I overheard someone say with great disdain, “They’ll let anyone be parents!” I remember thinking it is strange no tests or licensing or training are required before someone can be entrusted with another human. Later, as I brought my first child home from the hospital I also fearfully wondered, ‘Who in the universe was thinking I could adequately perform this job of parenting?’ Then I recalled the God of the Bible said children are a gift from him. God was “the who” in the universe who gave me this child as unwise as that entrustment seemed! Alongside the idea that God gives children to people without credentials, the importance of parenting is expressed in the familiar quote, “The hand that rocks the cradle, Is the hand that rules the world.” I hoped that sentiment was an exaggeration but realized some truth remains in the idea that parenting is significant labor. From a biblical perspective, a parent is entrusted with helping to nurture and shape an eternal being.
Discipleship is like parenting. In discipleship, God uses ordinary humans to co-labor with Him in helping grow an eternal being into maturity that resembles Jesus Christ! Every ordinary person, as in parenting, can be engaged in the significant work of discipleship.