One of the highlights of my spiritual journey is meeting with other men for the purpose of encouragement and discipleship. There is another highlight, however, which is much closer to home - the discipleship of my three boys.
Parenting and discipleship of our children is something we do whether we think about it or not. Everything we say and do, and more importantly, the motivation behind them, is on display for them every day. As my boys have grown older I have become increasingly aware of the need to implement Deuteronomy 6:7 and 11:19 on a more consistent basis:
You shall teach them (my words) diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Therein lies the challenge and the opportunity – being both deliberate and diligent in our discipleship. For me, this means scheduling regular times to spend with each of my boys as well as taking advantage of daily conversations and situations as they arise and turning them into teaching moments.
Here are a few of the things I do to give legs to my discipleship:
Every Friday morning I take one of the boys to breakfast. It provides an environment (more) free of the daily distractions and an opportunity for good one-on-one conversation. Any topic is fair game.
We have been reading through Steve Lawson’s series A Long Line of Godly Men which covers the lives of men like George Whitefield, Martin Luther, and Jonathan Edwards. Often the vocabulary and content can be stretching but they have shown to be excellent conversation starters and often provoke long running discussions. We are currently reading through John MacArthur’s book Twelve Ordinary Men and The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther.
I endeavor to match up work projects with the interests and abilities of the boys. It is amazing the conversations which arise over the course of building a barn or trapping gophers. Sometimes the conversations are profound and at other times they are limited to the finer points of gopher trapping.
We try to debrief the boys over lunch on Sunday to hear what they are learning in their respective classes and from Pastor Lance’s message. We also follow-up after Bible study at Pastor Ben’s on Tuesday.
I absolutely get skunked at this one! We have been memorizing Colossians 3 together and it is amazing how quickly the boys can pick up Scripture. There is nothing more precious than listening to one of my sons recite God’s Word!
I cannot claim any of these ideas a original. I have had the blessing of observing faithful and successful fathers who went before me and following their example as they follow Christ.
Join me on this journey as we seek to instruct, encourage, correct, and ultimately inform our children’s worldview. Discipleship is happening. Make sure you are a part of it!
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Psalm 119:9-11, NASB)