Ahh parents, I feel your pain! Our parent to-do list is never ending. But I promise discipling your kid is just the most beautiful thing you will ever get to experience as a parent – don’t outsource it! Own it,enjoy it, treasure it! For me, discipling our children has been the most fulfilling part of our parenting journey. Here are three important steps that you can take to help your kids grow in their faith …
1. Build their Identity
My heart breaks as I work with kids and families through tough challenges. So many growing up and life challenges could be eased if our kids knew some basic things and heard us echoing the fundamentals to them regularly.
In every child, we have to build a strong identity in Jesus – like a foundation. If you don’t have a solid foundation, whatever you put on top will eventually crumble. Building your kid’s identity in Jesus is the first thing you need to do as you disciple your child. It is not a once off job … these foundations need regular checking and filling up.
You need to constantly be telling them with your words, actions and decisions that:
- God loves them just the way they are. Nothing will change that.
- God made them unique and for a purpose. God has a plan for them – it is unique! They were not created to be the same as everyone else!
- God loved them so much that He sent Jesus to rescue them.
- God’s deepest desire is to be their best friend. He wants a forever relationship with them.
2. Grow them
We underestimate how much kids can know and process spiritually. Kids are awesome at growing as disciples of Jesus because they have a whole lot less hang ups than we do. Their faith is simple and uncomplicated. As parents we need to give them opportunities to grow and mature in their faith. This is not an onerous burden, rather it is like unwrapping a present! God has gifted you with this beautiful child and as you share their Creator with them you get to see more and more of who God created them to be. Here are some practical things you can start doing right now to help your children grow in their faith:
- Pray together – on the way to school, at bed time and any time in between! Prayer is the most wonderful opportunity to talk to the Creator of the universe – nothing is too difficult for Him. Make praying together a joyful habit! We ‘get’ to talk and listen to our God!
- Read together – every night share God’s word with your children and watch them grow! It doesn’t have to be a complicated sermon – just a few minutes of both of you learning more about our Great BIG God! (There is a list of our much-loved resources at the end!)
- Listen together – Listen to appropriate podcasts, sermons and books together as you travel – broaden their minds (and yours) and have some conversations about what you have heard. I have loved hearing the insights of our children as we have done this!
- Experience together – Go serve together, go learn something new about your culture or someone else’s, go broaden your horizons – S T R E T C H yourselves and ask God to open your eyes to what He is doing in the world around you. Our mission is clear – Go love the world and make disciples. In order to do that, we need to challenge our perspectives and go find some people to love!
*Remember our kids do what we do, not what we say they should do!
3. Let them experience risk
We live in a world where we are constantly trying to make things safer and less risky for our kids. This is not a bad thing, but I fear we cut off opportunities for kids to take steps of faith because we can’t predict the outcome. Never before has the world needed a bold, brave generation ready to share God’s love. How sad it would be if we kept a generation safe and risk free, but let them miss out on the incredible faith adventure God has planned for them. Faith is risky by nature and letting our kids go and trusting God with them is hard. But we must remember our children were created to be faith filled disciples. As parents, we need to guide and train our kids for this mission and know that we need to get out of the way so our kids can take their own steps of faith with their heavenly Father.
Praying with you as we raise this Next Generation,
- Indescribable by Louie Giglio - (Available for purchase on Takealot)
- The Prayer Bible – ICB Version (International Children’s Bible) Thomas Nelson - (Available for purchase on Takealot)
- The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones - (Available for purchase on Takealot)
- Jesus Calling Bible Storybook by Sarah Young - (Available for purchase on Takealot)
- The plans I have for you devotional by Amy Parker - (Available for purchase on Loot)
- My first hands on Bible - (Available for purchase on Loot)
- Hands on Bible - NLT – children - (Available for purchase on Takealot)