As we begin a new year, we begin to evaluate what priorities and plans that we have for our family. In a year where growing spiritually looks very different than it did in January 2020 due to churches meeting online and the cancellation of many church age group ministries, the importance of parents taking an active role in their children’s spiritual development has become even more essential.
Discipling your children is a topic that on the surface may seem difficult. Most parents don’t have a degree in theology and have parts of their own faith in which they do not feel like they have all the answers. However, discipling your children in the faith is not that different than all the other areas you are trying to grow your kids as a parent. Your goal is to equip, challenge, and empower your kids to embrace life on their own and grow up to be adults who can make it on their own. Your kid’s faith is no different.
For so many years, parents have left the discipleship of their kids up to the professionals at the local church, but the Bible never states that it is your kid’s children’s or youth pastor’s job to disciple them. As the parent, you are the primary teacher and model of faith to your children just like you are the teacher and model of many other aspects of life.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV, we are given a picture of the role of the Word and works of God in the homes of the people of Israel: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The pattern of the passage is simple: let God transform your heart and share and teach God’s work to your kids. Discipleship is not a program but a relationship.
As you seek to grow in your own relationship with God, begin to speak and share with your kids so they can see the importance of your relationship and want a relationship of their own. It is by every day, normal life conversations of faith that the Holy Spirit’s presence can work through your relationship with God and in His deep desire to know and be known by your kids as well.
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker