7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
God’s Word and His expectations should be the fabric of our everyday lives woven throughout our home.
A problem I have realized over the years in Student Ministry is that while Christian parents obviously love their children, and while they would say that they love Jesus Christ, they don’t disciple their own children. Sunday School brought on this idea of we bring our kids to the church to be discipled. It’s the church’s responsibility it is the church staff’s responsibility.
Truth of the matter is it is our responsibility as parents to disciple our children, teach our kids to follow Christ, to teach them to be learners.
The deal is this: Most Christian parents were not discipled one on one by someone. What we know of God we learned growing up in church. Three out of four church kids walk away from their faith upon graduation from high school. Discipleship is key to building a strong spiritual foundation for life.
Real quick, because you could spend hours on this topic, here are some practical ways to disciple your child:
Read the Bible together. If your children are little there are lots of great children’s Bibles you can use. If your children are older you can read a chapter from Proverbs each day or read through the gospels together. Take turns reading. Make it an enjoyable time. This means you will need structure in some time each day to do this. Maybe over cereal in the morning or after dinner at night, doesn’t have to be a 35 minute devotion time, simply spend some time together in the Word.
Pray together. Pray in the morning to start the day. Pray at night before bed. Pray when you know someone is sick or struggling. Pray in the car when an ambulance goes by on the way to a call. Have your kids pray, teach them to pray by giving them opportunity to pray and by listening to you pray.
Use life moments. This is what I call organic discipleship. It just happens as life happens. Teach them the attributes of God as you go through life. If they struggle with temptation talk about King David and his struggle with temptation. Look for opportunities to tie the real life events from people in the Bible with real life events today.
Discovery. Help your child discover how God has shaped and wired them. Their spiritual gift, passions he’s place in their hearts, abilities God has given them, their personality and their experiences. Discovery of God’s design is a life changer.
Encourage. As your children grow older and depend less on you it’s time to encourage them towards self-feeding from the scripture. Teach them along the way how to have their own personal quiet time, encourage them to do so and allow them the space and time and margin in life to spend time with God their Heavenly Father.
Take the lead in the discipleship of your child and allow the church to be a support to you along the way.