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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Discipleship (02/23/04)

TITLE: The Most Intense and Longest Lasting Discipleship Course EVER!
By Donna Haug


“Mom, if God is everywhere at once, how can He stay out of Hell?”

“Mom, why didn’t God just destroy Satan when he sinned instead of letting him go and mess things up?”

Have you ever heard questions like these? If your children are anything like mine, they make you wish you were a bit of a theologian sometimes. My children have been hearing Bible stories, singing songs about Jesus and attending church very regularly since they were ‘knee high to a grasshopper’. We have had opportunities to talk to them about interesting things like ‘why did God bother to make wild flowers when no one is there to see them?’ or ‘why did God make weeds?’ There are times that I am so pleased with our efforts as parents to seize the moment and teach our children something about our Lord that I feel the need for a pat on the back.

But then again there are those other days – the days when things don’t exactly go as planned. We lose our cool or say something we later regret. Unfortunately those are also times when we are teaching our children lessons – lessons about what God the Father is like, or about how it’s all right to live our lives – lessons that are definitely NOT what we had planned.

I know I’ll never be a perfect parent, but I do realize the importance of my role. I am in the middle of the most intense discipleship program known to man. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year for at least 18 PLUS years I am being watched and my children are learning! They learn from my words but also from my actions. I am saying, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” If this is so, then it is of utmost importance that I do “follow Christ”!

So what do I do if I mess up? If I freak out at my child unfairly because I misunderstood or because I am just too tired to be fair, what should my response be? Should I try to justify myself before my child, or should I be vulnerable enough to admit that I was wrong and say I’m sorry? I know that my children are fully aware of whether or not they have been treated justly. One look on their faces will tell the story. Parents would not loose face if they were to admit their mistake and ask forgiveness but rather they would teach the child some valuable lessons. They would learn that we all make mistakes and that it is necessary to do something to right those wrongs whenever possible. They would see humility lived out in love.

Parents, you have embarked on the most intense and longest lasting discipleship course ever! Trust in the Lord to lead you and give you wisdom for each day. When you mess up, fess up! Be honest before your children and your Lord. Discipleship not an easy task, but in the end it will be the most rewarding job you will ever have undertaken. Do it with excellence!

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 03/01/04
YES, YES YES!! I live on this street! I walk in those shoes! And it's a walk of delight, joy and sleepless nights, going without so the kids can have, joyful and not-so-joyful sacrifice...

Well written
Leticia Caroccio03/01/04
What an awesome article. I was so touched. Being a new Christian, I have only recently signed up for this wonderful discipleship course. It's been a wonderful, trying year but so worth it. I have survived only by God's grace and by the encouragement of my new brothers and sisters. Your words touched a chord in my heart. Thank you.
Dave Wagner03/01/04
Good advice. O_o
L.M. Lee03/02/04
my kids always thought it was "slavery" not discipleship! :-)
Jacqueline Odom-Bullock03/02/04
I not only got hit with the questions from my own, he would bring in the whole neighborhood! I thank God for the blessing though, It taught me to teach the children's bible study at my church.
Donna Anderson03/04/04
I think that my children have learned more lessons in humility then I care to admit, but laced with grace, those lessons are very valuable! Great Donna :)
Ann Marie Lindenmeyer03/06/04
Yes, this is so true Donna. I try to say sorry when I know I am wrong and humble myself before my children. I wish so many other parents would follow what you have said.
Merry Jo Hooker03/07/04
So very true and thought provoking. I have 3 little ones constantly asking questions that really make me think. Questions I never even thought of myself. Simplicity and humility-truly only from the gift of a childlike heart. Thanks for the great article.
Kenny Paul Clarkson03/07/04
You're writing from the heart of a parent to the hearts of parents. Good stuff!

— Kenny Paul Clarkson, 1492@usa.com