The Gift of Discipleship
By David Womack
What is the best gift you can give someone? Obviously, that depends on the recipient. What you’d give your husband or wife might differ from what you’d give a niece, nephew, or co-worker. The occasion also determines what the best gift might be. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day are unique, so you probably want the gift to reflect the occasion.
Most people appreciate any gift, regardless how simple or small, because it is a gesture of thought. Receiving a gift means someone thought of you enough to select a gift for you. Of all the gift possibilities, our attention is one of the best gifts we can give. Attention is an investment in a relationship. Husbands and wives invest daily through attention to each other. Parents invest in their children with the same gift of daily attention. We may not be able to make time for our friends on a daily basis, but we intentionally keep our relationships healthy by making time for them. It’s good to give the gift of attention often.
Jesus provides the perfect example of how to show people we care by giving them our attention and investing ourselves in them. This is the essence of discipleship, an investment of our time and selves to help another believer grow in faith and faithfulness to Christ. This is the gift of attention with a higher purpose. Discipleship is walking with another believer and helping her learn to navigate life as a follower of Christ.
We probably give more gifts to our children and grandchildren than anyone else; we can invest a small fortune in the gifts we give them. Yet, one of the wisest investments we can make in our families is simply discipleship. This is the biblical model prescribed in Deuteronomy 6: intentional time spent sharing our love for God and His Word with our children. Most of us give generously to our children, yet sometimes we neglect the gift of ourselves through discipleship.
Discipleship is the most important investment we can make in our children. So, why is it so difficult to initiate? Sometimes, selecting the perfect gift for our children can be agonizing, even paralyzing. But when we know exactly what we want to give them, our anxiety is replaced with anxious excitement because we anticipate their reaction and the joy the gift will bring them. If we can imagine how positively discipleship will impact our children’s lives, we will be excited to begin the journey with them as soon as possible.
The benefits of discipleship outlast any other gift or investment we could give our families. Discipleship changes a person’s perspective, purpose, and potential. When we make time and give deliberate attention to discipling our children, it demonstrates we care about them.
About the Writer: David Womack was ordained as a Free Will Baptist minister in 1987 and has served churches in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Illinois. He joined the Randall House team in August 2010, and serves as director of customer service and sales. David and his wife Teresa live in Hendersonville, Tennessee.