Daily Discipleship (Don't Delegate the Discipleship of Your, Part 2)
To be honest the task of the discipleship of our children can seem like all of these things.
Last time we talked about the importance of NOT delegating the discipleship of our children. Even though it is easy to fall into the trap of delegating the discipleship of our children, the results can be devastating.
Now that we know that the discipleship of our children is OUR task, we need to know how what Biblical discipleship looks like. Discipleship is a term that can quickly overwhelm us and make us decide that it is too much work. Often we don’t feel qualified to disciple anyone, especially our children. Often, we make it very complicated.
The GOOD NEWS is that the Bible actually gives us a simple template for the discipleship of our children, let’s take a look.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 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. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NLT)
There are 4 phrases in the passage that provide a solid structure for the discipleship of our children.
Commit Yourselves Wholeheartedly to These Commands: The beginning of the discipleship of our children is us actually believing and living out what we want our children to believe and live out. Our children are created with very sensitive BS detectors. They can tell when we are trying to tell them to believe and live out something that we don’t believe. So, before we can disciple our children in something we need to believe and live it out. Now, this doesn’t mean that we need to be perfect at something, but that we need to be truly seeking to live in the same way that we are calling our children to live out.
Repeat Again & Again: Other versions say “impress”, I like how the NLT uses the phrase “repeat again and again” it spells out what impress practically looks like. Let’s just be honest, often we have to tell our children something over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again if we want them to do something and even more so when we want it to become a habit in their life. We know this about things like brushing their teeth or cleaning their room. And yet, when it comes to living out the way of God, we think that we can tell them something once and that they will be all set to believe and live out what God wants. This often happens when we want to teach our children to live out a Biblical view of sex. We think we can just have one big talk with them and that they will be fine. The reality is that we need to be on constant repeat. Our children need to constantly every day hear things about God and His way.
Everywhere: When we are at home, before we go to bed, when we wake up, when we drive, when we are out to eat, when we are at the mall, when we are grocery shopping. Everywhere we go is a perfect place for the discipleship of our children. Everything we do and everywhere we go is an opportunity for the discipleship of our children. When we limit it to a certain time or place we are missing out on 1,000’s of opportunities per week for the discipleship of our children.
Visual Reminders: Now I don’t think the Bible is saying that we need to tie scripture to the hands and foreheads of our children, rather Scripture gives us the concept of having visual reminders of Scripture and God’s way all over our house. The enemy knows the power of the visual and constantly uses it to try to disciple our children in the ways of the world. Basically, Satan is taking God’s concepts and is using it for evil and is doing a better job than we are. So, let’s fill our children’s minds with visuals of Scripture and God’s way.
So, even after this, it is easy to want some more practical tips. I am the same way. I often wonder what it practically looks like in 2017 to live out this passage. And I am by no way an expert in parenting, there are two things that have worked for me so far.
Answer Their Questions: Our children ask questions that sometimes we don’t want to answer at the time. But if we don’t answer their questions we are missing a huge opportunity to tell them the TRUTH about something that they are interested in. And we risk them not coming to us again with questions. The other night at supper, my 8 year old son wondered why dads were needed for a child to be born since children grew inside of the mom’s body. To be honest, I did not want to have a discussion about what sex was at supper, but I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to disciple my son. So my wife and I in an age appropriate way explained what sex was. Was it awkward, yep. Was it fun, nope. Was it an important part of the discipleship of my son, yep.
Use the Supper Table: I know that having supper together as a family with no TV seems old fashioned. Yet, it is a place where my son, my wife and I are all present and not distracted by technology and have a chunk of time to just be together. It is the perfect place for discipleship to occur. Now if you as a family don’t have supper together at all, it will take some time for this to become normal and you might want to start with trying to have 2-3 suppers per week together and working up from there.
How to Eat an Elephant
Even with all of this information, the task of the discipleship can feel overwhelming. The reality is that it will feel overwhelming until we start. It has been said the best way to eat an elephant is to start. The same thing is true with the discipleship of our children. We won’t get it perfect, but something really is better than nothing.
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