Parenting is about making disciples
Many parents have the idea that their job is to raise a well-adjusted individual who is a benefit to society.
That’s an admirable goal, but it falls a bit short, biblically speaking.
For the Christian parent, parenting is about making disciples. It’s a task that flows out of the mission that Jesus gave to His followers before He ascended to Heaven.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Let’s unpack it a bit…
Jesus gave this command by His authority, given to Him by the Father… that means it’s a very big deal, it comes straight from the throne room of Heaven to us.
Based on His authority, we are to make disciples… it may require going someplace (Africa or Asia?) but it surely includes the place we are – like our homes.
What is a disciple? – it’s important that we know the answer. In Jesus’ day a disciple was a dedicated follower of a particular teacher or master. The 12 men He called to follow Him are a good example. That means your job is not just to lead your kids to faith in Christ, but to teach them how to follow Him in a dedicated way. Your job is to lead them to “know” Him, love Him, and follow Him.
Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… that’s your job parent. Your children need to know what Jesus expects of them and how to go about obeying those commands. Disciples do that… .they obey their Master.
It’s the most natural thing in the world is for parents to make disciples of their own children. It’s one of the most life-changing and important things you can do for your children, not to mention the most loving. When you take the job of discipling your own children seriously, you are setting them up to live the way God intends for them to live. You are teaching them the truth that will set them free to live according to the plan of the One who designed them and who has planned their life.
Leading your children to become disciples of Jesus is the most important purpose of your parental role.
Listen to that again.
Making disciples of your children is the most important purpose you have as a parent.
It’s time for a few questions:
- How seriously are you taking this command?
- How diligently have you been at going about it?
- What help do you need to ensure that you maximize your efforts in this vital task?
The first thing I’d suggest is that you make sure YOU are living as a disciple yourself. If you need a place to get started, you can download a FREE copy of my spiritual growth notebook, “Moving Toward God” on my resource page.
Second, you might need some help in knowing how to lead your family toward Christ. Consider these free resources from Family Time Training. There are also a wealth of great lessons, projects, and resources available on the When You Rise website.
Third, consider learning how to establish Family worship as a regular part of your family life. Here is a great set of blog posts from the Gospel Coalition that gives you a good overview.