EVEN FIT FOR THE MASTER’S USE
An In-Depth Quiet Time Study For Mothers
On The Order of 1st Importance
A Mother’s Most Crucial Job
You are so in love with a man that you join your life to him in matrimony. You are not wealthy but you are young and well prepared. You plan to leave everything familiar, relocate to a distant foreign land and follow your life’s passion. You are full of joy and expectation for the years to come. Life is exciting and God is good.
You were raised by a mother who passed on to you what was the order of first importance, and her mother perhaps did the same. With all your heart you believe nothing that comes into your life, either good or bad, can happen without first being sifted through the loving hands of God. You believe God is sovereign, and he is above all. You love Him and will serve Him, NO MATTER WHAT befalls you … Your vows “For Better or For Worse” mean everything to you.
NOW IMAGINE THIS:
Imagine your joy when you learn you are expecting your first child. You’ve shared your news with all your family and friends and purchased all the things necessary to care for this new life in this new place. You and your husband travel by ship to your new home. Happiness, however, turns to sorrow when during your journey you become gravely ill and your baby girl is buried at sea. You mourn for her but are mindful that you have been raised to believe in the sovereignty of God.
Your JOY when you give birth to a beautiful boy, but tragically, he is taken at 17 months. You feel you don’t have the strength to go through this one more time but remember once again that you believe in the sovereignty of God.
Sorrow visits you again when incredibly, your 3rd baby dies at six months outliving you by only a handful of months. You believe with every fiber of your being that your entire life, even difficult circumstances and trials have been ordered by God’s infinite love, mercy, and grace. You still believe in the sovereignty of God but you succumb from smallpox at 36 years of age.
Your name is: Ann Hasseltine Judson
I recently became aware of Ann Hasseltine’s life through a message preached at Church. Before her marriage she was a teacher. Two weeks after being married she and her husband set off for the mission field in Burma. She was an incredible woman of courage and believed a woman could have a ‘calling’ to missions; rare in the days she lived.
The Judson’s lives are two of the most amazing life accounts I’ve heard, but I was especially moved by the life and character of Judson’s wife, Ann. In fact, The Judson’s life will soon be an updated documentary film, but take a few minutes now and watch the video. Don’t let the fact that it’s an older production stop you, it is spell-binding and if it were a book, it would be a page-turner. See if you don’t come away with amazement at how this young woman was able to cope under circumstances like the death of her children, and the imprisonment (twice) of her innocent missionary husband who suffered under deplorable conditions in a Burmese jail. Her love, devotion, grit, and sacrifice truly inspire me. Once settled in her new home she suffered from extreme weather hardships in a monsoon climate with unbearable humidity.
While it’s true that today’s women wear many hats, I think we have more in common with our sisters of past generations than we know. Many of us go out the door every morning to work, but isn’t it also true that our mothers and their mothers, whether in the home or out of the home, worked just as hard or perhaps even harder?
In times past, cows had to be milked, and that milk preserved, eggs had to be gathered, chickens had to be killed, plucked and somehow stored to retain their freshness, butter and cheeses had to be painstakingly made and stored, sourdough had to be kept alive, bread had to be baked, seeds had to be sown, nurtured and the harvest had to be brought in and preserved. Rice or some kind of grain had to be collected and protected from moisture/mildew/mold.
CLOTHES WASHING: Imagine having to learn all about what the best brand of washboards was? Imagine having to do all the washing without indoor plumbing! Oh my! There were clothes that had to be made, cleaned and kept away from hungry insects. Housekeeping without the aid of vacuums. Countless daily dishes, pots, pans to be cleaned. Perhaps silver, brass, copper, and wood to be polished. Candles had to be made (or bought) to give light. Children had to be raised and taught. Laundry (including diapers) had to be washed by hand. Most Christian women would add visiting the sick, which included preparing extra meals. Women would often help their husband plow a field or whatever else needed to be done. They would often give birth without the aid of a doctor or even a mid wife. You get the idea by now, don’t you?
These are only a tiny list of the countless jobs women of old had to do. Whether we believe in moms working outside the home or not, and even if we had no children, we women have always had work to do. Women today lament about all the hats we have to wear, but if we are truly honest, we must admit that our jobs (though seemingly endless) are not as grueling as in past times.
I am firmly convinced that Ann became the woman she was because HER MOTHER took the time to impart what was most important to her daughter. So what was the order of first importance? We find the answer in 1 Corinthians 15. It is understanding the good news of the gospel and applying it to our lives. In my opinion, without the cross of Christ ever before us, there is no power for living, shallow thankfulness and certainly no incentive to pass on our faith to others. There is no hope of our eternal inheritance, namely Heaven.
Or will your child be a great dissappoinment to both himself and you and fit for dishonor?
2 Timothy 2:21
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable he will be a vessel for honorable use,
set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
1. HOW and WHERE did Ann’s mother find the time to train her daughter?
2. Why was it so important to her mother to take the time to teach what was most important to her daughter?
3. Why do some people seem to have the kind of faith which produces such fruitful lives?
4. Was her tenacity an act of the will or is it a result of the direct call of God upon her life?
5. How did she develop the tenacity needed to meet the challenges of her days?
6. What fueled Ann’s perseverance, tenacity, and passion to fulfill her long term and meaningful goals?
7. HOW did she develop such strength?
8. Why was Ann able to remain in deplorable conditions for so long?
9. How did Ann come to be the person she was?
By now you’re probably guessing Ann’s character had something to do with Faith and God, AND the influence of her Mother, and you would be right?
