Recently my wife’s grandmother Elizabeth Shoaf Williams passed away at the age of 91. She left behind her husband of 67 years John Williams. We had a burial service and a memorial service. Like any family we grieved her loss. But my heart was instructed by five things on that day. Many of them can be an encouragement to young and old mothers alike. Recently, I have been challenged to see sometimes the most overlooked discipleship opportunities lie with the women of our congregation.
First, a life lived by faith to the glory of God produces fruit! The hundreds that gathered at her funeral attested to the many people whom she touched. Many she had helped direct their weddings over the course of many years. But the biggest impact that sometimes is overlooked is her own 3 children and their families. Many of whom are walking with the Lord and serving Him unreservedly.
Second, marriage is a long distance journey that takes a lifetime of investment. 67 years! That is one of the longest I have ever known! In a world that is so loveless, thankless, selfish, undisciplined, and uncommitted, marriage preaches loudly something that many believers can attest too. God reveals Himself through marriage! Christ has given Himself for His bride the Church. Marriage is that gospel picture like no other. John attests to their faithful marriage over those years and reflects on decades of happy moments and weathered storms of life.
Third, a woman who prioritizes her time in the home will by no means lose her reward. The rewards are not just in this life which are many, but in the life to come. Discipleship of children can have a multi-generational impact! This is the work of God. With all the pressures on mothers today, the home is where they are needed most. Feminism has produced negative fruit in our day and many overlook the importance of their most precious disciples being those under their own roof. It has a multiplying effect.
Fourth, ordinary obedience to God over the course of a lifetime produces extraordinary results. Never underestimate the power of a faithful life one day at a time. One may not receive attention or thanks this side of eternity but the silent faithful obedience of a woman of God preaches loudly to a world that preaches the contrary.
Finally, the works of a godly woman outlast her as a legacy. The memories of smiles, good meals, family events, weddings, conversations, and beautiful gardens are precious but the legacy that lives on is one of a life well lived. One that displays the glory of God in the wisdom of life choices and the fruit of obedience in almost every aspect of life. A legacy is often carried along in a family but few remember from whence it started. For those who have a heritage of Christian living in their families, it was the faithful proclamation to each succeeding generation that has passed along. Many of our grandfathers and mothers names are forgotten but their legacy lives on for they believed God and their fruit remains. I pray we learn to live well, by the Holy Spirit that Christ may be glorified and our hearts stilled before Him in utter satisfaction.