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Little Disciples

As I've been learning more about Charlotte Mason and her methods, I've been thinking especially about what she means by "Education is a Discipline."  As I was reading her thoughts on discipline from her Homeschooling series, I was particularly struck by the following quotation.
Discipline is not Punishment––What is discipline? Look at the word; there is no hint of punishment in it. A disciple is a follower, and discipline is the state of the follower; the learner, imitator. Mothers and fathers do not well to forget that their children are, by the very order of Nature, their disciples...
How Disciples are Lured––He who would draw disciples does not trust to force; but to these three things––to the attraction of his doctrine, to the persuasion of his presentation, to the enthusiasm of his disciples; so the parent has teachings of the perfect life which he knows how to present continually with winning force until the children are quickened with such zeal for virtue and holiness as carries them forward with leaps and bounds. (Vol. 2, pg 66-67 emphasis mine)
My Little Disciples. The thought of Little Buddy and Button being my disciples is quite humbling and almost unbelievable.  I fall short so often.  How can I possibly teach my children in the way that they should go?

But it's not about me. As we have moved in to the season of Lent, I've been reminded that my life is not my own.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Where I mess up, He is there to pick me up and lead me again on the right path.  He is perfect, and I am imperfect.

Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.  Then, I think about the Gospel of Jesus.  What greater attraction is there than to be told that if we accept His free gift and yield to him, we can be free from the sin that so easily entangles us and rejoice in His never-ending, forever love.  What greater persuasion that His gospel is true than to see that He was willing to give up His very life for us.  What greater enthusiasm of his disciples than seeing that the apostles were willing to be martyred for their faith.

A Mother's Role. Sometimes I have struggled with what my calling is.  What exactly is God's will for my life right now?  How do I be a good disciple?  There are so many things that I cannot do at this time in my life.  I have a home, a husband, and two young boys to take care of.  I don't have the energy or the time or the resources to do a lot of outside ministries—something that I used to feel made up part of my identity.  But then, I remember that I am a wife.  I am a mother.  I am a homemaker.  God gave me these roles.  He doesn't expect me to do more than I can handle, but I should do well with what He has given me.

A Disciplined Mother.  It is so easy for me to forget to do my job well.  I don't go into an office and have a 9 to 5 job.  I don't get a regular paycheck for the work that I do at home.  I sometimes forget that I'm not just trying to get through the day—that I'm building little disciples.  I have little ones watching me.  Watching how I keep house.  Watching how I interact with them (or not).  Watching what my attitude is.  What if I'm not disciplined in my habits?
Where his parents fail, the poor soul has one further chance in the discipline of life; but we must remember that, while it is the nature of the child to submit to discipline, it is the nature of the undisciplined man to run his head in passionate wilfulness against the circumstances that are for his training (Vol. 2, pg 66)
Yikes!  But God wants to help me in my endeavor.  He is always there.  Leading me.  Guiding me.  I just need to look to Him for my strength.

From Earth to Heaven Above.  My children will not always look to me for what they need to do.  Nor would I want them to!  I want for them to grow from being little disciples of mommy and daddy to disciples of Jesus Christ.  I want them to look beyond them imperfections of my humanness to the perfection of God.  If I can just use my obedience, my discipline, and my habits to honor God so that my children begin to look away from me and on to Him, that is my greatest goal.

Looking for the Harvest. In closing, I want to leave you with one of my current favorite verses...
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, ESV)


  1. "I sometimes forget that I'm not just trying to get through the day—that I'm building little disciples."

    That could be me talking! It's hard, I think, to remain intentionally in all we do in parenting, but it really is so essential. Thanks for a great reminder.

  2. I loved reading that part about our children being our disciples. Scary thought! But it makes discipline seem much gentler and ..... tasteful. :-) Actually good discipline is always tasteful, but it seems to get a negative connotation. Anyway, thank you for your thoughts!

  3. Galatians 6:9 - a perfect reminder for discipline in everything we do.
    Thanks for your post!

  4. It is very humbling that God gives us the role of mother, thus putting us in the role of discipling our children. We need His strength and wisdom so much. It can be scary, but we also need to realize that He has lots of grace to cover for our lack. I read a good post at Doorposts of Your House about that very thing earlier today. She used the verse, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9.

  5. For someone who is "just figuring it out as we go along", these are wise words! Your children and husband are blessed by you.

    Ring true,

  6. What wonderful encouragement, and humbling, to see our real role as parents of our precious young disciples. Thank you for this.

  7. What a different insight on the word discipline. This is strong. It is good. So much for me to ponder over while trying to instill habits in my children.


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