Disciple Your Family with Grace
How do we become a Christian family instead of a family of Christians? Are we serious about being disciples of Christ ourselves? Have we taken the next step to disciple our family in the faith? Is our home one that seeks to glorify God by living a life of grace?
What are disciples? A disciple is a follower of a teacher or leader.
What is grace? Grace is the loving nature of God. His loving nature is not always “nice.” God’s loving nature involves truth, holiness, justice, and mercy.
The Bible tells parents in Deuteronomy 6:5-9:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
So how can we begin to disciple our families with grace?
D - Devotions – It is hard to love someone you don’t know. Read the Bible and pray individually and as a family. Learn to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and might.
I – Impress the truth of God on your own heart and the hearts of your children. This is important because knowing and then believing the truth will enable you to live a life of grace.
S – Share the truth with your children and others daily as you walk, ride, shop, work, and eat. God’s starting point with us is a relationship, and so our starting point with our family is a relationship that is full of grace.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
C- Correct and Coach your children to follow Jesus.
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with a rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod, and you will save his soul from death.” Proverbs 23:13–14
It is interesting to note that rod was translated from the Hebrew word, Sebet, meaning tribe, family, or a stick for chastening, fighting, walking or ruling. It could be a king’s scepter or a shepherd’s hook. Symbolically it represents the authority of the Messiah.
In “3 Steps to Raising Disciples”, Matt Blackwell writes:
“The purpose of discipline is to gain a hearing. Most of the time our kids are running around so fast that they don’t stop long enough to really hear what we are saying. The goal of discipline isn’t just behavioral modification but heart transformation. Through discipline we slow them down and create the opportunity to teach them the truths of repentance, grace, forgiveness, and kindness. We build communication and relationship with them. …A parent’s role, especially a father, is not to crush his children but to cultivate them. Through discipline, parents should seek to cultivate their kids so that they become self-disciplined and not continually in need of a wooden spoon or a timeout or a jail cell to have them live rightly.”
Hebrews 12: 1 -11 reminds us that God disciplines us because he loves us and wants to create a harvest of righteousness and peace in us.
I – Intentionally create moments to be together as a family. Delight in your family and have fun together. They are meant as a blessing from God, not a curse.
“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.” Proverbs 23:24–25
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5
P – Practice what you have taught. Live it!
“… make disciples as you go. Look for opportunities as you drive to practice, play at the park, or put the kids down to bed. Don’t let discipleship happen only on Sundays, but let it be a natural part of your day. It’s not weird for your kids to hear you talk about what you love and are passionate about. So share with them what God is teaching you and ask them what God is teaching them”.ii
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
L – Lead the family and Learn together.
“You can’t delegate discipleship. You take the lead and look for opportunities to “talk about these things” as you go. Try to create places where your kids ask questions. Use family devotion times, serving together, going to church together and asking them what they learned as ways to have some conversations. And be patient, because most of those conversations will be short and fruitless, but there will be one every so often that is powerful and transformative.
…This is the way of discipleship: patient obedience over the course of years builds a firmly rooted disciple who will bear much fruit. And that is what we are praying that our kids become. Mom and dad, keep your heart engaged in the Word of God, delight in your kids, correct them when necessary, and look for opportunities to have fruitful conversations that lead them to Jesus”iii.
E - Evaluate often. Are we focused on Christ and living a life of grace with each other?
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
i Blackwell, Matt. “3 Steps to Raising Disciples”. Retrieved from http://www.vergenetwork.org/2014/04/21/raising-disciples/