One of the biggest problems for Christian parents today is feeling like they are too busy to disciple their children. While it is true that many of our schedules are packed and some days we hit the ground running--we need to make sure that we take time for priorities.
One of our first priorities for our family should be to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Today many families spend hours devoted to activities that might be "good" but won't benefit their children eternally. As Christians we need to keep what is important in perspective.
Now every family will do this differently, we have the freedom to do it any way that we want, that will suit our family and our days the best. Remember to seek the Lord's face on just how you can actively pour into your children's lives.
So today I am sharing a few ways we do it around here. I am a bit limited on time this morning but I will share 5 ways for you to think about that can impact your children in the day to day.
Here we go:
1. Bible Study & Prayer Time - This is the most obvious and yet sometimes the hardest! We have fluctuated throughout the years in how we do this depending on what season we are in. We have always tried to have some kind of Bible and prayer time in our family (you can read a bit about it here). We also have our own personal devotion time now that the kids are older so I know that they are learning daily. Some good books to begin read together if you are looking for a place to start are Proverbs (children need wisdom) and the Gospel books like John or Matthew, Bible stories (like Noah, David and Goliath, Jesus) are great for smaller children. Don't under estimate what they can learn!
2. Mentoring Books - I have always enjoyed using books with my children to help them grow. When I was a new Christian I had a mentor from my old church teach me through some mentoring books that a pastor friend of ours put together. They were so helpful.
I just bought a set to use with my second oldest daughter and we are going to go through them this year. They lay a good foundation theologically. I have also used other regular books as well that have been a blessing and made for much discussion. You might want to use a Catechism book or some other good read they might be interested in to help them along. There were some days I would teach right out of the back of the Bible Doctrine pages to learn deeper about topics, we had some of the best talks come from just doing that!
3. Teach through Example - There is so much that we can teach through just the dailiness of life. Our children are constantly watching our example and will pick up more through our example than what we will teach through a lesson. So remember to be a good role model for your children of how you would want your children walking in the Lord one day. As a woman I am always thinking of the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 women we see in the Scriptures. I want to be a woman that my children see that faithfully loves the Lord, her husband, her children, and others.
4. Teach through Your Failures - If you were discouraged by #3 don't be discouraged! None of us are perfect. I make mistakes all the time. The important thing is that your children see you as that--a human. A person who is a sinner in need of a Savior. So many times moms think that they have to be Super Christian Mom and that is not the case. Jesus is the Savior, not you. Your job is to point to Him! Isn't that freeing in so many ways? It is to me. It also shows your children how to live this Christian walk with its up and downs through the mountains and valleys. When they fall down, they get up by the grace of God and proceed on through His strength.
5. Grace Upon Grace - And speaking of grace, be sure to let this be abounding in your home. Don't ever let your home become rigid and strict and be lacking of joy. Since we are sinners there will be mistakes, there will be feelings hurt, and problems will come. But I believe we need to make room for grace and love. The scriptures command it, so how much more should that extend to the very ones that we love--our family?
And surprise--a bonus tip!
Don't raise your family to be a clone of another family you know in church. Be who God made your family to be. Each one of you are "fearfully and wonderfully"made by the hands of God. You are His workmanship. He knew what He was doing when He created you and each family member. He knew you that by making each one how they would benefit the church and the world as a whole. Keep that in mind while you raise your children. Be thankful for that and build on each child's strength. The goal is to raise children who know, love, and serve the Lord and our fervent prayer should be that they will be true disciples and acquire their own true faith.
Be faithful, dear parents, the days lie before you, the clock is ticking away and you will definitely reap what you sow.
Such a sober reminder, isn't it?