A quote from chapter three of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential stood out to me and challenged me as I seek to be making disciples of my children…
“Our children need to see us obeying God even when we don't feel like it. [How else will they learn to obey God and their parents when they don't feel like it?]”
As we consider how we can build character in our children's lives through discipleship, we must be willing to first consider our own discipleship.
Set an Example in Action
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do when setting out to make disciples of your children is to set the example for how a disciple is to live. Zan Tyler says, “If I fully train my children, they will be like me… If I want [my children] to love God and have Christ-like character, I had better make my personal goals loving God and having Christ-like character.”
To me, setting the example in action means having regular times in the Word and in prayer, as an individual and as a family.
Teaching by example includes getting into the Word on a regular basis to find strength and encouragement – to be fed and equipped for each and every day. When your children see you sitting at the feet of the Master in study, they will be learning to do the same.
Set an Example in Speech
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks… and my mouth has been known to get me in trouble, especially in my attempts to build my children's character through discipleship. Jenny and David have become great mirrors for me as I seek to speak with excellence and grace, as I hear my tone of voice and choice of words reflected in their own.
And when I find myself needing to correct them, I must first seek forgiveness and grace from the Father for my own short-falls, as they are learning from me.
As we seek to make disciples of our children, we must remember that we are setting the example for how they are to speak in our own speech.
Set an Example in Love
One of the most heart-gripping images in our home over the past several weeks is the love and care that my children have for one another. Sure, they fight and squabble like any siblings would, but their love for one another is unparalleled in comparison.
It's not uncommon to find Jenny cuddling David on her lap or find David running up to Jenny and giving her a “just because” hug.
And the reason that they are able to express such love and care for one another is because they have seen in modeled in our home. As parents, we have set an example for how we are to care for one another and love one another in good times and bad, and our children are now walking in discipleship as they seek to model the same love and care.
Discipleship is More Than Knowledge
Building character through discipleship is more than just bestowing knowledge about how to have character on your children. It is daily living life together, striving to live in such a way that will encourage your children to seek God and live life according to His Word. Discipleship is about doing life together – living intentionally by faith everyday.
Resources for Discipleship
Sometimes we need help to structure our approach to making disciples of our children. Here are a few resources I recommend:
What resources have you found to be helpful in giving structure to your discipleship of your children?
Photo by DrGBB on Flickr.com // This post includes affiliate links.
Teach Your Kids to Have a Devotional Time
Teaching your kids grow their own faith doesn't have to be difficult. Get this downloadable guide to help you teach your kids to have their own devotional time!