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 #3: My children are my priority. I can’t divide my time.
Precisely because they are learning about life by watching, don’t we want our children to see us caring for and investing in other people? We want them to know that our relationship with our spouse is a priority because God prioritizes marriage in his Word.
Likewise, when I have a younger lady into my home – when my children see us discussing a book, opening Scripture or praying together or talking about Jesus while we cut veggies – what a marvelous opportunity it is to show them that the body of Christ is intimately involved in each other’s life.
This is another priority God places on the church: the fellowship of believers. My children get to learn that Mommy talks to lots of people about Jesus. She talks to me and she talks to Auntie Jessica. And Auntie Kate. Lord willing, in their minds, it is a normal and important thing for Jesus to be a part of every day conversations. It is a normal and important thing for people from church to be coming to their home and involved in Mommy’s life.
My bubble-loving two-year-old has surprised me on more than one occasion. As I get ready to pray with a lady, I will ask the kids to play quietly so we can pray. More than once, she has toddled over to me and said, “I pay too.” And she’ll climb up in my lap and ceremonially cover her eyes, sit still, and wait quietly while we pray.
Our children are watching and learning more than we know. Modeling discipleship to your children in this way is not forsaking them as your priority.
Father God, I pray You would use these moments to show my children the implications of the gospel lived out. I pray that my kids will catch a vision for how following Christ involves my giving my attention to other people for the sake of gospel growth. I pray they will see the body of Christ building itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16).
Wisdom in all things
There is no doubt that young parenthood is a tiring, if not exhausting, season of life. We need God’s wisdom to decide how to spend our waking moments.
And sometimes wisdom requires us to say “No” to an extra relationship at this time. But let us also not excuse ourselves from ministering to the saints because of the busyness of this season. Let us rather run this race with others and rejoice that we can fall into bed exhausted each night because we have given ourselves for others, emulating our Savior in how he has given himself for us.
The way I see it…I want that last sentence to be me. Totally exhausted because I have given myself for others. I want my children to see the importance of relationships as the grow, TRUE relationships, not the ones that they’ll see from the world. In order for this to happen I need to model right relationships with my friends and family. Showing them that people are more important to me than stuff, means I put down my phone/computer/TV/fill-in-the-blank and spend time with them and with people. Showing them that marriage is a covenant means displaying my love for their Daddy daily in small ways.
This generation is in desperate need of direction and we, the grown-ups, need to step-up. It is sad that there seems to always be a shortage of children’s workers, or student volunteers. I want to spend my life giving myself for others. For my spouse, for my children, for my family, for my friends, for the next generation.