You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
I recently took my three children (the youngest was one week old) to Costco—you know, because we needed to stock up on all those bulk goods. Everyone was content, well-behaved, and having a grand old time. In fact, I was thinking how the transition from two to three children was far smoother than the transition from one to two. Truly. But that’s a topic for another time. Somewhere between perusing the shampoo and passing veggie sticks to my boys, a man many years my senior wheeled past and abruptly said, “Well, I hope you are done, because three is more than anyone needs.” Whoa! Talk about catching me off guard. There was no underlying humor in his tone—no appreciation that a parent and her littles were seriously on their A-game during this outing. Just unsolicited, harsh cynicism from a stranger. Sadly, this is the state of our world.
While my mind rapidly flipped through many possible responses, my mouth managed to stay silent until he was gone (praise the Lord!). I told my children how thankful I was for our family and that God made me a mommy; fortunately, my kids were too wrapped up in their snacks to even notice the brief encounter. Afterward, I went from feeling shocked at his statement to realizing that his comment had nothing to do with me or my children. It was evident that this man had not experienced joy in recent history. This man needed love and loads of prayer. I snapped out of my momentary funk over his more serious funk. This was not a moment to sulk, but to savor God’s goodness and remember His commands.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
As Christian parents, it is easy to focus on our primary job of shaping the hearts and minds of our children, while putting the broader call of the Great Commission on the back burner. While it is good to focus on our children, the Bible does not tell us that our mission in the world should wait for a better season or a more convenient time. The time is always now. When you are going to the grocery store or going to the school gym, you have abundant opportunities to make disciples and show your children what it looks like to truly love others for the cause of Christ.
Act wisely toward outsiders, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6)
God created everyone in His image, and He longs for us to know His all-consuming love for each person. It can be easy to turn a blind eye to your everyday outings, but these are incredible opportunities to show the love of Christ to the world around you and your children. The neighbors down the street, the barista at the drive-thru, and the less than happy person in Costco all need to know they are loved by Jesus! And guess what? You get to go out and tell them, and your children get to see it. The Great Commission matters because every person matters to God. Make the most of every moment, and remember, you aren’t in control of the outcome—you are only in control of sharing Jesus with a world desperately crying out for joy. Go and give them a dose today.
In His Love,
Gabbie Nolen-Fratantoni loves Jesus and is passionate about serving him through the arts by leading worship and writing for various ministries. She is married to Greg, her hard-working, iron-sharpening-iron spouse. They are opposite in personality but equal in dedication to their marriage and family. Gabbie and Greg are the proud and sleep-deprived parents of two active, sweet, and fun boys and recently welcomed the arrival of their first little girl. An Aggie and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Gabbie is a small-town country girl trapped in the city and loves getting to know people and encouraging them as they seek to know Jesus and make him known.
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