As a parent, you are called to be the primary discipler of your children! As your church, we want to equip you to disciple your children and bring them up in the way of the Lord so that, as Proverbs 22:6 says, “when they are grown they will not depart from it!” Each year on your children’s birthdays you will receive discipleship resources specifically for your children’s ages. There are five areas that your resource packet will give you insights for discipling your children which include: dedicating yourself, blessing your children, leading God-centered family times, promoting church community, and discipling as you go. As a parent, you can’t control when your children will surrender their lives to the Lord and experience salvation, but you can help to shape and mold their heart as they grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. Parents can and should constantly dedicate themselves to raising their children in the way of the Lord, bless their children through prayer and grace often, lead their children in God-centered family times where biblical truths are taught, promote being a part of the church community and disciple their children as they go through life daily. As you disciple your children, teaching them the importance of worshiping God, connecting with others, growing in God’s Word, and going and taking the Gospel to our world needs to be central. As your children grow in their faith, it is important to teach them how to live out the fruit of the Spirit, not so they may earn their salvation, but because the Spirit of Christ is in us! The gospel of grace is the key that you must always point your children back to. We love God because he first loved us.
The 22:6 Parent
22:6 parents daily dedicate themselves to bringing up their child in the way of the Lord and instilling in him/her the truths of God’s grace and love. You will receive tools for scriptural parenting in your yearly packet.
BLESSING YOUR CHILD
22:6 parents daily bless their child with prayer and grace by praying God’s Word over their child and showing him/her all the love and blessings the Lord has given them. In this section of your resource you will receive suggestions on blessing by meaningful touch, a spoken message, expressing high value, picturing a special future or an active commitment.
GOD-CENTERED FAMILY TIME
God-centered family times are intentional times that 22:6 parents set aside to focus their family on making lasting memories centered around God’s truth. In your packet, you will receive tools for suggested family activities and devotions.
22:6 parents impress upon their child the importance of being a part of a church family, and show their child that he/she has an important role in the body of Christ. You will receive tools to help you discover your child’s gifts, as well as church involvement and family service suggestions.
DISCIPLING AS YOU GO
22:6 parents not only disciple their child at intentional family times, but also daily as they walk through life. This includes training your child in the way of the Lord when opportunities arise, and also disciplining your child when he/she needs correction or guidance. In your resource, you will receive tools to deal with situations like failure, time-management, dating, success and more.
The Legacy Pinciple
The scriptures tell us that what we do today directly inuences the multi-generational cycle of family traits, beliefs and actions – for good or bad (Exodus 20:5-6, Psalm 78:5-8). So passing a strong faith to our children begins by having a strong faith ourselves, modeling the gospel in our marriages and in how we relate to those closest to us. Some of us need to break negative cycles that may have started with our own upbringing in order to launch a new and improved legacy for the next generation.
The Likelihood Pinciple
The good news is this: in the context of healthy relationships, children tend to embrace the values of their parents. Proverbs 22:6 tells us that when children learn right from wrong at home under the nurturing, loving training of parents, they tend to adopt mom and dad’s beliefs. While there are no guarantees because every child has a free will, kids are far more likely to embrace their parent’s faith if they enjoy their parent’s company! That’s a big part of the reason parents are warned not to “provoke your children to wrath” but rather “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Bottom line – a strong relationship with mom and dad is key to a strong Christian faith.
The Lenses Pinciple
Jesus taught that our enemy’s primary weapon is deception – getting us to believe and live according to lies rather than truth (John 8:44). And when someone is deceived, he or she does not know it! Our children are growing up in a culture that bombards them with lies. An hour or two per week at church is no match for the hundreds of hours spent with media, school, and friends. Nor can it compete with a child’s fallen nature that often wants to rebel against what is good, true and beautiful. It is the job of parents to equip children with the corrective “lenses” of truth so they can better navigate the deceptive roads of life.