15 ParentingIn 2017, I was pregnant — not “super” pregnant, as in I could still see my feet but could still rest a soda can on my belly without it spilling — and I stumbled upon a video on Facebook of a college acquaintance and her 2-year-old son. She was sitting on the floor folding laundry while her son ran around the room giggling and playing. As I watched, I noticed she was asking her son a series of simple questions about God, called catechisms, most of which required an answer of only a few words.

The series of questions went something like this:

Mom: “Who made you?”
Son: “God!”
Mom: “And what else did God make?”
Son: “All things!”
Mom: “Why did God make you and all things?”
Son: “For his own glory!”
Mom: “How can you glorify God?”
Son: “By loving him and doing what He commands!”

Tears. I cried big crocodile tears as I watched it over and over again, joy beaming from the child's face as he responded to her questions, sometimes on his own, sometimes with her guidance. She was teaching her sweet 2-year-old boy who God is and how much he loves him — the call that is on every person's life if they claim to follow Jesus. That was discipleship (teaching and instructing others  about who Jesus is) in its simplest form and I needed to take notes.
That has always baffled me. Where do you even start with someone, anyone, much less a child,  to tell them that there is a god who created the universe and everything in it, who specifically thought of them and formed them in their mother's womb, who has a plan and a purpose for their life, when they have no framework for who he is? How do you tell them that he sent his son Jesus, who is also God and part of the Trinity — pretty confusing, to Earth because of this ugliness called sin that's inside the human race, to die for them and save them from sin, so they can know him and his love and spend eternity in heaven? Yeah, say that five times fast. For someone who didn't grow up in church or around church, or has a bad taste in their mouth from people who call themselves Christians, it sounds absolutely insane, and I see that.

But on the other hand, what a weighty, beautiful, glorious responsibility to start with a blank canvas — a child. Its almost too much to bear. It's terrifying. Disciple-ing my son means not only am I telling him about Jesus, but I'm teaching him. He's an eye witness to my life — my life with all of my sin, selfishness, pride and mistakes. He's going to observe how I'm living, and eventually what he will think about Jesus will be colored by whether or not I was a big, fat phony, or whether I truly tried to live for what I say I believe. He will see how I handle relationships, discipline, my health, blessings, heartbreak, finances, our home, apologies, loss, tough emotions, asking for help, hard work —the list goes on.

My relationship with Jesus directly affects my son's future relationship with him, but here's the crazy thing about all of it: There is nothing I can do in and of myself to make him believe. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The Holy Spirit must do something miraculous and supernatural with my measly attempts to show who he is and how he works. Then my son must make his own decision. I just pray with all my heart and soul that God will burn the “fake” out of me, that I learn to trust him more and that what was promised to the prison guard in Acts 16:31 was a promise for my family as well — “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
May he choose you, Jesus. I pray I will, too.

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