This isn't part of any series I've been considering. Merely the observation of a recent phone call, now that I've had time to think a little.
Some background. From the time I was twelve until my second year of college I was babysitting more often than I wasn't, often the same people for years, right until their own kids turned twelve (seriously).
The idea of 'spiritual children' comes up often enough in Christians circles to give pause. Lots of talk about discipleship, maturing new believers, 'birthing' new believers and 'raising them' to fullness in Christ (Paul says it, I'm just running with it). I think we even touched on it a couple times on the forum.
My thoughts are a little scattered, so bear with me.
I was thinking, I can't say I've personally led anyone to Christ. I can, say, however, that my favorite people in the world are new believers. The friend I was on the phone with is about three, maybe four, spiritually.
We started off talking about Psalm 23, then the unity of the Body of Christ, then the Spirit and spiritual gifts.
Now, the reason I love new Christians is because they want to know everything. This friend of mine will write down any reference I make and look it up later. She will hear a sermon on Sunday and go ask one mentor Monday night, her other on Tuesday night, her boyfriend on Wednesday, and me on Thursday. She will not rest until she can understand and apply it herself.
She also forces me to think through basic principles I've either overlooked, come to disdain, or simply taken for granted. And unwittingly she'll make some insight that completely yanks the rug out and shames me.
Godsent, I tell you. Godsent.
That said. My family always jokes that while Mom and Dad have but two daughters, they have literally hundreds of children. They've been working with teenagers, literally, since they were teenagers. It's their gifting. And it's remarkable to see.
But as I think about that, and I think about people who have no children of their own, but become a 'surrogate parent' to another, who adopt, who simply love on and minister to, who take on people younger than they and just...walk along side them -- pour out their lives, blood, body and soul, into these kids...
I have to wonder if that's not at least part of it. The older instructs the younger, the wise the fool, the adult the child...
There are kids who will come to my parents that won't go to anyone else. There's a girl who trusts me when she has no business doing so, and I have to remind her I'm not always right. There are just those people who are there, and our purpose in coming across them is just to...die. To pour ourselves out before the throne of grace.
But maybe, just maybe, the mundane isn't really so...mundane. Maybe dinner after church is more than just dinner. And maybe making a kid a grilled cheese (of course, 'mom doesn't make it that way!') instead of making him eat the plain ham and cheese is...not just making a sandwich.
As a babysitter and as a substitute teacher we 'played by Kaci's rules.' Not that I would contradict the parent or teacher, but, hopefully, I could supplement what the ultimate authority was trying to accomplish, reinforce rather than simply bow out or sit on the fence.
I'll be honest, I only counsel someone when, one, it's detrimental if I don't, and, two, when they're truly in need of encouragement.
That's kinda the point, I think. Whatever we do must glorify God and edify the Body. In these two things we keep the spirit of the Law.