Walking Points

Disciple Your Children

Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Every Father's Calling

I love my kids. I love being with them, reading, wrestling, talking to and listening to them. I like beating them at Boggle. I love being beat by them at Boggle. One thing I really love is discipling my kids – teaching them every day, all day (Deut. 6:4ff) the things of God. This is every father's greatest calling, joy, and responsibility.

Faithfulness in this can bring about a legacy that could last many generations. If you are a father, you should know, whether or not you are evangelizing and discipling anyone else, (and, of course, you should be), you surely ought to be evangelizing and discipling your children. To be sure, God commands it, but it is also one of life’s great joys.

By the very nature of things, this will be a 24/7/365 task. There are at least two reasons why this is the case.

Humble Consistency

First, you can’t pass along a platitude occasionally and expect it to take root. The lessons of our faith must be repeated over and over again in a variety of ways – when you sit down for breakfast or dinner, tuck them in at night, drive them around town, have family worship, do chores together, and so on. No one gets it right all the time, but even in our parental blunders, our mistakes and shortcomings are opportunities to teach lessons such as forgiveness, repentance, humility, and perseverance. But, we are indeed called to “practice what we preach,” for our own sakes as well as to model godly behavior before the wee “watching eyes” in our homes.

Going Against the Cultural Grain

The second reason we must devote so much prayerful time and effort to discipling our children is because we live in a culture that does not cultivate Christian character. Our world’s default key is stuck on sin, rebellion, and evil. If I want to change the font on my computer, I have to consciously make the effort to find and select the one I want. So too, if we want to nurture our children in the things of God, we have to make an intentional and considerable effort, for such effort will go against the grain of the world, the flesh, and the devil. This is simply the way it is.

Let’s Be Faithful Stewards

Let’s join together in raising kids who know and love the Lord. Let’s produce and reproduce faithful disciples in our homes who will one day serve Christ and take his gospel of the Kingdom and extend it into every sphere of life. Such children will not arise accidentally. But, by God’s grace, they will become such as they are educated, equipped, and encouraged by loving parents who honor God by being faithful stewards of the most precious treasure entrusted to their care.

Walking Points

  • What are two or three of the hardest areas of being a father for you? Why do you think that is?
  • What’s your favorite part about being a dad?
  • Find two other Christian fathers and share with them your struggles as a dad, as well as your hopes and dreams for your children.
  • Begin meeting regularly with these Christian dads to talk together and pray for your children, as well as for yourselves as Christian fathers living in today’s world.

Prayer

God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, you are my Father too. You have entrusted precious children to my care. Remind me that as much as I love them, you love them even more. I do not own my children but am your steward of them. As such, please help me lead and guide them in a way that draws them close to you. By my lessons and behavior, enable me to faithfully shepherd them into the life of a faithful disciple of Christ. In his name I pray. Amen.

 

Dale Tedder

Dale Tedder is a United Methodist pastor in Jacksonville, Florida. If you would like to read more on godly manhood, check out Dale's book, Foundations: Key Principles for Godly Manhood. Dale also writes devotions at his website, The Right Path.
Books by Dale Tedder