Disciple Making in the Home - God's DesignLuke Yetter - Director | Relational Discipleship Network
Being a parent has helped me to understand God’s love and purpose for my life better than any other life experience I’ve had. When my kids were born, I knew that I would be able to teach them how to “survive”, how to be hard working and disciplined, how to be respectful to others and provide for their family one day. I knew a lot of this would come by way of modeling. What I didn’t know is that even if I did all of that and did it well, I would have totally missed the mark if I hadn’t realized that discipling my kids was more important than any “survival skill” I could teach them. The real eye opener came when I realized that God was going to use my kids to help me become a better disciple of Him and to help me feel how much God truly loves me.
Parenting has taught me that God has created us uniquely and uses our design to glorify HIM. I want my kids to know who their heavenly Father is more than I want them to know who I am but I am so thankful that He has given me kids to get to love and disciple, that he has given me example after example in His Word of how to be more like Him and in those moments when I am rejoicing over my kids, I feel how much He loves me too.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” – Psalms 103:8
As I experienced being discipled and discipling others, I recognized that God didn’t always bring people into my life that were just like me to disciple or be discipled by. In fact, those that God used in very intimate ways to disciple me were designed very different than me. They had different hobbies or skills that in normal life circumstances I may not have spent time with them. Yet in God’s plan in the church He uses the entire body to impact our lives.
As I learned more about how Jesus discipled, I began to understand what God wanted from Casey and I as we embarked on the journey of not just parenting our kids but discipling them as the scriptures instruct us.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Zachary, our oldest is calculated, a bit cautious. Unlike me, his dad, I love risk. Amongst our differences we also have similarities. The Lord was teaching me in our similarities and differences in order to I to build relationship with him and really be able to speak into his life, I would have to value his design. Whether in good times or bad, struggles or success I would need to be curious about him and how God designed him so that I could better mold and shape him into the man God wants him to be. I was learning that I was not making a disciple of Luke, I was making a disciple of Jesus.
Our middle son, Jacob is very outgoing, he loves to learn new stuff every day and rarely meets someone who isn’t immediately wanting to join him in his fun adventures. In multiple ways he is the opposite of his older brother. He also loves others in a way that I had not experienced until Jacob came along. See Jacob and I are a lot alike in the area of risk taking, we both can synthesize data pretty quick, see the big picture and determine a direction we want to go, without hesitation. When I recognized this in Jacob, I was able to help him navigate life using these gifts. I created environments where we could have adventures together. In those times, we talked about life and I was able to disciple him by connecting with him and meeting him where he was at. Learning his design and again pointing him to Christ, not creating a mini me. Along with me discipling Jacob, God was using him to teach me about God the Father’s unconditional love.
Then God gave Casey and I Rhylee. From day one I was in trouble. I was wrapped around her finger and could never imagine telling her no. As she grew, I watched her kind heart, sweet spirit blossom. Whether she was negotiating with her mom for a bigger doll or convincing us that she needed to have more friends over to our house Rhylee would help me grow in my understanding of discipling our kids. I did have to say no at times and just like the boys God wanted me to understand how he designed her so that I could best develop her into the woman God wants her to be. At times that meant telling her no as hard as it could be at times.
Being the youngest Rhylee watched her brothers. She was born into a culture that existed in our home where Casey and I were discipling. Rhylee certainly impacted our family in amazing ways but she benefited from how we learned and grew as parents. I saw something amazing t that I never anticipated. Her brothers were discipling her. Oh, they fought and still have the typical sibling issues but because of what we started early on with the boys we could see the incredible things God was doing in HIS process of disciple making in our home. Disciple making had become who we were as a family. The Holy Spirit was at work in our home and in some ways, we were learning from each other.
Discipleship in the home can sometimes be harder than discipleship with those in our small group, or with those outside our home because proximity can sometimes be confused with intentionality. Just because I’m in close proximity to my kids, doesn’t mean that they will automatically become great disciple makers. Casey and I have had to be intentional with each one of our kids, which many times means saying no to other opportunities to disciple others. But if we can model for our kids not just with words but with our actions, Jesus will multiply our efforts. We can release an army of disciples right from our very own home. The process Jesus modeled and handed down truly does become who we are in our the most precious place, our home.
RDN Team Member
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