We’re certainly not the first parents to have a chick leave the nest. However Bronia is the first chick to leave our nest, and like other parents before us, we’re awash in emotions. As Christian parents, we know that parenting is ALL about discipleship. There is no other group of people we will have under our roof for the length of time that we have our children. And while we teach them many other life skills besides Biblical truths, what we long for them to latch on to the most are exactly those Biblical truths. While we would love for our children to do their chores without asking, our deeper desire is that they want to be obedient to the Lord.
As our children begin to leave our home to make their own life, one naturally looks back on the years of parenting and wonders, what kind of disciple did we make? We have been overwhelmed at times at what we feel are major failures on our part. We look back and see things that we focused on that were actually minor. We’re sure there isn’t a parent who feels like they trained their children in all the ways of the Lord, as they could have. At least we feel that way. At times we see only missed and wasted opportunities.
Then we see our daughter Bronia for example, and we’re filled with gratitude at God’s unending grace. She is leaving for England in a week, to volunteer for six months in a nursery. New Tribes Mission has a Bible College, cross-cultural missions training center, as well as an applied linguistics course there, and in order for wives and mothers to be able to attend classes as future cross-cultural church planters, their children need to be taken care of. Bronia may think she’s only “taking care of kids”, but I don’t think she realizes how valuable a job her discipling will be.
And discipling is exactly what she’ll be doing. She will be taking care of 2 and 3 year olds, teaching them about Jesus through lessons, readings, songs, and walks in nature. Showing Jesus’ love to these little ones is exactly the kind of opportunity we had hoped our children would choose to use their lives for. Every Christian needs to see they have a place in the grand picture of God building His church worldwide, and we pray that Bronia truly grasps how her service both pleases the Lord and builds His church. Not to mention how helpful it is to the parents who entrust their children to her.
So while we may have made many mistakes in discipling, we are confident that the Lord is the one who is leading our disciple on, to disciple others. 3 John 4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”