Author Archives: cmariemelonas
Can you imagine losing your husband after 10 years of marriage? Can you imagine living in a country that hates your ethnicity? Can you imagine going through both of those things at once?
Ruth lost her husband after ten years of marriage and shortly after moved to a country that despised her Moabite roots. I imagine that she experienced devastation, loneliness, and hurt among other things.
As you know, the book of Ruth is a beautiful love story. We love this happy story because it is one of the few romances in the Bible.
However, we get sidetracked by the happy ending and forget that Ruth must have been suffering. Her godly attitude and submissive heart overshadow the hard things she must have gone through.
The book of Ruth is about God’s sovereignty in the midst of sin and suffering. And before she reaches her happily ever after, Ruth teaches us about a few lessons about singleness. And really just waiting in general.
Commitment to God
Ruth has an unwavering commitment to God. This is expressed in her commitment to her mother-in-law. Ruth is famous for saying, “…for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”
Her commitment to her mother-in-law was actually rooted in her relationship with God. Ruth was willing to forsake all else for Yahweh. She was willing to forsake her religion, her people, and for all she knew, all hopes of ever getting married.
Several hundred years later, the Apostle Paul would write that he counted all things as lost for the sake of Christ. This was the same passion that drove Ruth. Her actions were motivated by a firm belief in God.
Commitment to Serving Others
Ruth was known as a woman who served others. In chapter two of the book of Ruth, Ruth wonders why Boaz is extending such kindness to her – a foreigner. Boaz comments, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.”
Ruth’s reputation preceded her. She was known by her commitment to serve others. This is not a quality that you expect from someone who is going through a trial. She was able to put her own feelings aside and serve her mother-in-law. Her commitment to serving was motivated by her commitment to her Creator.
Commitment to Purposefulness
Ruth was not sitting around waiting for a husband or waiting for her situation to change. She was purposeful. She was the one that suggested that she go gather the leftover grain.
This was a woman who trusted God, but who also knew that God does not call us to a life of sitting on the sidelines. One of my favorite quotes is “waiting is active trust.” As a believer our waiting is filled with purpose. We have hope in a good God who is in sovereign control of our lives. Because of this we can live purposeful lives.
Commitment to God, Others, and Purposefulness
Whether you are waiting on a husband or simply waiting for a hard situation to end, let us have a commitment to the Lord, to serving others, and to living purposeful lives.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Would I be willing to give up everything for the sake of following Christ?
- Am I known for serving others despite going through difficult circumstances?
- Am I living a life of purposefulness? Or am I sitting waiting for God to change my circumstances?
When I think about dressing for motherhood, I think practical. I think what can I wear and still sit on the floor? What is going to show the least amount of stains? What is going to accommodate my rapidly growing belly with baby #2? And bonus if it is somewhat cute!
But dressing for motherhood spiritually is not about what is practical or about cute maternity dresses. It is about character.
The Bible talks a lot about “putting off” and “putting on.” The things that we are to put on as moms are no different from the things that all Christians are called to put on.
Put on a heart of compassion
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Colossians 3:12-13
When we wake up in the morning, we need to put on a heart of compassion for our children. Our children are sinners who need the Savior just like we do. The days are long as a mother and it is easy to get frustrated. Let us compassionately point our kids back to the Savior when they disobey. Let us be kind when they wrong us. Let us forgive them as the Lord has forgiven us.
Put on the armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12
Every day we go into battle for our children’s souls. We battle against the very devil for their hearts. He uses every thing that he can to capture them and to distract us from our purpose. It is crucial that we put on the armor of God so that we can stand firm against Satan.
Recently, I had the opportunity to partner with Pinkblush Maternity and try on of their maternity dresses. It was so fun to look through their beautiful clothing and pick out something. When the dress came, I fell in love with the comfortable fabric and lovely pattern.
But as I admired the dress, it made me think about dressing intentionally for motherhood. Do I put as much thought into what I wear spiritually as I do physically?
Moms, this morning let us intentionally put on compassion and purposefully put on the full armor of God. May we show God’s kindness to our children as we battle for their hearts!
“What if God wants fellowship with us right where we are – even in the commotion of ordinary life?”
Gloria Furman poses this question in her book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full. This is a question that I have thought a lot about during the past nine months since my son has been born.
As soon as my son was born, my spiritual life was turned upside down. Gone were the quiet hours of Bible study and writing that I cherished. Gone were the in depth word studies and the peaceful solitude.
I felt like a bad Christian. I wanted to spend time with the Lord, but I had a very fussy newborn who never slept for the first two months of his life. I started off reading a chapter of the Bible every time I nursed, but the more sleep deprived I got the less that happened.
One evening, out of desperation, I tried singing hymns to my newborn as I walked back and forth trying to calm him. To my surprise, he loved the singing. Quickly, singing to him as I rocked him became part of his sleeping routine.
