This was written by the senior pastor of my church, New Beginnings Bible Fellowship Church, where Pastor Dan has recently started a 12 week presentation for parents, grandparents, or any young adult interested in learning how to train up a child God’s way (Proverbs 22:6)… All are welcome to join us for the next Sunday school lesson on this important teaching at 9:15 am on 10/12/2014. See link for address.
Discipleship begins at home. Laurie and I are most passionate about investing in our own children for the glory of God and the good of their souls. Finding adequate, intentional time as a family to meditate upon the character of God is a challenge for our family as well. However, we are convinced that it is our responsibility to model authentic Christianity and to impart our “faith” to our children.
Here are a few “keys” that have helped us unlock opportunities for family discipleship. We don’t claim to do these perfectly, or even sometimes consistently, yet we always experience a true spiritual blessing when we utilize these keys.
Key #1: Make a habit of reading God’s Word to your children. You’ve heard me talk about our “Jesus Books”—we have an entire shelf full of them. It is so important to simply make the time to share the stories of sacred Scripture with our little ones. You can read out of your own Bibles, or utilize a variety of children’s story Bibles. Open the “good book” with your children and watch their souls open up to the Lord.
Key #2: Be a home that talks with God. If the only prayers happening in your home are the ten second variety right before supper, then perhaps something needs to change. Pray for and with your children. Give them an opportunity to discover the gift of prayer in their own language. Help them learn the wonderful truth that God delights in hearing from us, His children.
Key #3: Challenge your children to memorize Scripture. We started early on in our children’s lives with Scripture memorization. It’s not something that we’ve been super consistent with, but it is amazing to see how excited they are to learn God’s Word. We actually mounted a dry erase board in the dining room and have our family memory verse for the week or month written on it. Find whatever works best for your family and start writing God’s Word on your hearts!
Key #4: Listen to your children. Our children need to know that they are important. Listening to them is a great way to communicate true parental concern. Family discipleship shouldn’t feel “canned”. If your children are anything like ours, then they give you plenty of material for discussing godly character and decision making. Building a strong relationship with each child through listening is a great way to walk down the pathway of discipleship.
Key #5: Be watchful for “God moments” as a family. We should not limit our awareness of God and “God talk” to occasions of discipline or trips to church. One really important thing that we need to do as parents is teach our children to be watchful and expectant of God in daily life. Paul Tripp calls it “helping give ‘awe’ to our children”. Whether it was an unexpected provision or an ordinary occasion of protection on a family vacation, lead your children in acknowledging God’s faithfulness and goodness in the midst of daily happenings.
Not only does discipleship begin at home, it begins in our hearts as parents. Let me encourage you—mom and dad—to examine your own commitment to following Jesus in the world. Does what you expect from your child differ from what you want for yourself? Joshua 24:15b states, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” May it be so!
As a church, we want to equip you to excel as Christian parents. We want to help your homes to be places of spiritual transformation for the glory of God. We are here for you, to talk and share resources, if you are open for this amazing journey!
I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more...