The call of discipleship is high. It doesn't begin with a church ministry, but in the home, from the parents, for the family.
// "These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life." -Deuteronomy 6:1-2 //
I used to think that discipleship was teaching.
I was wrong.
I also used to think discipleship was a function of a church.
Man, was I wrong.
Let me explain:
Teaching is one-time. It isn't long term. It is a message that can be consumed in a sitting, like a sermon, a book, a devotional, a video-series.
It typically has one major theme, you learn it, you move on.
So what is discipleship? It's long-term. It's doing life together. Sharing life experiences, decision-making, truth in these situations, wisdom, and understanding beyond knowledge.
Teaching is Jesus sharing in the synagogue on a Sabbath.
Discipleship is the 12 walking with Jesus for 3 years.
So is discipleship a function of the church?
It can be an initiative, but it isn't the origination.
You see, ideally we would grow up in a Christian home. We would then be discipled by our own parents. They would teach us about God, His nature, and our identity rooted in Him.
But not everyone does, of course. In those cases, that is the function of a discipleship ministry - to allow adults to have opportunity for spiritual growth in a long-term setting so that they can become rooted in Jesus.
So it's with this mindset that I want to share with you to look at raising your children as discipleship.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says:
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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Moses is commanding Israel to make discussing faith commonplace in everyday life. It's countercultural to our society that says not to discuss religion. Sure, we can avoid it at Thanksgiving with others if we'd like, but in our own home, we are commanded to talk about real life intersecting with our faith and values.
We are called to make it common.
Because that wisdom brings about a long, fruitful life.
That wisdom instructs us on how to go.
That wisdom instructs us on how to love.
One of the best gifts I can give my children is a proper foundation of who they are in Jesus and to equip them to walk with Him as adults. That doesn't take church on Sunday, that takes me sharing life with them, age appropriately, and sharing my own failures and wins in my walk with Jesus.
That's how they'll know my faith is real and make it their own. That's how I'll pass down generational blessings.
And that's how you can, too.