Discipling our Children is one of the fundamental responsibilities for parents. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (MSG) it says:
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes…
We know that God has given us blessings in our children and that we are responsible to tell them about Jesus. But how do we do that? What does that involve? Does it include habits? There are many different books about how to raise our children. This will look different for every family because every family is different. I have found that parenting adopted children is different than parenting biological children. Not better or worse, just different. Parenting step children is also different than parenting your biological children. In whatever family situation you are in, God is faithful to give you what you need to parent your children.
But no matter what your family looks like, God has called each of us to disciple our children. How do we impart our faith to our children? Talking with our children, modeling our faith, memorizing scripture, having scripture on our clothes and our walls are all mentioned in the verses from Deuteronomy 6.
And there are many facets of this modeling and talking and many ways to teach and mentor through our days – wherever we are. As we are to live out our faith in front of our children, we teach them about our Savior. There are many areas in which we can focus our discipling, but I will talk about three starting with habit training today.
Habit Training – the definition of habit is ‘an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary’. As parents, we aim to instill good habits in our children – daily hygiene, eating healthy, chores, school work or homework. We can also begin to instill a habit of bible reading. Each day at breakfast (or lunch, or dinner – depending on your family situation), your family can read a portion of scripture from a bible appropriate to the ages of your children. As your family gets into the habit of reading from God’s Word daily, you can being to naturally talk about what was read while you are sitting at home, walking in the street, talking about them from the time you get up until you fall in bed – like Deuteronomy talks about. As your children get older, you can begin to transition from leading it yourself to having them responsible for their own daily time in the Word. This habit of Bible reading is one that will strengthen and equip your children to handle life’s ups and downs as they meet and fall in love with their Savior!
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