Yesterday, I equaled discipleship with the relationship a parent with a baby/newborn. That’s exactly what I believe discipleship is. When a baby is born, it is the parents that have to find their feet. They are the ones who have to get up at night. It is their schedule that is compromised. I say this because lots of people see discipleship as a relationship where the child has to do everything the parent tells him/her. The discipleship movement was especially tough in this area.
So, you have a new born Christian on your hands. What do you give him/her? What do you do? In the beginning there’s lots of poop and crying. It the parents that clean up the mess, not the child. They spend a lot of time with each other. Bonding takes place. The child starts to crawl. He/she starts to copy what the parents do. After a while they give their steps. They fall. It’s important to know here that a child is not told how to walk. He/she is shown. And they will fall. That’s OK. You have to let them fall; otherwise they will never get the walk-thing. Slowly over time they learn what’s it like to be part of a family. They learn how to play. I’ve read about it and seen it. Children who are loved and know they are loved, explore more. Their world is bigger. The love they feel, give them the security to move farther away from us. And so, time goes on. In teenager stage they might rebel. Question everything. See a bigger world full of unjust things. Become more self-interested. They ask questions like “What is my place” in all of this. How do I fit in? Do I want to fit in? (Important these questions are.) More time goes by. They grow up and come to a place where they are ready to be parents. You don’t see each other as much as when they were babies.
That to me is discipleship. I think it’s also important to note that it’s also the interaction of two paths. You are on your road towards more of God. He/She is on THEIR road towards God. It’s not the same path. The greatest gift you can give a person is to let him/her find their own path. Let them make mistakes. Let them seek. Don’t give so many answers. Ask them what they want to do, and let them do it even when you know they may fail. You are NOT helping the person if he/she becomes a replica of you. If you control the person or use control to do what you want, you are not of God. Jesus actually made it very difficult for people to stay with Him. They could walk away at any time. The parent is the servant. Not the other way around. As time goes by, you will spend less time with each other. You will not see each other twice or three times a week. Perhaps once a month or less. Time will take you apart. You will call each other friends because that is what you became and the bonds will be strong even if you are many miles apart.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Ecc 4:9 Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. Ecc 4:10 If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. Ecc 4:11 If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself ? Ecc 4:12 Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
In the end, I believe discipleship is friends walking together in Jesus.