This is the last of a four-part series on the topic of discipleship.
First off, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything on my website, either blogs or sermons. For that, I am sorry. The last two months have been quite hectic, but so, so worth it. On August 8, I married the love of my life, and I have no words to describe how amazing it has been so far. Gabby is not only my love, but she is also my best friend. There is no one else I can spend every minute of the day with and not grow tired. She loves me for who I am, which is quite an undertaking. Truly, she shows me the love of Christ every single day. I could go on and on.
Second, I have been surprised with the discipleship opportunities contained inside of marriage. Every single day, Gabby and I have an opportunity to teach one another, and to learn from one another. God brought us together, and continually uses us to help each other out spiritually, physically, and mentally. It is the most natural discipleship relationship I’ve ever been a part of. I realize that I am still a newlywed, and have much to learn about marriage (and life in general), but I do know that a marriage is designed to glorify God in everything. I do know that God allows us to live life together with our spouses, daily encouraging one another to dig deep into his Word, searching his heart through prayer, and committing to following him together, with passion and conviction.
Reflecting on this, I began to think about the importance of discipleship in the family. I remembered all the times my parents taught me. These teaching moments, which happened quite frequently as I was growing up, were all moments that my parents chose to disciple me. My mother and father took moments to show me truth, and teach me in the way I was supposed to go. They were training me in righteousness, from an early age. Most of the time, I had no idea that this was going on, but they definitely did. They were intentional about the way they were raising me. By teaching me right from wrong, they were showing me a moral code in which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. By loving each other unconditionally, they were setting an example of love within marriage that my sister and I hope to emulate within our own marriages now. By involving our whole family in the local church, they were creating a precedent that would ignite a love and passion for the church in my life. Through all of these things, my parents were parenting in a way that was glorifying God; they were making disciples. They were teaching us to obey everything Christ commanded us.
I say all of this not to brag on my parents (though I do, quite often) but to show an example of how discipleship can happen within the family. Discipleship is not confined to the church, or to a friendship, but can be shown in many different contexts. Family is the most natural bond God has given us, and we can make the most of it. Within your family, take time to show love and truth. Take the time to intentionally disciple those around you. God has given you your spouse and children, brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers, and has also given you the responsibility to disciple those around you. The local church cannot disciple your family members as well as you can. The church does not live with your family. The church is not together throughout the week like you are with your family. Discipleship can happen in the home, but we must be intentional about it.