Stages of Life

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Let me conclude my contribution to this book by sharing a final thought for women, especially those of you who are full-time moms. You may well have questions about your identity in a culture that devalues motherhood. This was an issue that troubled me when my children were young. I remember saying to my husband, “I know who you are, but tell me again who I am.”

Jim very patiently talked me through those times by reminding me that God had given me the primary responsibility for the care of our two children and our home. “When that brief time is over,” he said, “He will have new challenges for you to accept. You’ll see.” With that, I felt affirmed in my commitment to my family and cherished the experience of raising our kids. I gave priority to them during the brief window when their need was greatest, and am thankful today for what the Lord accomplished with that effort. I would not change a single day if I had life to live over.

As it turned out, Jim’s words proved to be more prophetic than even he knew. As soon as our youngest child went off to college, the Lord laid on my shoulders the responsibility of calling the nation to its knees by serving as chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. As a result of our work, more than fifty thousand prayer gatherings are held around the country every year. It would have been impossible for me to handle this heavy assignment while our children were young. But now that my task as a mother and caregiver is completed, God is using me in another fulfilling way.

If you are raising small children, either as a full-time mom or as an “employed mother,” I hope you are not seduced by the popular culture that tells you that you’re wasting your time. It is a lie. There is no greater responsibility in living than bringing new little human beings into the world and ultimately introducing them to Jesus Christ. This era will pass in the blink of an eye, yielding to yet another stage of life. As Solomon wrote,

There is a time for everything,
     and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
     a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
     a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
     a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
     a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
     a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

This season for child-rearing will end before you know it, and your life will change dramatically. Be content with the assignment God has given you for now, and do it well! You have the rest of your years to give priority to your other talents in service of the Lord. An entirely new identity will await you in the next phase. But while your boys and girls are small, give them the best you have. You will never regret it!
- Shirley M Dobson

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.