Today, we celebrate all Parents who are acting responsibly and working hard to raise and establish homes for God’s glory and for the benefit of society as a whole. In Psalm 127:3, the Bible teaches us that It is God who gives children as gifts to parents. God does not only give children to parents to make them happy but also to be responsible for their upbringing or nurturing.
Proverbs 22:6 also reminds us to train, teach or disciple a child in the way he should go and when he grows he will not depart from it.
In the Great Commission, Jesus calls all Christians to go and make disciples of all nations. The children God has given us in our various homes, Communities, Churches and elsewhere are part of the “all nations” Jesus has sent us hence we are mandated to make disciples of our children.
Throughout Scripture, the family is considered to be the basic channel for moral and practical teaching of children (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:4- 7).
God emphasized the importance of parents teaching the Bible to their children. As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children Spiritual truths right from infancy, by carefully nurturing them to make disciples out of them, teaching them how to live the Christian life by word and example.
How do I disciple my child
Parents must be disciples themselves first before thy can disciple their children
In Mark 10:13-16 Disciples of Jesus prevented parents from bringing children to Christ. But Jesus said, to such belong the kingdom of God.
The Parent’s, first responsibility in discipling Children-is to lead the child to Christ.
Firstly, parents must bring the Child to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Parents must teach children to understand how God loves them and wants them to be His children. Children must be encouraged to accept to be children of God, To know Jesus, to love Him.
Secondly, parents must nurture the Child in the Lord —— if we succeed in bringing them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we proceed to keep them as followers of Christ This includes teaching them to live their lives as Christ did in order to please Him and be an example to others. This can be done through daily devotion and Bible studies with the children.
Parents must nurture children to follow the kind of teaching and training we have learnt from the Lord. These include teaching them to pray, read the Bible everyday, fast, attend Church Services, and help them to understand the Christian doctrine.
Thirdly, teaching the Child by example (lifestyle). Your lifestyle should impact positively in discipling your child for Christ. Paul encourages the believers in the Corinthian Church to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) this suggests that the lifestyle of Paul was worthy of emulation. Your lifestyle teaches your child the kind of disciple he or she should be. Is your lifestyle worthy of emulation?
Resources for disciplining the child.
1. The Holy Spirit is our greatest enabler in this business of discipling our children. He is our source of inspiration, our guide and the one who can empower to perform this task diligently. We cannot do without Him we need to seek His guidance always.
2. The Bible- God’s Word: we must rely on the Word of God which is living and active. It is the Word of God that can lead one to salvation we must study the Bible meditate on the Words and use them in discipling our children. It is important to study the Bible with them, and teach them to do it on their own.
3. Prayer — it is important to support this work with prayer. Pray with them and pray for them.
4. The Church and the Christian Community - Provide sound fellowship, guidance, and support in discipling.
Why must I disciple my child
1. God commands it as captured in Deut 6:6-7 “It is the right thing to do Proverbs 22:6 It protects the heart of your child- fill his/her heart and mind with good rather than the constant bombardment of evil from satan. If you don’t disciple them someone else will.
Benefits of discipling my Child
Our target for discipling our children must be that they are saved and become Christ-like in speech and action. If we succeed in achieving this target, then they will become
1. Useful tools in the hands of God for good works
2. They will grow into Christian maturity, living an exemplary life to the glory of God that others will emulate.
3. The discipled Children will also disciple their friends as responsible Christian Parents and Disciples of Christ, we are mandated to go and make disciples of all nations, including our own Children. Let us not fail God in fulfilling this all-important duty.