Family Discipleship For The Preschool Mom

A constant state of busy

I didn’t even know I was overwhelmed until I lost it in the middle of a meeting. When asked how I was doing and if I was okay by another person in the room I just broke down in tears. I felt like I was drowning in the everyday tasks of running a home along with the balance of ministry, my children and my role as a wife. Don’t forget that I was trying to, in all of that, find time to set aside for the Lord. We physically cannot find time for everything that we think we need to do and be a part of. As a working mom of a 1 year old and a 2 ½ year old, I was constantly being told by those around me that my hands are full, and I was starting to believe them.

 Psalm 102: 3-4 & 7 says “For my days pass away like smoke and my bones burn like a furnace, My heart is struck down like grass and has withered. I forget to eat my bread… I lie awake; I am a lonely sparrow on the housetop.”

Any young mom out there has felt like this at some point in time. Sometimes our days feel like they pass like smoke. They are so fleeting, we can barely remember to nourish ourselves and you can almost guarantee that you never get a full night of sleep. But our hope comes from verse 12.

"But you, O Lord are enthroned forever, you are remembered throughout all generations."

Praise the Lord that no matter how our day goes the Lord is on the throne and He is constant. When you feel like your days are like smoke; like they don’t matter and are passing from one to the next too quickly to catch our breath, remember this; The Lord reigns. He is enthroned forever, He is in control and He is a good King. But it gets better! The Lord who is enthroned forever has given you a specific purpose for your lives as a mom today.

 

It is what God has called and commanded us to do

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus makes this game changing claim. "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Therefore, the one thing that Christ tells us to do before he ascended to heaven, (make disciples) cannot be something that we attempt to add to our busy schedule or try to find time for on the side. It must be the foundation of our lives.

Our very souls must be so in tuned with its concept and truth that everything we do and say is a product of making disciples. Notice that nowhere in Matthew 28 does it say “I have commanded you, except for young moms who have their hands full already, once your preschoolers grow up and become more independent then you can focus on this calling and commandment.” No, this is a commandment from the Lord and it must come first in our lives.


It Starts at Home

Because the Lord has called us to be moms; in case you didn’t know no matter the circumstances, you did not become a mom by accident, we know that He desires us to disciple our children and families.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” These verses give us an incredible picture of what family discipleship should look like. Preschoolers are active and are always learning; that means as parents, whether we think about it or not, are always teaching. In our words and actions each day we are constantly telling our kids about our theology, our priorities, and our values in life.

Scripture tells us to be intentional with our time. We are to train and teach our children the word of God when you sit at home, when you walk on the road (or drive in the car) when you lie down (bed time) when you rise (in the morning). Our language and actions must be one of constant training.

Do your children see you reading God’s word? Not on your phone but the actual book? Do you speak verses of correction, love, and wisdom over your children? It is so important to show our kids that we believe the words that we are preaching to them.  Ever since becoming a mom I no longer call my time with the Lord my quiet time. All you moms out there know that there is no such thing as quiet time. Many mornings my 2 year old sits next to me reading his bible while I read mine. Sometimes superman shows up on the ark with all the animals when he retells the stories on the pages and that’s okay. He sees mommy reading her bible and throughout the day I can reference verses to him and he can do the same to me. There is nothing more humbling than to hear your 2 year old remind you that yelling at the dishwasher is not pleasing to the Lord. We need the Word in our lives and our kids need to see it and hear it from us so they can model it. 

 

It’s Messy

I don’t know about you, but I am human. Which means I am a sinner. That means I am going to mess up and make mistakes. I have yelled at my children, I have been dishonoring to my husband, I have put my own selfishness in the way of my walk with the Lord. I will not be the best model of Christ 100% of the time because I am not Christ. But I am who God has placed over my children to lead them to himself. Part of teaching and training our children means showing them that we are human and that it is okay when we mess up. Teach them that repentance is vital to a healthy relationship with God.  Do you repent to your children, to your husband, to your Lord? The best thing you can teach your child is their need for a savior and that means you need to model that you need one too. Our goal as parents cannot be to raise “good” children. But rather children who see they are sinners and point them to the only person who can truly save them. Colossians 3: 2-4 "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

When you are in Christ, you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have died and our lives are hidden in Christ. Paul reminds us in Colossians to set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

This means we set our minds not on the laundry, dishes, our homes, our jobs, or our endless list of activities that our children are involved in. Rather we set our mind on the things above, and let the rest follow.

When I think of setting my mind on something I am brought back to the idea of being rooted in Christ where every decision I make is for the same end goal. In college I set my mind to finishing school in 3 years. Every choice I made, where to live, where to work, what classes to take, my schedule, the relationships I allowed in my life, all were for the same goal, to get my degree. We must adopt the same concept here. To set your mind on things above means that every choice you make will be for the kingdom of God and not an earthly goal. As verse 4 says make Christ your life!

 

Molding Your Own Heart First

You cannot begin to disciple your children unless you first disciple your own heart before the Lord. You must be rooted in Christ everyday before you can point anyone to Him. We do this with a few aims:

  1. “Know” and delight in God’s word (Psalm 1:1-2)
  2. “Walk” in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18)
  3.  “Commit” to accountable community (Ephesians 4:25)
  4. “Go” and do likewise {disciples making disciples} (Matthew 28:18-20)

If we do not do the first 3 aims well we will never be able to accomplish number 4.

Take time to be in God’s word daily. It is the very words of God given to you for knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Commit yourself to accountability relationships; people who will walk with you and help you stay accountable to being a biblical wife, mother and disciple of Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17 says "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another … And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

I love the message of these verses. When we let the word of Christ dwell in our lives it spurs us onto gospel living and to teach (our children) in wisdom. We do this with Thankful hearts before the Lord, and the Peace of Christ which we are called to will rule in our hearts. If there is one thing I have desired as a young mom daily, it is peace. These verses give us the recipe for that Peace.


Empty and Ready Hands

The day we start to believe our hands are full is the day that we become useless for the kingdom of God. 

If our hands are full holding onto things of this world, it is time to let go. It is imperative that we recognize how the Gospel affects our motherhood. It should completely change our lives. Our posture should be one of open hands that are ready and willing to be used by God for the advancement of His Kingdom.  My prayer for us moms today is that we would allow the truth of the gospel to change our very lives and how we go about each day. I hope that we would let go of earthly things that so easily fill up our calendar, our homes, and our hearts so that the word of God has complete control of our lives. I desire that we would see our role of discipleship in our families as the primary purpose of our motherhood. I pray against the enemy who says we are just moms who have no impact on the kingdom or our world. Let us be people who are so hidden in Christ and united with one another that we would point others only to Him. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Anna Brantley

Anna Brantley

PRESCHOOL MINISTER

Anna is honored to serve as the director of the preschool ministry at First Irving. She and her husband William of over 5 years are enjoying the fun and crazy adventures of parenting their 2 preschool children, Tyler and Kylie. They became members of First Irving in February 2013 and Anna came on staff in September 2015. Her passion is everything preschool! She finds such joy in helping preschool parents understand and focus on family discipleship and how to parent preschoolers for the glory of God. She strives to show preschoolers the Love of Christ by helping them feel loved, safe, and important. When she is not in the preschool area her favorite thing to do is spend time with family and friends, preferably while drinking coffee and eating bluebell ice cream.