The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. (Proverbs 13:4)
Diligent – constant in effort to accomplish something, attentive and persistent in doing anything.
Characterized by steady, earnest, energetic effort. Having or showing care
and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.
Not long after I’d had my first child, I called my mother in a panic. I mean, near hyperventilating,
I-can’t-breathe, snot crying. This baby requires a LOT of my time, I told her, and I’m tired.
How could I wash and fold clothes, prepare meals, study the word, take a shower,
vacuum the carpets, go shopping for the house, entertain my husband,
or anything else on the near endless to do list of the stay-at-home mom (SAHM)
– not to mention be of any use in the ministry – when I was nursing and caring for a child
so that she seemed a near permanent fixture in my arms? My mother, who’d never been a SAHM,
but had single-parented three daughters, offered this sage advice. You make yourself do it.
Make yourself do it? I scoffed, but long after we’d ended our call, I repeated this advice silently to myself,
trying it on for size. Her advice made me confront my secret shame –
I did not want to do all this hard work; it was hard! But I did want the clothes
folded and put away, the dinner cooked, the beds made, the groceries shopped,
the child well cared for, the husband happy, and the gifts and talents the Lord
had given me put to good use for the benefit of the kingdom.
Flash forward several years. I now have three children, and with them increased
responsibilities. All the things that needed to be done when there was only one
child still need to get done, but now there’s homework to help with, home-school
lessons to prepare and deliver to three hungry minds, and a small business to
grow. I don’t love the children any less now that there are more of them and
still only one me. I want them to have clean clothes and nutritious meals.
I want them to see that a husband and wife love and respect one another, and work
in harmony. I want them to be intelligent and do well academically. I want them
to know, love, and serve God. I want them to be exceptional people and do
exceptional things! All of these things are important and need to be done, even
when I don’t want to contribute my time to the effort.
My husband told me once that desire without a work ethic will make you miserable.
Your goals become chains and your dreams become nightmares. You’ll find yourself surrounded
by things you want but lack the drive to make any of them happen. Desire without diligence can devour you!
And for those times when I would rather curl up with a novel than cook dinner,
rather nap than teach, rather go out with girlfriends than go grocery shopping,
there is wonderful encouragement to be found in the word of God. One of my favorites is this:
"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing
if we don’t give up." (Galatians 6:9)
Application: There is no perfect mother! Every day may not see you rising with the sun,
and some days you’ll miss a beat…or two or three or four. Be encouraged!
A lackluster day does not define who we are as mothers when our lives exhibit our consistent pursuit
of that which will edify our children.
Affirmation: Lord, I desire every good thing for my children. Help me to diligently pursue
cultivating a godly character, and please send encouragement for when I’m weak and weary.