My Disciples Lack Boundaries (And Jesus Totally Gets That)

Making disciples is a privilege and command given to every follower of Jesus. Right now I’m discipling a group of senior girls and a couple of young moms. Making a disciple isn’t simply meeting once a week for 30 mins, but sharing some meals together, doing ministry and some life together (so many graduation parties, grad breakfasts, etc. – and I cried at every one).

I don’t mean to be partial, but I do have 2 favorite disciples…my daughter and son. Discipling them is messier in a lot of ways. The modern idea of healthy boundaries escapes them…i.e. I put my cell phone in another room at night, so when someone texts me at 1 a.m., I don’t see it until 5:45 am. However, if my 2-year-old’s feet get cold, he has no problem crawling in my bed and putting them on my legs, terrifying and waking me up at 1 am. There’s that. Don’t worry it only happens like once a week.

It’s thrilling honestly for me to disciple my own kids. It’s exhausting, too (in a good way, like when you work at camp and you’re so tired at the end of the day and you lay down and smile knowing what you did made eternal impact). I was tired one day and was reminded of Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus got tired, so tired he even slept through a storm on a boat once. Jesus totally gets that I’m tired and my days are full of many different types of ministry all day.

Last week I started reading the Gospel of Mark and was so struck with a way that Jesus sympathizes with me that I started laughing. Mark 1:35-39 says:

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

I read this passage and immediately went into the next room and told my husband, “My disciples are totally like Jesus’. Any spare moment they ‘search for me.’ Whether I’m praying, cooking, paying a bill, they search for me and basically say ‘Everyone is looking for you.'” I’m seriously still kind of laughing at this realization.

I’m not writing to complain that a 2 and 4 year old think I’m amazing and want to be around me all the time. Seriously, they make me feel like I could do stand-up with ease. They make me feel important, because no one can read stories, pray with them when they’re scared or stare down a 4th grade bully at the park like me (it only happened once…). I’m not complaining- I love my disciples, and being the primary disciple-maker, there are some “me time” and “free time” things I die to.

I heard recently that in Christianity we need to daily die to calendar and comfort. Reading that, knowing my daily life, and knowing Jesus totally gets and sympathizes with me gives me power, joy and peace.

I was convicted though. When they searched Jesus out when he was praying, He didn’t put them in time out, shame them for needing him non-stop, or feel like a victim because he didn’t get his full “me time/free time” He wanted. Nope. Jesus stood up and said, alright let’s go walk in the heat and preach all day! When I’m reading my Bible, and I’m interrupted is my natural response, “I’m glad you’re here, let’s go tell someone about God now!” or am I frustrated that my calendar or comfort were interrupted?

My disciples are clingy, needy, lack boundaries, search for me, crack me up, are teachable, love God, and tell others about God…and Jesus totally sympathizes with and gets that.


This post originally appeared on Amy’s website, The Perch. Check out The Perch for more of Amy’s wise words for moms who minister in their homes and churches.