I love being a parent. It’s not an easy job but I truly thank God for the gifts He has given us in our children. Often the kids have asked questions about the things they see happening in the schools or on the news. We take the time to explain and teach them the ways of the Lord. How God has given us laws and examples to follow for a reason. It’s so that we can live our best lives, it’s so we can stay out of trouble and not get hurt. I teach my children to seek for God’s will. He has good plans for us. Trusting Him is the only way to live.
When I’m teaching, training, directing the kids I think about Jesus and when He first told the disciples to follow Him. Matthew 4:19, Jesus saw Peter and his brother Andrew fishing. He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. They followed Jesus and many miracles followed. He taught them EVERYTHING. We should take that same responsibility of teaching our children very seriously. The root word of disciplining is disciple. A disciple means to follow or be a student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. So, our jobs is not to be controlling, mean or domineering to a child. It’s to teach them to follow our example. But what examples are we setting? I don’t know a parent who have not gotten upset or frustrated with their child at times. But in those moments, we must remember why we are doing what we are doing. What is our primary focus? What have God mandated us to do? It’s so much bigger than a momentary frustration. They won’t always be right under us. They won’t always be so little. It’s time to train and discipline (disciple) them now before they grow older, and the world teaches them other ways that can lead them from Christ.
I Corinthians 11:1 (TPT) says, “I want you to pattern your lives after me, just as I pattern mine after Christ.” This was Paul teaching and encouraging others to follow him, but the qualification was as he followed Christ. Like the disciples who followed Christ, our children follow us. So, if we want our children to be neat and clean, be the example of that FIRST. Don’t be hypocritical, telling the child to clean and all they see before them is a messy person. Don’t order them about as slaves to keep the entire house clean when they never see their parents lift a finger. That can create resentment or social stigmas. This is unwanted. These patterns must be broken. Most parents continue what they experienced from their youth, or the lack thereof, and pass it down to the next generation. It won’t work to use excuses like we are too tired, too busy, or that we are the adult, and they are the kid and should just oblige. That’s not fair, that’s not being an example of a leader at all.
I want my children to follow my daily bible studying, my daily prayer life, my desire to please God, how I love people and serve in the Kingdom of God. BUT DON'T STOP THERE. I want my children to see me keep my home in order, neat and clean. Picking up after myself. Taking care of my temple (my body), exercise and eating clean. Personal hygiene and how to maintain a professional look. I want them to see that I stay away from movies that can taint my spirit or listening to music that serves no good purpose for God. You’ll be surprised that some kids never used a manual to build something or use tools properly because their parent never walked them through it. They never used a lawn mower or learned to fish. They never followed a recipe because no one ever spent time cooking with them. No one taught on building credit or how to balance a check book. How to start a business or save and invest. No one set down and talked to them about to how to deal with stress or emotions in a moment, how to pray for direction from God for dealing with challenges, relationships (how to remain chaste), direction in life, education and careers.
We must remember to walk our children through EVERYTHING. From the greatest things to the simple things like folding clothes, cleaning their rooms, how to organize their things. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a child knows everything. They will only know what we teach them. If we don't teach them now, they will grow into adults lacking in obvious areas. Let’s disciple our children. Let’s set them up for complete success. If we did not have all the teachings as a child, don't make the next generation suffer. Make a commitment to change the narrative.
Let’s disciple our children, let's teach them to follow us as we follow Christ.