Editor's note: This article was originally published on Katelyn Fagan's blog, What's Up Fagans? It has been modified and republished here with permission.
Dear Parents (especially of young children),
I know that sometimes it's hard knowing if what you are doing each day as a mother or father bears fruit. If what you do is important work? Because motherhood and fatherhood are not generally a measurable job. We don't get bonuses for hitting that 8 p.m. bedtime consistently for a week. There isn't a supervisor always present to tell us if our disciplining tactics are the best to use. And we're on call at night, don't get sick days, and can't clock out for a 15-minute break just to refresh when we need it. Plus, we never really get paid, but instead seem to have money constantly being sucked from us in the form of diapers, wipes, clothes, shoes, and mounds of food.
But, I want to let you and every parent out there know that you are indeed doing a very important work.
You are doing good in the world today.
Because charity and love begin at home.
Each and every day you are acting as a disciple of Jesus Christ as you mother and care for your children. Each and every day you are building up the Kingdom of God. Every time you change a diaper, wipe a nose, or feed your child, you are ministering to one of God's children.
"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25:25-40)
Moms, Dads, are you not doing these things every single day?
Every day you feed your hungry child; you provide them with water to drink; take them into your arms and make them feel loved and not like a stranger; you dress them or provide them with clothes; you nurse them back to health when they are sick; and when they are in trouble, you still go to them and love them?
And if a child isn't considered the "least of these my brethren" I'm not sure who is!
You are doing good in the world today.
And no matter how small it may seem, what you do each and every day is not just work, but service to the most High God.
I know it is hard at times and in certain seasons to not tire of our situation or current parenting challenges, hard to not weary in our well doing for our children, but have faith and remember that you are helping people live, small, meek people who happen to look a lot like you. People who are the future of our world. You are not failing.
God knows each and every work you do on behalf of your children, His children.
We are the Lord's hands on the earth today. And He is dependent upon each of us. And each person who is blessed to be a parent gets unlimited possibilities to not just think about helping someone else, but to have it be a daily part of your life. We can be well-meaning in wanting to help others outside our homes, but never diminish yourself and your role within it. I would dare say it is more important than helping and serving others outside of it. Your day-to-day living is full of endless possibilities to serve another. And if you bring your child unto Christ, and save his soul, how great shall be your joy!
High-quality family life begets a greater society, great individuals, stronger communities, and faithful families.
So, please, let your love, charity, and good begin at home and spread to many others through your example.
Katelyn Fagan is a young mom of three young kids, including twin preschoolers. She is painfully aware of her own flaws, and writes to help herself, and others going through similar shortcomings, to become better and more balanced. On her blog, What's up Fagans?, you will find parenting advice, penny-pinching tips, cleaning hacks, and general help managing marriage, life and faith.