Matthew 28:18-20 – The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I don’t know about you all, but these very familiar verses for us church raised kids, have been a source of pressure and discouragement for me since becoming a mom. When thinking of The Great Commission, I would have questions running through my mind of how to make this happen when I barely brush my teeth or shower? It almost made me want to rush raising the kids so that I was freed up to go out and do “real kingdom work”. Then in church I have heard countless messages talking about how it is a command and not a request, so “Get out there and save some souls!”. I would get home from hearing the message and feel distracted and slowed down in this season of raising children. It would seem like my kids were just getting in the way of what I was really supposed to be doing. Then guilt would set in and I would respond by filling my calendar up with with commitments that I thought were my contribution of The Great Commission. I would become spread so thin that when I was home I was angry, impatient, and resentful of how the kids were pulling me away from the “important ministry” that I could be doing.
Then IF 2016 happened and then IF 2017 reminded me of what happened at IF 2016 🙂 In 2016, one of the speakers was talking about making disciples and the guilt set in, once again. But this time in the midst of my guilt and feeling of falling short in this area, Jesus gently spoke to my heart, “Your kids are your disciples.” I instantly felt a mix of relief and sadness. Relief because my disciples that I needed to focus on were in my 4 walls, sadness because of the last 4 years I’ve missed this perspective and truth with my oldest. God graciously spoke love and grace over me. He ministered to my soul that He saw me. Jesus saw me in the midst of tantrums, diapers, lack of sleep, loss of temper, and feelings of guilt and still delighted in me. Tears began to run down my cheeks. My God was NOT disappointed in me! He saw me in the midst of my journey of figuring out how to make disciples like He called me to and delighted over me and the intentions of my heart. That was the beginning of embracing the journey of motherhood instead of rushing it or fighting it.
I spent the rest of 2016 doing my best to embrace the journey of raising my kids. Overall, I think that I did a pretty good job at keeping it at the forefront of my mind. I definitely had moments where I forgot and wanted to run, but I think that is natural for most moms 🙂 The piece that slipped my mind while I was trying to focus on embracing my season of raising these kids was the part that they are my disciples. And then IF Local 2017 happened this last weekend.
On the opening panel, was a woman who read to “the moms” and she said the words, “your kids are your disciples”. It hit me like a ton of bricks. “That is the second half that I have been missing!” It was such a great way to start the conference for me. The entire conference ended up being focused on making disciples and the importance of building relationships. Doing ministry small, but well. All weekend I couldn’t stop thinking about my precious kiddos that God has entrusted me with. At the end of the 2 days the founder challenged everyone to write on one side of the tile those who had initially introduced us to Jesus and His love for us. On the other side of the tile she had us write who we were going to focus on discipling this year. I knew right away, “Weiland and Marty”.
Granted, it’s been less than 48 hours since the conference ended, but I cannot even begin to explain the shift that has taken place in me mentally towards my boys. For example, I have been sitting here for the last 2 hours trying to write this blog. The boys have wanted my attention and it has been so easy to stop typing mid sentence because my little disciples have requested attention involving, but not limited to: hugs, kisses, help with home work, diaper change, chicken dinos, and a cup of water. Before this weekend I would have gotten so irritated with the boys for interrupting me, but I sit here with a smile on my face because they are what matter most in my world, aside from Jesus and Jason, of course:)
Moms, shake off the pressures. Shake off the pressures of looking perfect before you leave the house. Shake off the pressure of needing to join another Bible study. Shake off the pressure of adding another commitment if your family needs you. Stop looking on Instagram and Facebook and comparing your family and your mothering. Jesus has picked you to be your kids momma, embrace it! 🙂 Your kids are your disciples.
I am going to type out The Great Commission below, but this time with my kid’s names..I challenge you to do the same. This is significant work. We are entrusted with raising little world changers!
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing Weiland and Marty in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching Weiland and Marty to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Thank you, Jesus, for these precious boys to love and raise to know and follow you!
Photo Cred: Katie McGihon Photography