How To View Your Children As Your Disciples

Would you love to see a deeper spiritual longing in your child’s heart?

Do you want your daughter to have a passion for the things of God?

Would you love your son to develop a godly character?

What would it look like for you tween or teen to mature with a  powerful testimony of God’s grace in their hearts?

 

We need to have the heart of God and the truths of the Word at the center of our discipling.

 

The Mindset of Discipleship

Not only is the term mentor thrown around in our culture today, but here at More to Be we’re passionate about embracing the concept of mentoring, especially for it’s impact on the next generation. However, our definition of mentoring departs from the traditional idea of a mentor being someone who helps you learn the ropes on a new job or someone you learn from by their ministry. We believe that mentoring from a biblical perspective ought to include discipleship as a core part of the process.

It’s really such a simple concept, yet it’s seldom used, even in the church, often because it sounds scary.

“I can’t disciple anyone, I’m untrained.”

“I can’t disciple anyone, I’m still weak in my faith.”

“I can’t disciple anyone, I don’t know enough.”

But discipleship isn’t really that scary.

When you think about it, it is merely teaching others what God has taught you. I was actually discipling a young woman when I was a very young Christian. I’d read a Bible passage and God would open my eyes to something and – voila! – the next day I’d share it with my friend.

As moms, you have so much more wisdom and insight and knowledge than I had as a baby Christian. You’ve seen so much of the work of God in your lives. That is what you will teach your own children. You are handing down your spiritual legacy to them and training them to walk hand in hand with the Savior!

It is imperative that fear of man is not at the heart of discipling your children. What do I mean? When our children react a certain way in public, does shame creep up in our hearts, and do we do whatever we can to hide things from others? Or do we step up and take them back to the scriptures for instruction and reproof! When we have the mindset of discipleship, our ultimate goal is not to be thought of as a great parent.

This means WE need to grow in humility, compassion and a heart that listens to know where God is working in our children’s lives. It is also vital to remember that we are looking for internal change, not merely the external obedience that others see. We need to encourage questions in our children’s lives, not shut them up to just Do What I Say. Our goal is to build a heart of wisdom, the wisdom that is from above. To grow in wisdom, they need to understand why we do what we do, not just mimic what we do.

Discipleship is not the same as making carbon copies of ourselves. Discipleship is pointing others to Jesus so they can be transformed into HIS image by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Living Out Discipleship

When our children are young, most of our discipleship looks like regular old child training. And it is. But our focus must come from a biblical mindset. For example, in our family, we encouraged and reproved our children using very specific words based on helping them understand their identity in Christ. Nearly all of our child training was based on biblical principles. This takes work, because we need to understand the heart of God and the truth of the Word, and let it guide the way we raise our children.

As our children grew older, our focus changed from issuing strict commands to teaching the reasons behind our commands. We wanted our children to understand why we made a house rule. We would discuss them, and often our children would disagree with our choices – BUT they obeyed, and they learned how to search out the scriptures to follow God. Again, discipleship is helping our children grow into the image of Jesus according to who they are, not to be imitations of us.

Part of living out discipleship with our children is to let the Holy Spirit guide us concerning which issues to tackle.

Our children are no different than we are, with many character issues that need to be brought under the Lordship of Christ. And like us, there are main issues and there are symptoms. Our job is to listen to the Lord as we tackle these issues, so that we will know which issues to address and which to let slide for now.

Lastly, our desire should always be for our children to run to the Lord. We should always want to hear what God is showing them, the scriptures He is using in their lives and the wisdom He is teaching them. Let us be quick to encourage where encouragement is due but still gently point out error and falsehood.

Are there places in your mothering that need to change to full-on discipleship with your children, particularly with your teens? Are there ways you can point your children to Jesus?

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Kate is a wife and homeschool mom of 8 children. She has been mentoring women for over three decades with a passion for older women teaching younger women. She is passionate about her marriage to, Kevin, who she calls the love of her life and greatest encouragement and support. She also counts herself extremely blessed to have homeschooled all of their children from kindergarten on up, five of whom have graduated from high school already. And in addition to her family, Kate makes time for discipleship while continuing to grow in her own walk with God. Most of all, Kate is passionate about God. He is her strength, rock, delight and joy.
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