To read Part One of this post click here: Part One
Part Two: Discipleship is for Young Parents, Too. (by Melanie Yong)
What are some reasons we don’t disciple as young parents? How does the gospel challenge these objections?
Objection #1: I don’t have the time or energy. Discipling younger believers is not convenient.
The other day I was trying to figure out how to make something. And my son said to me, “Just use your computer and search for it.” Ta-da. Instant information with the push of a button. No need go to the library to find a book or call an expert for advice. All I had to do was push a button.
We live in a culture of convenience. Things come easily and often instantly. In some ways, this ease of life cuts against the very grain of Christianity, which calls us to deny ourselves and live for Someone greater.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Christ loved sinners to the point of death on a cross! If we have received that sacrifice, how can we not also sacrifice to love others by investing in their lives? If we are in Christ how can we not also be energized by his strength?
Christ has redeemed that young believer in your church. He means to sanctify us all and make us more like Christ.
If our lives can be used by God in his work of sanctification, we would be wise to consider whether this objection of inconvenience and lack of energy is legitimate or not.
It’s true: life only gets busier with children.
As young parents, we are responsible to train up our children in the fear of the Lord, and they should be one of our main priorities. It does require much of our best time and energy. But are we making the best use of the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16)?
If I examine my own life truthfully, I admit that I find myself checking email or browsing Facebook more than necessary. That’s just one example of how I waste time. Sometimes I want to selfishly get away from my kids for a moment. Sometimes it’s to legitimately relax or do work.
But for all those times where I am wasting my time, how much more fruitful would it be to read a good book, a gospel-centered article, or meditate on some truth of Scripture? How much more fruitful would it be if I gathered those wasted minutes and do that with another believer? The truth is that I am lazy and selfish. I want to do what is easy. And it is pathetically easier for me to be temporarily satisfied knowing the latest status of all my friends, rather than in thinking about how I might access grace through the powerful Word or thinking about how I might benefit another spiritually.
Nothing about Christ dying on the cross was convenient for him.
It wasn’t an easy task that took no effort. Likewise, we shouldn’t expect imitating Christ to be easy. He suffered and gave his life for His people. Why should we expect to do any less?
As we look forward to the privilege of being God’s instruments for sanctification in the lives of other believers, we should embrace the price associated with it and rejoice in Jesus’ provision of everything we need.
The way I see it…convenience can keep us from truly bearing the Light that we posses as followers of Christ. I want things to be easy, to fit in my schedule, to run the way I planned them to. God calls us to live like Christ, and Christ did not live for convenience. He lived His purpose. What is your purpose? Are you living for that even if it is inconvenient?
Next up…Part Three: Objection #2 – I’m not one to be emulated. My children aren’t obedient enough. I’m not fill-in-the-blank enough.