I have a confession. I love Jesus and I love my family. But I find myself struggling to “disciple my kids”. I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m just not sure exactly what it’s supposed to look like. Do I read the Bible to them? How often should I pray with them? Is there a certain family devotional app I can get on my iPhone? Maybe you’ve wrestled with the same questions.
We all want to do a great job raising our children in the ways of God. It’s just that sometimes the whole thing can be a little intimidating. As a follower of Jesus for over twenty years and as a father of five amazing kids, I would like to share something with you that I’ve learned about discipling these little guys and girls.
One of the most effective ways you can teach your kids about God is to “let them in”. You’re on a journey with Christ and I bet they know very little about your spiritual life. Begin to include them in your learning, growing and even some of your struggles. I know they can’t handle every situation that’s going on in your life, but they can be privy to what God’s showing you in your personal Bible reading time. In fact, they can even pray for you about that promotion you applied for at work. If the car broke down and you need a miraculous $1,000 for repairs, tell them about it. (Not in a fear invoking way, but in a “God always takes care of us” kind of way.) Let them join you in prayer about the need and then celebrate God’s faithfulness together once He comes through for your family. Is God changing you? Correcting you? Tell them about it! They’ll see that they aren’t the only ones that are still being pruned into Christ’s character and they’ll realize they have a dad who can relate to them and submits to God’s authority.
Earlier this week, I was talking to my kids about the Bible verse that says God will exalt the humble but He will humble the proud. (Matthew 23:12) I was telling them how easy it is to be prideful and not even realize it. They understood my basic point but what really made it come alive was when I said something like “Let me tell you about a recent time when I was prideful and really blew it.” Now I had their attention. Would you like to know how I was being prideful, how God spoke to me, and how it helped me become a better man? Of course you would! Because we all love transparency. (But I’m not telling you.)
And here’s the best news. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to have it all together. You can actually be honest and show the kids that God is working in your life. Don’t worry; they already know all your faults anyway. They live with you! But it’s going to blow their little mind when their dad starts trusting them with bits and pieces of his walk with God. You can do this! Your kids are just waiting on you to let them in. They can’t wait to join your journey.
Guest Discerning Dad
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