In just a few days, I will get to hold my newest grandson. It is always an amazing time when you hold a little one in your arms for the first time. I plan to pray the same prayer I have prayed over each grandchild and at key events in my life, as have others over the centuries:
Blessed art Thou, Oh King of the Universe, who has allowed me to live to see this day.
Holding my precious grandchildren, reminded me of my role. My role of parent and discipler of my children has changed as the baton is now passed to the next generation.
As parents of four grown children, who are all actively serving the Lord, my husband and I are often asked how we did it. We often point to Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Like the prayer above, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is a prayer that has been said by the Jewish people everyday for centuries, including our Savior, Jesus. When Jesus was asked what was the great commandment, He quoted this verse.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NKJV)
- Verse four is a declaration of faith
- Verses five and six are a commitment to live that declaration
- Verse seven explains how to disciple our children
As You Go
When we look at verse 7 we find that discipleship is not accomplished at one specific time of day, but rather a process that is worked on throughout the day. Your children watch to see what you do in the morning, how you answer your phone, respond to the store clerk, handle a difficult neighbor, and the attitude in which you do your work.
What is one aspect of your day that you can use this summer to enhance the discipleship of your children?
As You Go: Stop and Look
Take time to stop and look at what God has placed around you. As you go on a drive, ask your children what evidence they see of a Creator or the Flood. Time is never lost when we take time to observe the beauty of the land around you, and thank the Lord for the things He has created. http://blog.ashleypichea.com/learning-to-trust-god/
We can also stop and look for areas to serve this summer. Is there a family member or neighbor who might need some extra help? Does your church or someone you know from church need help? Look for ways your family can serve both individually and together.
As You Go: Pray
Take time to pray with your children, not only before meals and at bedtime, but throughout the day. Since we live in Wyoming, we spend a lot of time driving. When we drive into town, go to church, or begin a trip, we pray. Even now, as we talk or text family members, we often ask, “How can I be praying for you?”
But don’t stop there, be sure to discuss answered prayer with each other, especially if you have younger children. All of us need to be reminded that God not only hears but answers our prayers.
As You Go: Be Deliberate
This summer be deliberate about choosing events and trips that include aspects to help you and your children grow spiritually. While on vacation or over the summer months, choose a different kind of church to attend. Get to know believers in other denominations, and allow your children to see different aspects of the body of Christ. As you go through your week seek those natural opportunities to love God heart, soul, and strength.
The discipleship of your children may look different from those around you, but do not let that discourage you. Ask the Lord how you can disciple your children this summer as you rise up and lay down, so that your children may be able to pray and live Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
I hope this will give you some ideas for family discipleship. May God bless you as you teach the next generation.
About the Author: Dianna Wiebe is the owner and author of Grapevine Studies, the leading Bible study method and curriculum for devoted teachers designed to help them simplify planning, engage students, and grow disciples. Grapevine Studies is a family owned business located in central Wyoming. John and Dianna, together with their four children, have developed this unique Bible study that teaches the Bible through the use of stick figures.