Things have changed greatly from Ann Hasseltine’s day, but I’m confident that most mothers, regardless of the day and age they live, approach the challenging role of parenting with the full awareness that their new role is not to be taken lightly.
We think back to our childhood years and vow not to make the same mistakes our parents made. Or perhaps we feel our parents did everything beautifully and we want to emulate them. Your baby comes into this world “fresh from Heaven” and you are bound and determined to do everything right. Things go along smoothly for a while but as your infant grows you begin to see the daunting task before you? Quite early on you begin to notice your angelic little being has a mind and will of their own.
Isaiah 61: 1-3, speaks to the favor of The Lord on the life of one raised to believe in the “order of first importance” and that God’s favor would rest upon one who carries the Spirit of The Lord. In fact, they would be “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord”. Wise mothers realize they must keep the main thing the main thing and that the “Order of First Importance” is to train up your child in the way he (or she) should go. Your task in training your child about the things of God is to raise up a child of great usefulness to the world. This, I believe, is what Ann’s mother realized, and this, I believe is what led to the fruitful life of Ann and countless Christians like her.
It’s very easy to simply write words of exhortation and encouragement. It’s quite a different thing to implement what one reads/studies into their daily life. But we live in a fallen world, don’t we? Children must be loved, nurtured, taught and given spiritual tools that will serve them, and humanity all their lives.
Moms today are busy with so many things. Running a home, running a business or running to and from business, driving their children here and there to fulfill their child’s interests, being a wife and fulfilling yet another role as a helper to their husbands. Many of us women think “who is my helper”? Who greets me at the door when I come home from work? Who cooks “my” dinner and cleans “my” house. That is a topic for another day.
Okay, you say! What if I totally blew it? What if I didn’t realize how to raise up a child until it was too late. My answer, dear reader is this. It is never too late. I did not come to have an understanding of who JESUS really is or begin to walk with him until my mid-30s. Even if your children did not have the benefit of a godly mother, as long as your children are alive it is NEVER too late!
Today I want to encourage all Mothers who want to fulfill their godly role to raise up a child who will be of great usefulness to the world. Are we talking about raising the next great athlete, singer, businessman or woman? While there is nothing wrong with those things, I believe God is imploring us to focus on the spiritual development of the child so that they fulfill their own calling. YES, it is challenging, especially in light of all Moms have to face these days. The rewards, however, can be seen in the lives of those who went before us and in this case “the life of the extraordinary Ann Hasseltine Judson”.
Proverbs 31:10 – A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. I love rubies. They are my favorite stones and if properly cut they are very very expensive with record prices over 1,000,000 per carat. They are seen on the crowns and jewelry of Kings and Queens. So imagine God telling us that developing “noble character” is worth more than rubies? WoW!
STOP and think for a moment … Do you know many women whose worth is more than rubies? We are told that they are hard to find. So it is up to us to “roob-E-ize” our children, isn’t it? It’s up to mothers to so develop our own relationship with Jesus so that they are able to accomplish such a high task.
I wonder who will raise up the next type of Ann Hasseltine, Billy Graham
or any Christian who has a burning fire for Christ.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
What kind of Mothers will this generation see?
What kind of mother are you?
Are you keeping the main thing the main thing?
Are You spiritually grounded, thankful and unspoiled by the things of this world?
Is raising a spiritually grounded, thankful, unspoiled child important to you?
How can you better manage your time to raise a child of great usefulness to the world?
Do You Believe in The Sovereignty of God?
To the Christian Mother:
God has given Mothers the important responsibility to train our children in the way they should go. God has also given us the tools to accomplish that great task. The task is to nurture, train, equip and develop your child so that they may go out into the world and bear much fruit. Fruit that remains.
The task is to teach them “the order of first importance”, namely the gospel and how to share it effectively. The child who grows up knowing and loving Jesus will not only be a blessing to his/her parents but will be of great usefulness to the world. It does not necessarily mean full time missions, but truly know God will give your child their best chance at successfully fulfilling their own calling. Go Ye.
If you are not a Christian, have no desire for spiritual things, or you’re not sure of Heaven,
may I encourage you to seek out a Bible Teaching Church, begin attending and get to know JESUS.
DIGGING DEEPER QUESTIONS:
As Paul The Apostle States: Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Are you confident that you are a citizen of Heaven?
Are you truly in Christ?
Are you Saved?
Charles Linn ; or,
How to observe the golden rule with other stories
Further Scriptures for study:
Proverbs 31:26-27 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 6:20 – My son, keep your father’s commandment and forsake not your mother’s teaching
2 Timothy 1:5 – I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
Deuteronomy 6:6–7a: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children,
A MOTHER’S WISDOM – An exhaustive list of scripture verses on the topic of parenting.
A wonderful immersive study in The Bible and time well spent in preparation for your role as Mother.
Ann Hasseltein Photo by Internet Archive Book Images on Foter.com
Mother/Child – Photo by vandalenmike on Foter.com / CC BY
Ruby – Photo by ☼☼Jo Zimny Photos ☼☼ on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND