Disciple-making at home
Monday, October 17, 2016
God’s greatest desire for individuals is that they recognize that they are special. That is the true meaning of holiness. It is being set apart as someone special for the Lord. Throughout our lives, the world and Satan fight against this truth, trying to convince us that we are ordinary – just like the rest of the world. God makes each person with different personalities, abilities, experiences and family dynamics.
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6
Discipling a child means two things: helping them see themselves as “special” and teaching them to live a life set apart for the Lord. But how do we do that? Satan wants to destroy our children because they are the hope for the future. They are the ones who must carry the gospel to their generation. Our task as parents is therefore enormous. We need a strength and we need a strategy that is beyond ourselves.
First, we have to recognize that we cannot accomplish anything by ourselves or in our own strength.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14
We cannot do this job ourselves, so we cry out to the Father in prayer. I started praying for my children before they were born. We pray them through heartaches, sickness, personal commitments, spouse selection, grandchildren being born and losses in life. Often at night, I would walk into the rooms of our eight children and pray over them as they slept. God hears our prayers and responds to the hearts of His children. In the video above, the parents spent time each morning praying with and for their son at the beginning of the day. It is so important that as we send our children into the world we cover them with prayer.
Second, we search for every opportunity to teach our children biblical principles. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 119:54. It says, “Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage.” God’s Word gives us His special purpose for our lives. His words give us meaning, provide protection for us, strengthen us, bring us joy and peace. As our children travel through this world all the days of their lives, nothing will give them stability or direction like the Word of God. So how can we get the truths of the Bible into our children? We listen to it being taught by faithful teachers! We read! We study! We memorize! We sing it in songs! We talk about it in the car! We post it on our walls! We always played music in our car that used the words of Scripture. My adult children still sing those songs to their children. If we are expecting our children to know the Bible by just taking them to church, we will fail. Knowing Scripture must become a top priority for our lives.
Finally, we need to view our children the way God views them. He gives us children to train them for His Kingdom. Today, many parents view their children as their own possession or as little gods to whom they give everything. However, children are really loaned to us. They are not our personal possessions. They are not placed in our hands knowing what is wise and best. As Christians, we are to teach our children to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls (Matthew 22:37). We have to model that truth in our lives. God builds discipleship into the family. Have you ever noticed how many children resemble their parents in the things they do or the way they talk? Jesus lived life in front and with His disciples. He talked about the principles of the Word as they ate, as they walked around together and as they helped other people. He wants us to do the same thing. Teach your children how special they are by living how special you are. You were called by God. You were selected to be His child. He died for you. Now He wants to continue to show His love through the next generation of your family.