Question: How can I disciple my children, training them to accept God as He reveals more and more of Himself in their lives? I hammer home wisdom to my sons and we read Proverbs every night with the hope that when they are older, they will listen to godly advice and trust those who would lead them down the right path. I want to be age-appropriate while bringing them to a higher level of understanding and apprising them of the sin that so easily entangles young men in this culture.
Answer: One of the greatest things you can help a child (who has been saved) to
understand and develop is the truth found in Colossians 2:9-10: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Teach your child that when he became saved he received the “fullness of Christ”. Help him to see, from the beginning of this passage, that his position never changes. His position is forever “in” Christ. Teach him that your role (and responsibility) is to help train him to fully understand this truth and to walk in it.
Then, you can develop this on a long-term basis by consistently introducing individual attributes of Christ. For example, choose an attribute and post the attribute somewhere in your child’s environment. Spend time talking about what this attribute means, look at Scripture together that speaks about the specific attribute, talk together about what it would look like to allow God to develop that attribute in both of you and the effects it could have on those you strive to influence for Christ. Use current circumstances in his life to show him how to walk out this truth in practical ways. Show him the opportunities he has to walk in truth and to walk in the flesh as well as the consequences that may result from each. Allow the knowledge of this specific truth to develop through daily application before moving on to the next attribute.
The benefits: You will be developing Christ-like qualities in your child. You are teaching him to apply truth for himself. You are showing him what it looks like to walk in the authority of Christ by complying with His Word. You are developing his confidence in his new nature in Christ. You are showing him the purpose in becoming Christ-like and the effects it can have on others. His example of Christ-likeness will be beneficial in training your other children. AND, because you will be witnessing the effects of the control of the Holy Spirit in your child’s life, you will find confidence in and confirmation of his genuine salvation. (I sense a need to shout: Praise God!)
The point of being age-appropriate is a very good one. For example, where it may be difficult for a 5 year old to fully understand mercy, he can understand patience. So, you will want to start with those attributes he can best understand.Photo credit – Scott Liddell