As a parent, being a disciple to your children is one of the most important things you can do in their lives.
Being a disciple and helping your kids be a disciple isn’t about making sure they go to church or pray before bedtime; it’s about teaching them how to make sound decisions and live with integrity. Being a disciple means modeling godly character and providing opportunities for your kids to exercise faith through giving service, prayer, and following Christ’s example on social media.
It also means acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers. You might be tempted to cover their eyes and ears with your hands, but the truth is they will need to make decisions about what they believe. That’s why it’s important for them to know you are there for support, not advocating one position or another. It means helping them find truth from trustworthy sources like Scripture and trusted adults who will give honest feedback when needed.
The most important decision you can make is to practice what you preach. Show your kids by example that they should love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) and love others as they love themselves (Mark 12:31).
Your children are watching. They observe how you live out your faith in everyday life. They love to imitate the things you do, so will they follow your example. Chances are they can’t wait to be just like you!
As parents, our job is to care for their souls through the way we live every day. Here are 5 easy steps to start disciplining your children today:
1) Spend time with your children
It is imperative that if you’re going to disciple your children, you actually spend real time with them. One of the best ways to do that is through one-on-one dates. Have daily dates with your child when you can be with them without any distractions, easily connecting with what’s going on in their hearts and minds.
Get to really know what’s going on in their world. Treat the relationship like you would any other person you disciple. Pray with them. Ask them what they’re learning in school and how their faith is doing. Ask if they need any help with anything. Set some scheduled time to be with them.
Setting a solid relationship with your kids is imperative. Be sure to carve out time and make it a priority.
2) Be consistent with God’s expectations
The world is good about sharing their views. Schools shout them from the rooftops as they teach the genderbread man, teach masturbation to elementary school children, and have books that teach about the LGTBQ+ lifestyle.
As a parent, you should make it your goal to set clear boundaries that are consistently enforced. Speak openly about your faith, what you believe, and the things that are most important to you. Provide scriptural evidence for your beliefs.
Being a disciple means having standards, God’s standards. Teach them what you believe about God, sex, marriage, love, friendship, etc. Teach them about the Lord’s Supper and why you believe it is important.
Don’t make excuses in order to remain in their good graces. You can be a friend and still hold your kids accountable to God. It doesn’t help them to be wishy-washy on the standards.
They will appreciate the time you invest in instructing them if they know it comes from a place of love and respect. Maybe not today but someday they will be thankful. Proverbs 22:6
3) Listen when they speak
Discipling your children is important and one of the best ways to do that is by listening to them. Engage with them. Ask questions about their lives, listen to what they have to say, take their opinions seriously, and respond appropriately.
It’s also good to be present with them and pay attention when they’re trying to speak to you. That means putting the phone done and looking them in their eye. Be sure not to interrupt their conversations or put distractions in the way of what they are trying to say.
If they want advice about something, it’s important that you take the time out of your day to listen attentively. It shows them that you care about what they think.
That doesn’t always mean making immediate decisions or giving guidance, but being attentive and giving thoughtful responses. Every person they encounter in their lives will tell them something different. They need you to be consistent with your advice and guidance.
4) Look for teachable moments
God is always speaking—to us, through us, and all around us. It is important to live in the presence of God so you can be aware of when He’s speaking.
Teachable moments are everywhere, but they’re most powerful when you involve your children in everyday activities that keep them rooted in their faith.
There are a number of ways to make sure you’re teaching your children the right lessons, even when they don’t seem to be looking for it. For example:
Teach your kids to pray over everything they do and see. Let them know God created those things and He deserves thanksgiving. If they can see you thanking God, they’ll know how to pray.
When they ask questions about the world, take it as an opportunity to share your perspective with them. They need to hear your wisdom and knowledge. Don’t be afraid of their inquisitive minds! Answer questions honestly but carefully because kids pick up on everything you say.
You don’t need every answer possible but know where to go to get answers for them. The more you can teach your kids, the stronger their faith.
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5) Ask them what they know about God’s Word
It’s important to ask your children questions that help you understand how much (or little) they know about the Scripture. This will be an opportunity for you to talk with them and share the things you’ve learned. You can also give them opportunities to ask you questions so they feel more comfortable talking about their experiences with God.
It’s important that children are taught Bible verses, how to pray, and what to do when they’re scared or nervous. Be patient with the process of teaching your children these things even if it takes some time.
It won’t always be easy but it’ll always be worth it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Repetition is imperative when teaching your children. It’s not enough to share the truth with them once. As they grow older, the conversations become deeper and even more meaningful.
Finding out what your kids know is a great place to begin so you can correct any inaccuracies and fill in the gaps. Once you know their knowledge base, it’s easy to take the next step in sharing more truth with them.
Discipling your children is important and can be done through various different methods. These are just five but there are many others! Not everyone will agree on how to discipline your kids or what lessons they should learn at an early age but what’s important is that you feel good about what you’re teaching your children.
Live a life that’s worthy of teaching your children and be consistent with them. They’ll appreciate you for it.
The most important thing you can do for your children is disciple them. The five steps mentioned in this blog should help get you started on the right track to discipling your kids and teaching them God’s Word. If all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles, come join our party. We will help you through all of this.
Check out my class on how to pour into your kids and the biggest hurdles women have in discipling your kids.