With Father’s Day this weekend I have been thinking a lot about families and discipleship. It’s an area which fills most parents with pangs of guilt. There is a sense of obligation in parents for bedtime to resemble a mini Bible College, and for children to be a walking talking concordance by age 3; when our children don’t meet our own lofty ideals parents can often feel like we have failed as parents.
Now, it is true that God calls the family to play a vital role in discipling the next generation - it is the role of the family to equip children to see the world through the world through the lens of the Bible, but it is not supposed to be a burden! The Psalmist describes the role as “commending the works of God to the next generation” (Ps 145:4); the Apostle Paul taught us to declare to them the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27); and Jesus commanded us to “teach(ing)” them to obey all I have commanded” (Matt 28:18-20). Often we consider this to be exclusively the role of the parents, however, based on the context of Deuteronomy 6:1–2 it has a broader application which also includes grandparents. In other words family discipleship is a shared role, and not to be left solely to time poor, over burdened and often sleep deprived parents!
The first thing to understand is that family discipleship isn’t one-size-fits-all; but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming and it doesn’t need to be difficult. The single best was to disciple children is to make it a normal part of the rhythm of life; how this is accomplished varies from family to family and is as unique as the DNA of each home. Here are a few general ideas:
A Christian home is the fundamental discipleship axis for passing the faith along to the next generation. Parents, Grandparents and extended family can all play a role in sharing biblical truth with the next generation. Children who are discipled well at home will continue to grow as disciple makers in their adult lives.
To God be the Glory
Jen is an energetic and passionate disciple of Christ who loves to share Jesus with anyone who will listen!