underestimate the impact of what we may consider a “small” act of kindness. A simple, heartfelt letter can be a huge encouragement, and only takes a few minutes. Praying for others is another way to help, and should be done whether we can do more or not.
We do not feel appreciated. Sometimes we become discouraged in our work when it feels as though no one appreciates our efforts. However, we must remember that our deeds are done to please God, not man (Matt. 6:1-4, Eph. 6:5-7)! So even when it seems our husbands and/or children do not see and appreciate what we do for them, we must continue to serve them with gentleness and understanding. When we develop the attitude of working to please God, it may take away our need for recognition from those around us, knowing our diligence is seen by our Father. If we serve quietly and patiently, faithfully keeping God’s commands, He promises to reward us!
We focus on the negative, not recognizing the positive. This is a huge problem, and a tactic of the devil! Remember that training children is a process that takes a lot of patience. We must be fair in our view of progress. We should not fail to see the good fruit produced by the labor of our family. If negativity fills our homes, discouragement will set in and destroy future efforts of spiritual growth. Isn’t that exactly what Satan wants? Of course we must recognize and address shortcomings, but also praise our children for their growth. It will spark within them a desire to continue learning how to please God!
These are only a few reasons we may begin feeling overwhelmed to the point of defeat. Do not lose focus on the goal. When discussing priorities, a dear friend once said something like this: “I serve God first, and serving everyone else falls in place.” When we are following the commands of God, we are fulfilling the responsibilities in our own homes and that is “doing good.” Although it takes preparation, commitment, and can become very tiring, it is important that we take these commands seriously and recognize the importance of carrying them out well. Providing a Christian home is vital to our spiritual growth, as well as our family’s. While we honestly examine our productiveness, Satan wants us to believe we are failing. Remind yourself of the effort and labor you put forth within your own home, and keep up the good work! You are not alone. God sees your good works, and will reward your faithfulness!