Trusting God with Discipling Littles

It’s the area of my life in which I most want to be successful, yet feel the most inadequate...discipling my children.

I want it to be effortless, for the right words to flow from my lips like honey at the perfect moment, cemented into my toddlers’ brains forever, waiting and ready to be recalled in a moment ten years from now when they need it.

So, I do what any “good” mom would do. I look for the best discipling resources, I read them all the Bible stories and books about Jesus, I catechize, I play Bible verses set to fun music.

Amid trying to serve my children, I become self-reliant. And I am reminded of a woman who tried to take matters into her own hands. 

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
— Genesis 16:1-2, ESV

At this point in the story, God has promised Abram that he will make of him a great nation. He has shown him the land that his offspring will possess. He has assured him that a member of his household will not be his heir, that his very own son will be his heir. God has made a covenant with Abram to bless him with more offspring than there are stars in the sky. But Sarai isn’t convinced.

She thinks God needs her help.

She feels the need to ‘do something’ to move this plan along.

And here I am, sitting in my three-year old’s bedroom floor trying my best to get him to recite the books of the Pentateuch, instead of trusting God for the salvation of my children. Instead of praying to the salvation of Israel to save my children’s souls,

I, like Sarai, try to help God out.

Now, I am in no way saying that God has promised to save my children like he promised to bless Abram with countless offspring. I am, however, saying that he can be trusted. That his plans cannot be thwarted.

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
— Job 42:2, ESV

That he is sovereign over every detail of our lives, and our children’s lives.

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
— Psalm 135:6, ESV

That he is a good, good father. And that no effort on our part is going to make the difference in our children’s hearts and minds.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord.
— Isaiah 31:1, ESV

That he abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness.

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
— Exodus 34:6, ESV

And that we do not have to carry the burden of saving our children.

That burden rests solely on the perfectly sufficient shoulders of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It has already been accomplished through his perfect life, finished work on the cross, resurrection, and his ever present intercession for us at the right hand of the Father.

Will I continue to disciple my children to the best of my abilities? Yes.
Will I do my best to take advantage of the countless opportunities God blesses me with every day to image him? Yes.
Will I pray that my beautiful blue-eyed boys will come to know the Lord, and to love and serve him with their whole hearts? Yes.

But my confidence will not rest in my own performance. My confidence will rest in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. The Father who has shown himself to be faithful to generation, after generation, after generation.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?
— Genesis 18:4, ESV