A family is a lot like a church. After all, a mother has a little congregation at home, as my mother-in-law kindly pointed out to me long ago. “You have three in your congregation, three in your little Bible school.” It seemed like a pretty big congregation to me, but some of you mothers have two, three, and four times that number in yours.
Mothers of children, let me tell you something. You are like a pastor to your children. You must feed them like a good pastor does. You must know how each one is doing. Each and every one. You must make sure each child is receiving love and attention, that each feels loved as a special member of this family/congregation of yours. You must see that each one is washed and clothed and fed. And you must be available at all hours to minister to these little or big ones. You may not ignore them or put them off. The way you love and teach them is showing them what God is like. You are teaching them about God, about His world and His Word, and you are teaching them who they are in the Big Story God is writing. This is momentous work.
A big family, like a big church, may need more pastors. But a big family doesn’t work like that. You are it. So you must ask God to give you plenty of grace and strength and help to shepherd this flock He has given you. The bigger the congregation, the bigger your duties. Learn to shoulder them. Getting help from the bigger kids may be great, but you can’t hand off your responsibilities to them; they are some of the sheep you are ministering to, not co-shepherds.
Of course, I am not excluding the father’s responsibility here. We can call him the chief shepherd in this little analogy of mine. My point here is that you mothers are the shepherds who are out in the field each day, tending these sheep of yours. You are the teachers and pastors in your little (or big) Bible school. You must give an account of how the sheep are doing. You must tend them. You must care for each one.
Don’t take this lightly. Learn to be a good shepherd to your children. Read the Scriptures and take them to heart. Don’t compare your little flock with the other flocks. Compare your flock with what God wants from you, not from what you think will impress others. Are you being faithful with what He has given you? That is what counts.
God will give you all you need to finish what you have started. He has promised! And God bless you and your little or big congregation as you go.