Momming

Habit of Stewardship

May 6, 2024 • 5 min
stewarding

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)

As women, we often go to extremes in the area of stewardship. Some women see raising their children as their one thing, but when the children are grown, they shut themselves away from life. They never allowed themselves to dream about the future or to cultivate interests along the way, so they have no grid for exercising stewardship over any area of their life aside from child-rearing. Other women are overly engaged, rushing from church function to work to home, with no margin for stewarding their own health and peace with God. 

In a sacred home, we can do better. 

We can spend time with God and let the seeds of talents germinate in quiet times with him. We can look at the Scriptures and understand what they say about our duties, and we can pace ourselves as we steward the gifts he has given us.

Some of you might feel that you have nothing to steward or that you don’t have any special talents. I understand. When I was a young mother, my jobs were uninspiring, and my family of origin had few connections and fragile finances. I wasn’t starting out with much. However, stewardship can be applied to so many areas of our lives. 

The habit of stewardship

Physical health: Simple practices such as drinking a morning cup of hot water before flooding your system with coffee can help your body detox. Getting enough sleep at night helps us reset so we can think clearly and have patience with our families. If we can’t even steward our own health, if we stay up too late every night, overdo it on alcohol every weekend, neglect exercise, and don’t eat healthfully, we will be sabotaging restoration before we even get started.

Relationship with God: In the busy years with small children, it can feel impossible to pray and read our Bibles, but God has promised to reward those who diligently seek him. We can play an audio Bible while we are caring for an infant, or pray while we make breakfast, but we need God’s direction and help as we navigate these turbulent times. If we say we love him, we need to find time to be with him. We must create daily rhythms that incorporate time with him into our day. 

Children: We are told what our duty as Christian families is in Deuteronomy 6:6–7: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (ESV).

So instead of passively handing our children over to a failing system, let’s find creative ways to lift up the Bible at home and talk regularly about what God loves. A return to basic Christian norms of civility is essential to restoration, and our children need to be taught simple principles such as don’t steal, don’t covet, and don’t commit adultery. Stewarding our children means simply doing our best to pass on biblical wisdom and a knowledge of how much God loves them, instead of allowing the values of the world to be the loudest voice.

Home: Our homes can be little monasteries, a refuge from the chaos of the world, but it takes nurture to build a peaceful home. Usually, the little people in our homes make the messes, but sometimes it is our own bad habits that do. When we get in the habit of going to bed with a clean kitchen, hanging up our clothes after we wear them, and teaching our children to pick up after themselves as well, we are nurturing tidy spaces where company is comfortable to gather. It might take time to get these habits in place, and some of our children will be more drawn to these habits than others, but eventually your children may even help with the meals and clean up the rest of the house, as we model and teach stewardship of our homes.

Finances: Just as the righteous servants took the talents they were given and used them for good (Matthew 25:14–30), we can take the money we have and use it wisely. Maybe the most helpful thing you can do in stewarding your finances is to define what is important to you. Knowing your values and purpose can help you steward your finances.

Time: Our time is a finite gift. Instead of letting our phones dictate how our time is spent, we must create a rhythm for our day with first things first. Restoration requires inspiration. Just imagine the transformational power of your family when you have the gift of time to step back and reflect. Being intentional about tracking what you do with the gift of time will help you see if you are stewarding your time well.

Stewarding our calling as mothers

I spent the first twenty-five years of my marriage mainly focused on raising my children and loving my husband. As a family, we went on short-term mission trips, lived in Mexico for a season and helped an orphanage, and after we returned home, we spent years facilitating local marriage ministry. We felt that using the gifts God gave us for a bigger purpose than just our own family fun was a way we could inspire our children to use their talents wisely. 

I looked at mothering my children as a calling from God, and I gave it my all. A faulty, messy all at times, but an A for effort.

The time I spent stewarding my calling as a mother grew beyond my children. As my passion for educating them well and understanding their development grew, it led to writing homeschool curriculum, and my Peaceful Press resources have now been used by thousands of families to bring more peace and connection to their homes. 

Stewarding the children God gave me opened other opportunities to use my gifts for him. There were moments when I was tempted to give up on mothering or homeschooling or my business, but I’m too in love with Jesus to stop serving him.

Love can help you steward the talents in your hands as well, and this loving stewardship can bring restoration to the world around us.

 

Adapted from Habits for a Sacred Home by Jennifer Pepito, provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2024. Used with permission.


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About the Author:

Jennifer Pepito

Jennifer Pepito is the founder of The Peaceful Press, a company committed to providing learning resources that promote connection between parents and children. Jennifer's wisdom has also been featured on Wild + Free, The MOB Society, the Washington Post, and Home Educating Family. She unlocked the power of a well-told story, and she wants you to do the same thing. Learn more at thepeacefulpress.com.

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