Six keys to discipling your children

By Mandi Hart
Published on: September 1, 2021
Family holding a baby

Be the kind of parent that inspires hope in their children. You are their first disciplers and it is both a privilege and a joy.

Discipleship is journey

In essence, discipleship is a journey on a road together. When we disciple our children, we are training and guiding them.  When I first learnt about the word, ‘discipleship, it was a very abstract term and I was pretty confused about how it worked. Then, I became. a mom and I realized that my spiritual ceiling was their floor. Their journey began where I was at the time.

It’s a great joy to introduce your children to Jesus

Many of us grew up in a home where spirituality wasn’t spoken about. For some parents, the thought of discipling their children could be overwhelming. In this post, I want to offer your a few ways to disciple your children.

 

1 Don’t be afraid

Daniel Wallace reminded us, “It would be better for us to have some doubts in an honest pursuit of truth, than it would be for us to be certain about something that was not true.”

Your children, as will you, at times, experience doubt and uncertainty. Don’t be scared of those moments. Rather, use them to uncover the truth of the matter. Welcome their questions, their doubts and uncertainties. Surround yourself with people who can walk with you, answer your questions and search for the hidden treasures together as a family. What a joy it is to uncover the deep things of God together. Encourage robust conversations around the table and depending on their age, talk about a wide range of topics. That is discipleship, honest life-on-life.

 

2  One-on-one encounters

Here, you would spend time with your children teaching them about the Word of God, His ways and how to hear his voice. You model praying, hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice and obeying what the Lord tells you to do. We can all hear God’s voice. Encourage your children to pay attention and listen to what God tells them. Teach them about hearing the Lord’s voice through dreams, pictures, in nature or even tuning into that ‘still small voice.”

Share with them how God speaks to you and what you have learned over the years.

 

3 Use technology for good

Watch movies together that reinforce home a Biblical message and then speak about it. Watch YouTube videos together or expose them to applicable Podcasts and even Instagram pages. But, parents, do your homework and research it well. The Bible Project and Focus on the Family are two wonderful resources you can explore.

 

4 Join a spiritual family together

Your children can also be discipleship in a broader spiritual family.  Meeting other families and children who follow Jesus will encourage them and strengthen your family bond too.

 

5 Encourage deeper conversations

In Parenting World Changers, I wrote about initiating good communication in the home, “Heart-to-heart conversations can impact your child’s head and heart. We present facts to validate what we are talking about and stories that can capture their hearts. Children don’t necessarily know how to initiate communication with their parents. Good communication involves two-way listening and responding.

As a parent, listen with all your senses when your child speaks. Take time to listen with empathy and pay attention to their non-verbal cues. Ask relevant, non-judgemental questions. This type of communication touches their heart with love and their mind’s with information.”

 

6 Cultivate a curious mind

George Eliot wrote, “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”

Again, in Parenting World Changers, I wrote about teaching your children to ask brilliant questions. Incidentally, Jesus used question asking as His preferred style of training.

Great questions to encourage significant conversations in your home
“Our implicit belief system is established before we are seven years old. This means that what we think about the world, about love, people, time and so much is already embedded within. We can still shape our children over the years. Continue to build a loving, trusting, and healthy relationship with your son and daughter. Where you spend your time, your money and with whom indicates where your values lie.

These conversation starters are here to help uncover and help shape specific values within your child. The other bonus is that you are opening up a two-way conversation and building relationships. What a win for the whole family – give it a go!”

Below are only 10 of the questions I have in my book.
1. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? 10 years?
2. What do you o when you feel bored?
3. Who is your hero and why?
4. What music makes you particularly happy?
5. How do you handle stress?
6. What do you enjoy doing for fun?
7. What really makes you angry and why?
8. What makes you most afraid?
9. What makes you laugh?
10. Do you believe in soul mates and true love?

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

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