If your desire is to disciple your children as the Bible describes, there are a few things that YOU REALLY NEED TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS!
If you want children who walk vibrantly with Christ and have their own relationship with Him, then the most important thing you need to do is have your own relationship with Christ!
In other words, It is very unlikely that your kids will grow to have a relationship with God if you don’t model it for them. So, you can’t teach your kids to have a devotional time in the Bible with God, if you don’t make the time yourself. You can’t expect your child to rid themselves of anger if you don’t rid yourself of it. You can’t teach your kids to love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind if your own life doesn’t reveal this in your own heart, soul and mind.
Your walk must match your talk. Jesus must be the leader of your home. We all have roles & responsibilities that we play within our households, but Jesus must be the Leader.
This can be particularly tough for dads, as the Bible is pretty descriptive of the leadership roles that you must have as a husband and father. Sometimes, guys get caught up in the respect they are or are not receiving at home. This can easily affect a dad’s pride, temper, legalism, etc. But, it’s really not about what you deserve at all! Christian parenting is actually about Jesus being the ultimate leader of your home, and everyone in your family submitting to His leadership as you all walk together.
When you can come to terms with this and live it out, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a much smoother ride through life. When you and your family is constantly in prayer, asking for God’s guidance, it makes everything else fall into place.
Now, one thing that you really MUST do in order to provide an environment for your kids’ Christian walk to grow is read the Bible with your children. While this doesn’t guarantee success in discipling your kids, it is an important key in helping them grow spiritually.
One passage that stresses the importance of reading the Bible to our children is 2 Timothy 3:14-17:
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
In the Book of Acts, we learn that Timothy’s mother was a follower of Christ, as was his grandmother. From what we can infer, it seems as though Timothy’s dad did not have a relationship with God, so let that be an encouragement to single moms, or Christian moms like Timothy’s whose husband doesn’t walk with Jesus. Take heart. Be of courage. Even Timothy, who eventually became the Bishop of the Church at Ephesus, came from a home without a father when it came to knowing God. His mom and grandma poured the Scriptures into Him, and he was eventually discipled by Paul, but it was the women in Timothy’s life who taught him what the Bible said.
These verses also tells us how Scripture plays a pivotal role in each of our lives. They give us wisdom, it’s useful to our daily lives, it encourages us, it equips and prepares us to be the men and women of God that He wants us to be.
Now, when it comes to reading out loud to your children, there are many, many great Bible storybooks that are easily available. A few samples include:
It’s key to have your kids sitting with you and learn the process of quietly reading scripture, understanding what the Bible says and wrap up your Bible reading time with prayer.
WhWhen your kids are 2-3 years old, this whole process may take only 5-10 minutes. As they get a little older, you may find yourself spending 15 minutes or so reading, discussing and praying. No matter what age, when you start doing this and make it a priority in your home, you’ll find that children love it when their parents read to them and disciple them in God’s ways.