“Want sit in chair and snuggle, momma?” he whimpered as his teary eyes pleaded with me. There was no obvious reason for his distress this morning, but it was clear that his heart was hurting for reasons unknown to me.
I sighed. In all honesty, no. No, momma doesn’t want to sit in the chair and snuggle. You see, my whole day yesterday was consumed by consoling one child or another in that chair. I’m burned out, empty, dry.
My list of unfinished tasks is growing exponentially. There is so much that needs to be done . . . and he isn’t exactly offering to lend a hand.
Yet as I look into his teary blue eyes, the Lord softly whispers, “This is one of the few tasks you will complete today that holds an eternal value.”
The dishes will wait, and long after they are done no one will remember that I took the time to clean them today. But his hurting heart won’t wait, and long after I’ve turned him away he will remember that momma had no time for him today.
I glanced to the dishes again and sighed as I gently laid the towel on the counter top. I picked him up and we snuggled in that chair.
As his tears dried he babbled about this and that and I simply held and squeezed him tight. After several minutes, he turned to lay his head on my shoulder and softly said “I love you, momma”. And both our hearts were full and happy.
What if I had turned away this moment?
Each day is full of these simple choices between the temporary and the eternal. Do the dishes need to be cleaned? Yes. But they must take second, third, or fourth place to the tasks that hold eternal significance. For it is in the inconvenient, in the giving, and in the offering that we reflect the Savior to these little ones.
Our ministries are to our husbands first and our children second. While we can certainly accomplish our tasks in love and as a component of our ministry, it is our husbands and children who receive our love and ministry, not the tasks.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
The dishes, the laundry, and the numerous other tasks hold no eternal value, but these little moments we reflect the love of the One who first loved us do hold an eternal significance. These are the opportunities in which we can point our children to the Savior we serve.
Long after the day is over, he won’t remember that the dishes were still piled in the sink at noon, but he will remember that momma had time for him because Jesus first had time for her.