How can eternity influence a mother's daily tasks?
I believe it is a very high calling to be a mom charged with teaching everything she possibly can to one, two, or eight kids.
The women who flourish most and who delight most in that calling—and who are best at it—are not women whose lives are circumscribed by their houses. They are women who are aware of the world. They're aware of God's global purpose. They're aware of the ultimate purposes of God in history. They're aware of things in history and in the far off reaches of the world today that God is doing. And those are part of what they want to build into these children. They want to raise global Christians, world Christians.
A mother will delight most in the little baby in front of her when she has a vision of God and a vision of the world that's big enough to admit that this little child has a destiny in front of him or her and might become this or that.
If she is totally circumscribed by her little home—with no vision for the world—then I think her domestic scene is probably going to shrivel up on her, and she is going to feel that it is small and constraining. But if she sees it in the wider context of what she is a part of in the missionary enterprise, I think every detail of her life can take on a global significance, indeed, an historical significance.
I really believe that. When I used to sit down for devotions with our four boys at home my mind wasn't simply, "OK I have a duty as a dad: I'm supposed to do devotions at night." My mind was, "What will they become?"
Ralph Winter used to say that nothing has an impact on kids except what they do daily. So we did Global Prayer Digest daily, and we did devotions daily.
The goal isn't just to fulfill some little task that dads are supposed to do. Rather, you're building men who hopefully someday will have absorbed so much of God and so much of the Bible that it's going to shape their whole world. And they might wind up going to Pakistan to help build shelters for earthquake victims.