How Discipling Our Children can Change a Generation
- Michelle Rabon
- 2019 Sep 06
The table is sticky with a mystery substance from the day before. There are chips and nicks in the wood where spoons have been hit against the table. This place in my kitchen could retell stories and conversations that have happened around it, tears shed over it, and schoolwork done on top of it.
The table is where life happens in our home.
I look at the faces of my children as they sit around the life-piece of our home. In that moment, I feel the weight that comes with being their mother. Not just caring for their physical needs and the importance of teaching them how to grow and thrive, but more than anything sharing the truth of the Gospel with them.
What Is a Parent's Number One Priority?
Teaching our children about Jesus, Scripture, and salvation should be our number one priority.
The pressure is strong to share Jesus every day, not because I have to, but because I get to. I know that in the midst of every day they need to know that Jesus is their hope. That is how I felt around the table that day, looking at their faces. The job of discipleship rests on us as parents, but often we fear that we are not qualified enough to do it, or that the job belongs to the Pastor or the Sunday School.
Our children need the Gospel every day, not just on Sunday.
If we look at the children at our table, we must realize that the truth is, there is no one better qualified than us as parents to be disciple-makers for our children.
What we need to remember is that we are made for this—carefully constructed and put into the lives of our children with purpose; to display the truth of the Gospel to them every day. Will we mess up? Of course, I am pretty sure that is what God is counting on, because it is in the midst of our messy real life that they will see the unfiltered truth of Jesus.
This discipleship relationship with our children isn’t complicated. It is the simplicity of sharing our own walk with God, what we learn from Scripture, and the reality of what happens when Jesus interacts in our every day.
These four passages of Scripture emphasize the importance of discipleship, and can teach us what it will look like in light of our relationship with our children.
1. The actual call to make disciples came from Jesus Himself.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
The call isn’t just to make believers, but to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and also to teach them. Parents are the front lines of Gospel sharing in the lives of our children. From bedtime Bible stories, to teaching them how to pray, we show them the love of Christ every day. This passage reveals to us that the process of discipleship isn’t a one-time offer but a life-long process.
2. We must proclaim, warn, and teach everyone, especially those in our homes.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
Discipling others can feel overwhelming, mostly for the fact that we don’t feel qualified. Ultimately this should be where our energy is spent – proclaiming Jesus. What better place to start than within the walls of our homes. It means going the extra mile to see where we can point them to Jesus in everything – even the small things.
3. Training our children well will impact them for life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
Sometimes we can wonder if this is really true when we look at the world around us, but God is clear that His Word will not return void. If we are faithful to not only teach our children about Jesus but invite them into what the Gospel looks like in our lives as adults, they will see more than just a pretty Sunday school picture of Christ. They will know the truth of Him as Savior in the good and in the difficulties.
Discipleship doesn’t mean you are inviting them into your perfection because you have it all figured out. No, you are giving them an accurate picture of the Christian life. It is inviting someone into your mess as you press forward with Jesus.
4. Raising our children is a gift.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
The most beautiful form of discipleship is the relationship between a parent and child. When parents are seeking the Father, when we are in His Word, and in prayer, the overflow will wash over our families – especially our children. Our children need now more than ever to know that the Gospel isn’t merely for our saving, but it is for our growth, and for every moment of life that we will face.
This discipleship thing we have signed up for with our children can truly change a generation. Our intentionality will break chains that the enemy seeks to place on our kids and the generations behind them to restrict truth and keep them from hearing the truth of the Gospel.
Now, when I sit around the table and look at the faces around me, I will know that I am leading them closer to Christ every day. I can cling to the truth of the Gospel, and know that the Spirit of God will equip me to do the work of discipling my children. May we be parents who seek to press into the next generation by teaching, leading, and loving our children with the truth of Jesus in all things.
Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.
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