In honor of Mother’s Day we’re taking a break from Exodus today to encourage my fellow mama’s who are stretched thin and guilt ridden over the concept of discipleship. Or maybe I’m the only one, nonetheless, this is important. Because discipleship looks different in various seasons of life, yet it’s often described only one way.
Sometimes discipleship is pouring over the Scriptures, tall latte in hand, with a new believer in Christ. But sometimes, it isn’t.
Though it’s taken me years to realize it.
Born and raised in a traditional, non-denominational, Bible teaching church, the coffee-shop concept of discipleship is like an old t-shirt. I’m comfortable with it. I like it. I’ve been blessed by it and I enjoy it.
But now, with one hard working husband and four kids under the age of ten I’ll be honest, I have little time to wear my old, comfy, t-shirt.
At least, not in the way I expected. With my days occupied by the non-negotiable demands of preschoolers, my afternoons with homework, and my evenings with either a sporting event or bath time. (Because let’s be real, there just isn’t time for both.) I’m lucky if I get five uninterrupted minutes hiding in the pantry, let alone time to go have coffee with a precious sister in Christ.
Yet I’m supposed to, right? Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, ESV).
Yes, Jesus commanded it. There’s no doubt about that. And if it works, an hour or two a week pouring over the Scriptures, is a great way to disciple. But it’s not the only way.
By definition a disciple is, “One who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.” (Thank you Merriam-Webster.) And you know what? I’m already doing that. Every time I come along side one of my children to tell them what Jesus says. Assuring them with a word of truth. Praying with them before they walk out the door.
Not to mention when I take the time to recite Colossians 3:20 with one of the littles, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord” (ESV). Like when the three-year-old melts into the floor because I won’t let him pick his nose. Or when the two-year-old sits stone still refusing to swallow the food in his mouth. (Never saw that one coming. But each child has taken their turn.)
And could there be anything more important than raising my children in the admonition of the LORD? Yet for some reason discipling our kids often feels like the lesser job. Slipping in under the category of discipline, or child development, or domestic responsibility.
But living my life for Christ in front of my children is discipleship too. And none of it, thus far, has been in a coffee shop. But it has been at the breakfast table and in the car and in a plethora of I-still-love-you’s. It’s been in the no’s. It’s been the yes’s. It’s been in the why and why not’s. It’s even been in the bathroom, though I’ll spare you that story.
Slowly but surely God’s been teaching me discipleship isn’t a one-size-fits-all t-shirt. It comes in all kinds of colors and patterns and shapes and sizes, depending on one’s season of life. And that’s the beauty of it. There’s no right and wrong way to disciple.
Sometimes it might look like hot lattes and quiet conversations. And other times it might look like chaos and sippy cups and staying home because your kids need you. Either way, make no mistake, it’s discipleship.
So don’t feel guilty about staying home sweet mama. Your work is important too. In fact, it’s essential. Not just because the world would fall apart without you, but because the next generation would too.
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