Abby and I are first time parents with two incredible boys. They are now approaching 3 years old. We are just like most Christian parents in that we want to express God’s love to our children as early and as often as possible. We read the Story Book Bible to them at bedtime. We pray before meals. We take them to Sunday school. We are doing our best at figuring this out as we go. Not perfectly, but intentionally.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
We all love to give gifts to our children and the knowledge of Christ is the greatest gift of all. The idea that God loves my children more than me and wants to give better gifts than I do, blows my mind. The love for your child is an incredible thing. And think, God loves them more.
So what is our role in spiritual discipleship for our kids?
The full scope of that question cannot be answered within a single post, blog, or even a single book. Ultimately, I think it starts with being intentional. Not perfectly, but intentionally. Intentionally sharing the Gospel with your children. Intentionally reading and pointing them to God’s Word. Intentionally praying with them. Intentionally taking them to church. Intentionally talking to them about their relationship with God. And intentionally being a living example of the Grace we have received.
Orange is a ministry philosophy that focuses on ministering to the family as a whole. In student and children’s ministry, that means spending as much if not more attention on parents. This is not a new philosophy, but Orange has done a very good job of packaging, communicating the essentials of this philosophy, and providing resources. Below I have highlighted a post from Orange Leaders that I think helps at attacking the question of our role in spiritual discipleship for our kids.
They’ve given seven steps for use to pass on to parents about how to desire God’s best for the inhabitants of their homes.
1. Establish who’s the king of the castle!
2. Parents set the example; it starts with you!
3. Your home should be a place of learning God things!
4. Keep your marriage strong.
5. Be willing to parent each of your children differently.
6. Have fun as a family.
7. Make church, small group, youth group, and serving a priority.
For more on each of these check out the full article below.
Wanting God’s Best for Your Children
©2012 Jim Wideman Ministries Inc
Psalm 112:1-8 (NIV) tells us: “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. . . . Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
This is hard to walk out as a parent, let alone lead other parents to walk this out for their families. The world can be a cruel place, it can be an unsure place. This is our time but they are hard and troubling times for the church.
A large percentage of Americans believe it will get worse before it gets better. When you look at what’s happening in the news, on TV and even in the church it’s pretty scary out there but it’s times like these that makes us ask the big question: Do you really believe and practice what you teach and preach? As for me, I BELIEVE THE BIBLE!