10 Things You Should Know About Family Discipleship
As a parent, you have to deal with a lot of stress, overwhelming emotions, and difficult callings – but this is what makes parenting exciting and beautiful.
Every child is unique, carefully put together by God in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-18), and raising them is a blessing in itself. God has given parents the responsibility to nurture their children to the best of their abilities and disciple them in the ways of Jesus.
Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
It is important to remember that when you disciple your family, God is with you every step of the way.
“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.”
– Isaiah 54:13
He helps us to know what to say to our children, how to say it, and how to treat them since he knows them better than any of us ever will.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
– 3 John 1:4
Whether you are a new parent or you have older kids, if you want to start family discipleship here are 10 things you should know for their spiritual upbringing and establishing a flourishing relationship with Jesus Christ.
1. Family Discipleship Is Part Of The Great Commission
Standing on top of a mountain after being resurrected, Jesus Christ tells his followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).
This scripture in Matthew 28 is referred to as the Great Commission—-the way that Christ’s message has to be spread by the Christian church until Christ returns.
In the call to make disciples everywhere and to teach Christ’s commandments entirely, we are sure that this obligation also applies to those disciples we will make in our homes. To lead your household on this spiritual journey is a job commissioned by God, and it would be negligence to forsake it.
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.”
– Proverbs 29:17
2. Family Discipleship Is Important
As a Christian parent, family discipleship is a vital component of your role when it comes to parenting responsibilities. From housing, clothing, and feeding to affection, play, and education you have to look after many aspects of your family. But what benefit will it be if your children do not have the knowledge of their Savior?
Discipling your family is important in every aspect because spiritual growth will help them move forward with a foundation that provides them with moral discipline and reasoning to understand life.
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
– Proverbs 1:8-9
3. Family Discipleship Is Interwoven in Daily Activities
The best family discipleship practice is to include it constantly in your regular activities. You can do so by aligning your talks and guidance with your family’s normal rhythm. The moments in which your family already interacts during the day can be used to talk about God’s Word and to live it out.
4. Family Discipleship Helps Children Distinguish Truth From Falsehood
It is the need of the hour to raise children who can question the motives of secular culture. Today’s children need to not only be taught what is true but how to distinguish it from what is false and how to boldly stand up against a torrent of opinions to the contrary.
As a parent, you might want to raise a child that is admired by everyone. But the command of God is to raise a family that remains true to the message and is ready to be hated for following Christ and upholding the truth.
5. Family Discipleship Doesn’t Make You Responsible For The Salvation Of Your Children
If you have fulfilled your responsibility to disciple your children and preached to them the message of following Christ, you are no longer responsible for their salvation. It is just as true for your child as it is for you that “by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Remember that coming on the righteous path is a blessing that can only be granted by God.
6. Family Discipleship Should Be A Team Effort
Although parents are the most influential figures in a child’s life and the home is the principal place for discipleship, parents are not the only entity to disciple a child. The church can play an important part in supporting a family’s discipleship.
The best version of family discipleship involves an entire community of believers working in concert with the parents in spiritually raising children.
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”
– Proverbs 17:6
7. Family Discipleship Clings to the truth
It is also important to remember that teaching your family about the commandments of Christ includes the importance of sticking to the pure truth of the gospel, not letting false interpretations distort the truth for your family. For indeed, the truth will set you free (John 8:32). You are equipping your family with a lens by which to see the world as it truly is, broken and in desperate need of a Savior.
8. Family Discipleship Is Not A Means To Manipulate Your Household
By portraying God as angry at your children when they commit wrongdoings and happy when they accomplish what you want, you deprive them of the beauty of true grace that always loves us better than we deserve and calls us to obey out of love and joy rather than fear or coercion.
Discipleship should never be used to intimidate or threaten your family into obeying what you want. Family discipleship pleads with the Lord for heart transformation, and that will lead, consequently, to a heart that delights in obedience to the Lord.
9. Family Discipleship Is Not The Path Of Least Resistance
Family discipleship is an important and significant endeavor, but no one can promise that it will be simple.
There are times when children of all ages will resist instructions from their parents. Therefore proper spiritual leadership of a family requires righteously stubborn persistence and gentle patience.
It is inevitable that we will make mistakes as parents, but may it never be the biggest mistake that we make giving up on God’s call to lead our families simply because it is not easy.
10. Family Discipleship Can Be Incredibly Rewarding
If you are reading this, it is assumed you follow the Lord our Savior, Jesus Christ.
If He is for you, tell me, who can possibly be against you? (Romans 8:31). No one wins against your God. This family and children he has entrusted to you with are his, and it is no accident that he has put them in your care.
Even though we work on our salvation with great caution and sobriety, we are sure and confident that the Lord who began faith in our hearts can do the same in the lives of our dearest children.
Even with all the resistance, flaws, and failures along the way, there is no lack of hope for what the one true God who made the universe can do in the hearts of those who share his word.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near to reach least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet, Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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