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Discipleship at Home: Repetitive & Maintaining

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Discipleship at Home: Repetitive & Maintaining

If our goal as Christian parents is to raise life-long disciples of Jesus Christ, then we must pay careful attention to how and what we teach. We find that discipleship of our children works its way out in a few different ways in our family:

  1. Structured and planned
  2. Spontaneous and responsive
  3. Repetitive and maintaining

The first two ways mentioned, structured and planned, as well as spontaneous and responsive were addressed in previous posts. In this final post, I’ll address the work of being repetitive and maintaining.

Repetitive & Maintaining

Most recently I’ve had to repent and meet the Lord regarding my frustration about having to repeat myself to my children so much. As moms, if we are to be diligent in the instruction of our children and raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we are going to be repeating ourselves a lot. We can’t water a garden once and expect it to yield fruit, so why do we begrudge the repetitive work it takes to tend to the souls of our children? Paul said in Philippians 3:1 "To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.” Oh to have the same gracious spirit toward those whom I love most. That being said, there is a world of difference between reminding and nagging.

While planning our daily liturgy (as mentioned in the previous post on structure and planning) is crucial, more so is actually carrying it out. Too many days I have found myself lost and overwhelmed with circumstantial daily duties that I forgo the most important things that I had actually planned. I let the urgent usurp the needful. No wonder I feel overwhelmed. When I am not intentional about centering our thoughts and daily duties around the Lord and His Word, I should not be surprised when the rest of my day is spent in spiritual chaos.

Repetitive discipleship also shows itself in how we serve others in need, whether cooking for ill family members or neighbors, or serving our own family members by helping with their chore load. Daily required chores contribute to the well-being of the whole family, and it’s character building for children to take part and have a sense of ownership. But also, when children see their father help clean up after supper, take on the bedtime duties when mama has a migraine, or simply make the coffee, they take notice. When they see their mama cook yet another meal when she’s exhausted or quickly tidy up the home before dad gets home from work, they take notice. They take notice if we are serving cheerfully or begrudgingly.

We can’t weed a garden once and expect that no more weeds will grow, and the longer we neglect the maintaining, the harder our job is to restore the garden back to only its intended produce. When we let a disciplinary issue slide, when we don’t rightly address a sin issue, when we are not diligent to guard our children’s hearts in their entertainment choices…all these sorts of things are like weeds that creep back into our gardens that can stunt growth in discipleship. We as parents are the gatekeepers of our homes. We decide what and who is welcome (or not) into our homes. And in this digital age, we had better be diligent to maintain the standard that we have by faith committed to the Lord. We can read all the Bible to our children we want, but if we are not diligent to maintain a godly standard in our homes, living lives set apart for the Lord, then we can be sure that we are teaching our children a double standard.

As parents, we are discipling our children whether it’s our intention or not. We can be easily angered at their lack of self-control in whining and totally miss that we were easily angered. One more grumble and I can snap crackle pop. But when we do fail, and we will fail, we get to teach them that Christ is ever-faithful and sustains and keeps us. This discipling is all about Him. We are life-long disciples discipling our children to be life-long disciples so that they can teach their children and their children’s children to be lifelong disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. So as parents, the admonition to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9) is accomplished by God’s grace, and our perspective in keeping the end goal in mind helps us to see the Lord as the Author and Perfecter of our faith…to keep on doing what He designed us as parents to do, tend the sweet garden He’s planted in our families. And that takes repetitive, regular maintenance.