It struck me one day that I was worshipping God as I sang to my baby. Those countless hours of rocking and singing became a sweet time of worship.
I realized that motherhood is worship. They are not two separate entities. Worship is not something that we do just on Sunday mornings or in our quiet times. Worship is made up of every moment that you dedicate to praising and serving the Lord.
Motherhood provides countless opportunities to worship the Lord. Little hands and little toes point to the creativity of our Father. Long nights provide countless moments to rely on the Lord’s strength. And disobedient children give occasion to showcase the Gospel.
Not only do we have plenty of opportunities to worship the Lord as mothers, but we get to model worship to others. Our children and the world around us are watching how we worship the Lord. They are watching as we turn ordinary moments into extraordinary times of worship.
God has made us mothers because He desires our praise. He has chosen for us to be mothers because that is the exact situation we need to be in to grow to be more like Him and to increase in our praises of Him.
Next time your baby cries or your toddler whines, choose to worship as Gloria Furman suggests:
Respond to God’s calls to worship throughout your days and nights, serving and nurturing helpless little ones and worshipping the author of life.
It has been a long day of crying babies, complaining colleagues, or college midterms. You need a friend to help you through. Someone who will encourage you to keep going when it gets difficult.
You have a friend who is closer than you think! He goes by the name perseverance.
In those moments of difficulty, perseverance is a friend that you can rely on. When life is monotonous, he is motivating. When life is terrifying, he is tenacious. When life is discouraging, he is dependable.
But perseverance is hard to be friends with. He is not the most exciting person. He does not demand your attention. But if you pursue him, you will have a rewarding friendship.
Once you get to know him, perseverance is a faithful fellow. He is always there when you need him. This friend will not run away at the first sign of a problem.
He is not flashy or conceited. In fact, sometimes he spends months and years faithfully chugging on. Just working on the task at hand. His tasks are simple, but his goals are big.
Perseverance does not seek attention or a reward. He is motivated by the knowledge that faithfulness is the goal. He wants to grow in character above all.
Perseverance has vision. He can see beyond the immediate to a greater reward. He knows that each faithfully completing each daily task in an investment toward a future reward.
As a spouse, perseverance pursues even when his spouse is undeserving. He invests in his marriage regardless of what he gets in return. He constantly seeks to put his spouse’s interest above his own.
As a parent, perseverance is patient. He will gently repeat instruction as many times as is necessary. He will play the same games over and over. He will consistently put his children’s needs above his own. He will get up in the night to soothe a bad dream or feed a baby.
As an employee, perseverance is purposeful. He wants to do his best every day. He does not mind if the days are all the same. He faithfully fulfills his obligations and even strives to grow. He works every day to be better at his job.
As a student, perseverance is persistent. Difficult classes do not discourage him. He puts his head down and plugs away. Little by little, he chips away at his assignments.
Perseverance pursues, is patient, is purposeful, and is persistent. His tasks are simple, but his goals are big. He willingly completes the daily duties for the sake of eternal goals. He knows that faithfulness here on earth will result in an eternal reward.
Get to know this faithful friend. He is well worth it!
As a mom, I have spent more time on the ground than I ever have in my whole life. I am often laying next to my baby playing with him. (Or let’s be honest – laying and closing my eyes for a second while he is playing next to me! 😉 )
And as a mom, I have come to realize that moms are “on the ground Christians.” Not because we are on the physical ground a lot, but because we are on the ground ministering to those around us.
Moms are the ones who spend the most time with the children. They are there for every meal, every play date, every middle of the night comforting. This means that moms have the most opportunity to influence their children for Christ. My little one is only seven months old, but I have been thinking a lot about this as he grows and begins to understand more. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane of motherhood. But mothering is a spiritual task. We have the chance to point our kids to Christ when they are selfish. We get to teach them to trust in the Lord when they are scared. We have a huge calling!
Opportunities to Interact
I have found that I have more opportunities to interact with unbelievers than ever before. I am the one who is home when someone knocks on my door and wants to tell me about their religion. I am the one at the park or in the neighborhood talking to other moms. Having children gives me a natural connection with others and I am learning to be more bold about my faith.
Ministry to My Husband
In this season of life, I also have the privilege of being able to minister to my husband. I get to be his partner and support his ministry. I free him up by taking care of our home and children. I have the opportunity to pray for him, encourage him, and participate where I can. I am thankful for this season where I can be more available to him. I am in the trenches with him helping him fight his battles and accomplish his ministry.
On the Ground Christians
We are on the front lines battling for the hearts of our children. We are on the ground interacting with unbelievers. We are in the trenches ministering to and with our husbands. Mamas, it is so easy to get caught up in the doing. Doing the laundry, doing the dishes, etc. But let us remember that there are souls around us that need Christ!