Friday, February 3, 2017

Making Disciples

Normal. What does that mean? What is a "normal" day for you?
Every mother has a different "ideal" normal day, right?

We want happy kids in the morning, cheerful children when they get home who happily do their homework, get along with their brothers and sisters, eat their dinners, go to bed without a fight and sleep straight through the night.

Sounds ridiculous to think this, but I have to be honest with you all, I still think somehow I "deserve" this kind of day. And when I don't get it, I get a bit, no a TON annoyed, at myself, my husband, my children. MY LIFE.

God has been whispering something new to my heart this year- "Drop the ideal of normal. Just look for me and follow me." The beauty of this kind of thinking is that is keeps my mind off of what is "not right" at the moment, and instead puts me in a mindset of total focus on God.

I remember His sovereignty, I remember His grace, I remember forgiveness, I remember truth, I remember redemption, I remember my purpose.

I have been in a crazy-cuckoo mindset for far too long of what motherhood is supposed to look like.

What is my purpose? My purpose is to make disciples. A disciple is someone who accepts Jesus as their Lord, is determined to follow Him, and eventually becomes mature in their faith- feeding themselves spiritually, and then begins discipling others. That is IT.

My purpose in parenting is to introduce my children to Jesus, teach them who He is every moment, all the time, show them who he is every moment, all the time. Using my words and my actions. Every moment counts. I am a mother, but most importantly I am a teacher.  The definition of disciple is a "learner or pupil".

It goes like this...I learn from Jesus, I teach my children, they learn from me, eventually they learn from Jesus on their own, they teach others, others learn from them, etc...

Looking at the life of Jesus and Paul, two men in the New Testament that live lives of intentional discipleship, I have learned that every aspect of their life was about making disciples. They saw every moment connected to the purpose of sharing the Gospel. Every. Moment.

Man that is so inspiring and so overwhelming to imagine implementing in my daily life.
But maybe I can try, maybe I can act and speak exactly what I know to be true in the Bible.

What would that look like?

When I wake up and I make my children breakfast, I am serving them because I know Jesus first served me, I can talk to my children about this. "Hey boys, Mommy loves to make you breakfast because Mommy gets to serve. Do you know who is the best servant in the world? Let me tell you more about Jesus."

When my boys fight and argue. "Hey boys, Jesus teaches us to love each other as we love ourselves. How can we love each other better right now? What do you think Jesus would want us to do when we are angry with each other?"

When I am running late and tired and my boys want me to go outside and play- "Hey boys, Mommy really does not want to play right now. But life is not about making ourselves happy all the time. Sometimes we need to do things we don't want to do because we love people. That can be hard sometimes for sure. But Mommy will change, eat a snack and then play with you because Jesus tells me that I need to put others before myself."

When I blow it-HUGE. When I yell too harshly, when I don't stop to listen, when I make those mistakes that just make me cringe- I can get on my knees, look them in the eyes and say- "Mommy messed up. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Mommy is a sinner and I was not following the Holy Spirit just now. Jesus forgives us when we sin. Can you please forgive me?"

And when my kiddo disobeys me. He needs to get a consequence. I can remind him that God disciplines those he loves. I can say- "Kiddo- I know you don't like this but I love you and I want you to know that certain types of behavior are not acceptable because they hurt you and others. We have to ask Jesus to help us with this stuff. It is not easy to live like Him, but Mommy will pray for you." 

Maybe these scenarios sound cheesy and silly- but I can attest to the fact that when I start to talk to my children about why I am doing things, they listen.

They might think it's goofy, they might think it's not 'cool', but they listen."

I know this to be true because every now and then I catch my 9 year old saying something I have heard myself say, when correcting his younger brother. I know this to be true because when I DON'T do it- they almost always push me TO DO IT by acting up more. And when I don't do it, I lose MY focus, I have to be intentional.

We need to speak, we need to act and we need to make disciples of our children. And it will be the greatest privilege and joy to do so.

How cute are these two?