Part Three: Discipleship is for Young Parents, Too. by Melanie Yong (www.domestickingdom.com)
What are some reasons we don’t disciple as young parents? How does the gospel challenge these objections?
Objection #2: I’m not one to be emulated. My children aren’t obedient enough. I’m not fill-in-the-blank enough.
It’s true. I’m not. They’re not. And I’ll never be. But praise God that we “can boast all the more gladly of [our] weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon [us]” (2 Corinthians 12:9). To disciple a young believer doesn’t mean you have to be the perfect parent and your children have to be perfect.
As one author put it:
I love my fellow-Christians not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel! And I do this not merely by speaking gospel words to them, but also by living before them and generously relating to them in a gospel manner. Imparting my life to them in this way, I thereby contribute to their experience of the power, the Spirit, and the full assurance of the gospel. – Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians, page 22
When I invite a young woman into my life and she sees my failings and my sin, I have the opportunity to show what kind of people Christ came to die for: sinful, blemished people.
I have the occasion to communicate that apart from Christ’s gracious work in my life I would be a much meaner, more selfish mom. I can show this younger woman how to rejoice in the fact that Christ came to heal the sick and needy, not the healthy and perfect.
I also have the gospel reapplied to me when I realize that my example may actually benefit the younger woman by showing them what NOT to do or be. Ouch! What a humbling reality! As my pride balks at this idea I am made aware of my need for even more grace!
Yet I can rejoice as even my insufficiencies are helping this younger believer know Christ more and grow in him. I can thank God for the opportunity to know my own limitations and boast in Christ! As I seize the sufficiency of Christ for my motherhood on any day– smoothly-running or Twilight Zone– this younger believer gets to experience a dose of reality.
The way I see it…we can wait around until we reach the age that we feel “adequate” or we can allow God’s grace to shine through us as we walk alongside young believers and let them see up close His grace in action. If we wait until we feel good enough to disciple someone younger, we’ll wait around forever. You see discipling doesn’t mean you know it all, it isn’t about giving them all the knowledge that you have. It’s about helping them meet Jesus and learn all the knowledge He has.
Next up…Part Four: Objection #3 – My children are my priority. I can’t divide my time.