“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
I love the Great Commission! God has called us to make disciples of all nations, going out everywhere and telling others about the love of God and what Jesus has done for them on the cross. But I believe that commission is not only meant to inspire us to go around the world, but to also make disciples in our own homes with our children.
How do we do that? What does it even mean to make disciples?
Looking at the Gospel of John helps answer those questions. We see how Jesus chose twelve disciples and did everyday life with them for three years. Teaching his disciples how to follow God didn’t happen overnight, but over much time spent together. (Sound familiar in parenting?) Throughout Jesus’ time with his disciples, He made spiritual concepts understandable by telling stories, or parables, that they could understand.
As moms, we have the opportunity to disciple our children to know and love God. One way we can do that is by using real life experiences to help our children understand the Bible. Here’s an example: My family recently took a trip to visit the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. The gorge is a stunning sight to see with 1,000-foot walls, and the raging Colorado River at the bottom of the great canyon. The bridge going over the canyon is ¼ of a mile across!
A couple days after our trip, I was reading to my kids the passage from John 14 where Jesus tells his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (vs 6). Knowing that my kids are a more captive audience when they are eating, we typically do ‘Bible time’ during breakfast. But that morning, they were not really paying much attention.
Then I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to ask, “Remember the Royal Gorge? Could you have crossed that canyon if there was no bridge?” They looked up from their bowls of cereal, interest sparking in their eyes, and shook their heads, no.
“What if you were the fastest runner in your school and got a running start, could you jump across then?” My 8-year-old shouted, “No, only if you could fly!” I laughed and said, “What if you were the Olympic gold medalist runner Eric Liddell (who we had been reading about), and then got a running start?”
They shook their heads, no, more vigorously, so I explained, “Well, the distance across that gorge is like the separation between God and man when sin entered the world. It was impassable. God was on one side and people were on the other. But when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He became like the Royal Gorge Bridge we walked across that connected God to people. Jesus is the way to God!” My kids’ eyes lit with understanding!
The task of discipling our children can feel monumental. Thankfully, God wants to help us! I am praying for you, dear mom, that God will guide you and prompt you in your everyday moments to know how to teach your children and draw them closer to Jesus.
Elizabeth Moum and the Help Club for Moms Team