The Work we do in Secret  

Emily Chadwell

Social media has been around long enough that we’ve finally acknowledged that what we see isn’t always the reality. In fact,  some influencers have gone so far as to rent fake private jets (that don’t fly, mind you!) to stage luxury travel photos. And while that seems ridiculous, it goes to show how public our lives have become. Social media allows us to share when we do the big, impressive things like take an international vacation, and when we do the small mundane things, like go to the grocery store … and other people can know. They can “like” our photos, they can comment on a post. Nothing has to be done in secret anymore. Anything and everything can be acknowledged and celebrated. 

Except for motherhood.  

So much of what we do as moms is done in the privacy of our homes. We Calm tantrum-ing toddlers, feed newborns late into the night, and make breakfast, lunch and dinner  on our kids’ favorite plastic plates with their utensils of choice. Most of what a mom does is hard, emotionally exhausting work, and a lot of times we feel like we’re not doing it right, which hardly makes it social media worthy! As a result, moms can feel unseen. The work we do largely goes unnoticed, maybe even by our husbands. And our kids probably won’t remember the sacrifices we make for them during these early years. 

But here’s the good news: there is one who sees what is done out of the view of everyone else, and he will reward it.  

Matthew 6 is all about the things God wants us to do in secret: giving to the poor, praying, fasting. Those who make it publicly known that they are doing these things have already gotten their reward, but those who endure quietly, without fanfare or public recognition, will be rewarded by their Father in heaven. 

For those of us who labor in the quietness of our homes, taking care of our littles day in and day out with very little recognition or praise, we can take encouragement from this verse in Matthew 6: Your Father who sees in secret will reward you (v. 18, ESV). Or, as The Message paraphrase puts it, God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well. 

Mama, even if no one else sees or acknowledges the very hard work of mothering, God sees it. Not one tantrum or prepared meal or act of service for your kids goes unseen by him. So, continue to persevere in the difficult job of mothering, not for public praise, but for the audience of one. 

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