Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Every now and then I hear moms or dads tell me about a person they have chosen to disciple their child. Usually it is someone they don't know very well at church or it is a teen to disciple their son or daughter. When I ask them the question "what about you discipling your son/daughter?" I usually receive a puzzled look as if they had not thought of it at all. How would they do something like that and have time to do it even if they wanted to?
Discipling our children is a precious blessing that we should not want to quickly hand off to others. As parents, we should be their primary role models and not 15 year old Johnny who lives down the street (even if he does have a good walk, why would we want to give something so special and so blessed to someone else?)
A few years back, I would have been the person giving the puzzled look. It would not have occurred to me to do otherwise. I am now grateful to understand the huge responsibility is mine and readily accept all that lies ahead for I want to be the one helping to mold their spiritual walk. No one can convey this better than a parent who loves the child and wants the best for that child.
This doesn't mean they won't have good role models around them--of course they will, but it doesn't always have to come in the box of thinking that we are used to. For example...what about grandma who is full of years and wisdom in the Lord? I would much rather my children grow ties with and have great memories of her instead of someone I don't really know very well. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that children should only have their parents as role models. We have other families that are definitely role models not just to our children, but to my husband and I as well.But what I am saying that we are their primary role models (whether we'd like to believe that or not, and whether we'd like to do it or not) and that the responsibility is great.
In Hebraic discipleship there is the method of 'walk beside, talk beside'. I think this is invaluable. We cannot protect our children from all the world has to offer them but we can walk them through it and give them a biblical worldview. Strong foundations begin at home and it will make them stronger in the end to know how to handle things as they grow older. But that does not mean we go off deep the other end and not protect our children at all. Too many children have gone astray without proper supervision and guidance from parents---they can get themselves into a world full of trouble with drugs, gangs, sex, etc.
So many think that discipleship is mentoring through a book or some other routine. Those are fine in itself, but consider the fact that we mentor through our lives 24/7 by how we live, act and through or speech. Discipleship is beautiful when done naturally as we pour into our children in their every day lives. It is truly the way God designed it to be.
Ultimately the greatest gift is mom and dad being able to turn their hearts towards one another and disciple their children (Luke 1:17). This is special duty that God has given us, whole communities have collapsed as parents have abandoned their posts and sought other pleasures. Do not trade it for things that are passing in this world. Make your imprint on your child's soul today.