Recently, our family experienced a test of our faith. I had undergone a trial involving other Christians which my kids observed. They watched me deal with the pain, saw me cry over it, saw my anger and how hard a time I had at first. They watched as I processed the whole thing, was able to forgive and is now moving forward again. As they watched, they also experienced the whole thing with me.
It was painful, not only having to deal with what happened to me, but having to deal with the pain that my children felt over it. It was different for them. Being so young and idealistic, they thought that church is a safe place. A place where everyone will respect each other and appreciate each other’s differences. The truth is, church is filled with people who are as flawed as everyone else around us, Christian or not. It was something they had to learn and accept.
We are still having continuing discussions about forgiveness, bitterness, holiness and living life just like Jesus Christ. We discussed what it means to disciple someone and how to disciple like Jesus. I am reminded of a book I read a few years ago: Disciple Like Jesus for Parents by Melton and Dean. The authors teach family discipleship and are firm that children are to be discipled by their parents or grandparents.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 teaches us that we must love God with all our heart, soul and might and that we must teach our children to love and obey God. I’ve been discipling my children since they were born. I took that Bible verse seriously and was one of the foundations I stood on whenever I struggled with homeschooling. Hubby and I are one in prayer that when our children become older, their love for the Lord will be their rock. It was this situation when our daughters were dealing with disappointment and I was worried that their hearts may harden toward church, that I came to realize that it is for such a time as this that we have been discipling these young hearts.
In my desire to protect them, I sometimes forget that pain and suffering is a part of this world. We often share with them John 16:33 which says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus warned His disciples of troubles in this world, but He confidently assures them that HE has overcome this world.
Today, as I reflect on this and continue to pray for my children, I am assured that everything happened according to God’s will. More than what their Dad and I have been teaching them, it is HE who directs their path and have their lives in His hands.
Family discipleship is one of the best things that we can do for our families. Just like Jesus Christ discipled the twelve by sharing his life with them, parents should disciple their children and teach them about living a holy and righteous life according to the word of God. Would you like to know how to disciple your family? Disciple Like Jesus, an Introduction for Parents and Grandparents is available as an ebook can be downloaded for free from their site. Just click on the title.
Parents, let’s not become weary of teaching our children for in due time, our labor of love will have its reward.