Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discipleship As A Mother

I was recently talking to a friend who shared with me a bit of a conversation that she had with another
mother/wife. My friend was asking her what she thought about incorporating discipleship in her home
while being a wife and mother and the reply was: “My Husband and I feel like right now my ministry is to
our children and they should be my sole focus.”

Your initial thought in hearing this comment might be admiration. I would never deny the fact that being
a wife and mother is beyond admirable and one of the greatest callings we as women can have. (Psalm
127:3) To neglect the gift that God gives through children is foolish. However, when I hear comments
like the one made my initial thought is not admiration but sorrow. Somewhere along the way that
couple missed the mark of what God has called us to do first and foremost - To make Him known!

If you make your children your ONLY focus what are you teaching them? That they are the most
important thing and nothing is more important. Once again, another statement that can so quickly
sound admirable but is not biblically correct. We need to be teaching our children that the kingdom of
God and His glory is the most important thing. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and
honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation
4:11

If you create a “Holy Huddle” within your family you are making the goal of advancing Christ and His
kingdom impossible. Are you teaching them to reach the world by focusing on nothing but them? I
would dare to say no.

People often ask my parents what they did to raise us. They see my parents as successful because
they have four children who all love the Lord and desire to make Him known above all else. One of the
greatest things my parents ever did for my walk with God is opening their home to the lost and having a
continuous ministry. They protected us when necessary but they were also not afraid to get their hands
dirty. We had many talks on what we believe and why we believe it. These talks did NOT keep us from
reaching people who did not believe what we do.

Because of the choices my parents made to reach a lost world I saw firsthand Jesus in them. I saw what
it looked like to reach a lost world. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let
him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’” Matthew 16:24-25.

My parents continually denied themselves and followed after Christ. They recognized the impact a

family could have for the kingdom. As a result, my love for discipleship and the lost was born. This
change in my heart did not take place by hearing one amazing sermon, reading a great book or reaching
adulthood. This happened in my heart and life as a result of seeing it lived out in my parents’ lives.

To feel like you should not be making disciples because you are a mom is really not a favor to your
children. You are doing your children a HUGE disfavor. They are missing a part of Jesus that they could
see in you!

The past school year I discipled 4 college age girls by meeting with them during my lunch break and in
the evenings. I know that when my son arrives this summer things will look different for me. My life will
change in drastic ways. However, discipleship will be incorporated into that life. When my son arrives I
will be having girls come to my home and they may be there while I am feeding Brightson, changing his
diaper, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc… But the meeting will still take place. You see, the method of
how I disciple will change but the principle remains.

The principle that we are ALL called to make disciples (there was no clause in the great commission for
mothers) is there. (Matthew 28:18-20) But everyone’s method may look different because discipleship
is “life-on-life” and every life is different. What is your method? If you don’t have a method what could
your method be?

I believe with all my heart that as you reach the world for Christ your children will watch, learn and
mimic what you do. They will see firsthand the principle of discipleship. They will know what it means
to “Go!” and make disciples. It happened in my life and a lot of the credit for that is due to my parents.
God willing my son will see a heart to reach the world and make Christ known because of my example.

So don’t let statements like the one that mother made make you think that it is ok to not be reaching
the lost and making disciples. It sounds good to the ears but it is not the way Christ intended the
Christian home to be used. We should not withdraw as believers and create a “safe”, “Holy Huddle” with
our children. We should prepare our children while we have the ability to influence them in the greatest
way possible - By showing them the love of Jesus as we reach a lost world.

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