Raising Radicals for Jesus

I’m a child of the ‘60s and was a teen in the ‘70s, which means I grew up in a pretty radical, revolutionary era. Although much of the ideology that sprang from that era was born of rebellion, the belief that our generation could “make a difference” motivated some positive social and cultural changes. For those of us on the fringes of the “Jesus Movement,” we knew lasting change could only come through Christ, and we were ready to totally sell out to seeing our generation impacted by Him. We were radicals for Jesus.

As a teen determined to make a difference, I wanted to live all out for Christ, whether that meant heading to a third world country to spread the gospel or immersing myself in academic theological training. One aspect of “making a difference” really didn’t hit my radar screen, though—motherhood. Just the word itself sounded boring and frankly kind of “beneath” the lofty goal of winning the world to Christ.

I didn’t realize it then, but the greatest opportunity for impacting the next generation, or making a lasting difference, was hidden in that mild term—motherhood. You may have a similar struggle when you hear the term. When you read the word “motherhood,” do visions of drool and dirty diapers come to mind? You may see “motherhood” as some kind of life-sentence for losers. I want to challenge that kind of thinking.

Have you ever heard of Augustine? Other than the apostle Paul, he was perhaps the greatest theologian to impact Christian thinking. Guess who Augustine (once a partying, immoral pagan) gave credit to for his conversion? Yep, his mother!

As mothers, women have the opportunity to influence the next generation by spending hours a day for multiple years in the span of their children’s lifetime pouring in truth, inspiring hearts and minds to live for God’s glory, and training them as change-agents for the next generation—kind of like raising little “radicals for Jesus!”

I’m not saying motherhood doesn’t include plenty of drool and dirty diapers, but that picture is a far cry from what it’s all about. Imagine having the opportunity to impact not just the next generation for Christ, but several generations beyond your own! As you raise radicals for Jesus as a mom, then as a grandmother, and then they raise future generations to live with a passion for Christ because of your influence, think of the number of lives and generations you’ve impacted through “motherhood!”

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (Psalm 78:4).

What greater power of influence is there than that which comes from the privileged position of mom? I challenge you to consider thinking of motherhood from a new perspective.

About Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is married to LeRoy Wagner, the pastor of Dayspring Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They have two children, Rachel and Caleb. Kim has a BA in Biblical Studies, serves as a pastor's wife, has authored Fierce Women, is a women's Bible study teacher and conference speaker, and is a frequent panel guest on Revive Our Hearts.

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