Missions Are Not Just Overseas

Missions Are Not Just Overseas | IntentionalByGrace.com

By contributing writer, Jane

I’ve always had a heart for missions.

I used to dream of moving to India or Asia and spreading the Gospel of Jesus to souls in need of Him.

But long story short, life took over, and traveling overseas has yet to happen. Maybe it will someday, but in my current season of life, I feel a million miles away (literally and figuratively) from international missions.

Thankfully, however, I am not a million miles away from God’s mission for me as a woman, because I’ve recently become convicted of God’s desire for my home to be my mission. 

It’s vastly different, and perhaps a little less adventurous than India, but it is still my mission.

After all, Jesus said that we would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). I believe this means that our mission work should start within our immediate circle of influence, which for most of us, is our home.

But the home is not necessarily an easier mission.

As I started to meditate on this new found conviction and began to seek God’s will for my marriage and home, I noticed that a lot of the commands for women in the Bible are quite intimidating. I started to wonder if international missions might actually be the easier kind:

“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).

“Then they can train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4).

“A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).

When I’m honest, these verses aren’t always what I want to hear.

When given the choice between submitting to my husband or nagging for my own way, I often choose to nag.

When I do choose to submit, it often involves great testing of my faith, sometimes a plunge toward deeper humility, and almost always, a loss of control.

Then, I repeat the painful process when I have to practice forgiveness, grace, patience, or self-control. Ugh.

This process, though it is refining and building my character, is somewhat uncomfortable (to say the least). 

It’s uncomfortable because it requires change.

While this sanctification process doesn’t feel good in the moment, we must remember that we can’t always know the truth just by following our feelings. Famous writer and missionary Elisabeth Elliot once wrote:

“There is, no doubt, a certain consolation and reassurance to be gained in sitting around and telling how you feel about things. You generally find several others who feel the same way, or (what is even more reassuring and consoling) they feel worse than you do. But it is no way to come at the truth. In order to learn what it means to be a woman we must start with the One who made her” (Let Me Be A Woman, pg 4).

Missions Are Not Just Overseas | IntentionalByGrace.com

When I put my feelings aside and choose to start listening to the One who made me, I see that all the pain and refinement is totally worth it, because it purifies my faith and strengthens my relationship with God.

Simply put, it changes me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t pretend to have biblical womanhood all figured out yet.

Because I don’t.

I’m fairly new at this wife thing (been married 2 1/2 years), and I make mistakes every day. We also don’t have any children yet. So, I know that I still have a lot to learn about home and family.

But what I am convinced of is this: It’s my job to let God teach me and change me.

Because when we choose to obey God in our marriages, in our homes, and in our families, this is our testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ. This is our testimony to the fact that, in Jesus, we are transformed. The old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

And that is mission work, my friends.

That is my mission.

That is why God created me with a heart for missions–not to lead me overseas (at least, not yet), but to lead me to live the gospel in my home. 

I think it’s important to note that, when living the gospel, we aren’t always trying to convert someone with words, but oftentimes, just testifying God’s saving grace through our actions.

Jesus changed us, and that hope should be apparent to all who are watching. 

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” (1 Peter 3:1-2).

Think of the impact that can have–not just to your husband and children, but to extended relatives, to friends, to fellow Christians, to co-workers, even to complete strangers.

The hope of Jesus can spread like wildfire. 

Doesn’t that just give you goosebumps?

All because we were willing to listen to what God says about our roles as women and obeyed.

My Mission Statement

With this new found conviction, I recently set about creating a personal mission statement for my current season. Here it is:

“My personal mission is to stay connected to Jesus and let Him sanctify my heart, my marriage, and my home to be a testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this mission, I am committed:

  • to growing in faith by prioritizing daily scripture reading, prayer, and getting connected in a church home
  • to loving my husband by promoting unity and grace, practicing 1 Corinthians 13 love, and praying for him daily
  • to becoming a wise, loving, and joyful woman (and someday mother) by focusing on personal health and self-care
  • to creating an atmosphere of peace, health, and order in our home by managing the household chores, finances, meal plans, and other to-dos to the best of my ability
  • to write and work for the glory of God.”

I created this mission statement with the help of Leigh Ann’s book, Live For Him.

These bullet points are all areas that I felt God directing me to prioritize and work on. You can see my goals for achieving this mission here.

Now, I wake up each morning with a fresh perspective about my calling and a peace about my day-to-day decisions, because I know what God’s will for me is in this season.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

I’ve learned that we don’t have to minister overseas in order to be used by Jesus. We can serve Him right here . . .

If we just let Jesus transform us.

What are some ways that God is transforming your heart, marriage, or home in this season?

31 days of learning to live intentionally in the home. What are you living for? Why did God save you? Why did God give you this family?

This post is part of a 31 day series on living the Gospel at home. You can see all the posts here.

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