In Part 1, I emphasized the importance of using the Bible — the all-sufficient parenting guide — and how we as parents are committed to train, nourish, and guide the children God gave us.
In this commitment, we are to take seriously the importance of leading by example and the responsibility that we have to disciple our children. Ann Swindell says, “Discipleship means intentionally partnering with another Christian in order to help that person obey Jesus and grow in relationship with Him — so that he or she can then help others do the same.”
The following are some practical ideas for parenting:
1. Encourage a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ
(John 3:16-17, Romans 5:8)
First and foremost, your desire and prayer as a parent should be that your children understand they were born with a sin problem, and Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection is the only solution for that problem. After years of faithfully discipling our children, I praise the Lord that all three of them have made professions of faith.
2. Encourage Reading God’s Word
(2 Timothy 3:16-17, Joshua 1:8)
We encourage individual devotions once they wake up, and family devotions before bed. We do not use special material, but encourage the importance in going to the ultimate Guide, God’s Word. When our children were younger, we mainly used The Action Bible and dug deeper in the Bible as needed. Dad and mom, read the Bible and read it with your children too.
3. Encourage Personal Prayer
There are many opportunities to teach about prayer throughout the day — during the exciting moments, times of fear and worry, and times of frustration. Be an example. Pray. And most of all, teach your child to pray.
4. Encourage Church Attendance and Participation
(Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:25)
As a family, we have the privilege of being in various churches as well as ones that are in different cultures, yet no matter where we are at and in what language we are speaking in, the fellowship with other believers, worshipping God, and studying His word together is a highlight to our week. Get involved. Help your children “plug-in” and have friends, and participate in the activities that your schedule allows.
5. Encourage Serving
Dad and mom, serve others and teach your children to do the same. Be proactive in finding ways to serve others in our community. Recently, we went to a Christian school to take their class pictures. It was a great way to serve. As a mom, I joined a support team at church, so I was not only getting more involved in serving, but I was also providing my children with opportunities to serve as well. Serve Him wholeheartedly!
6. Encourage Good Health and Wellness
(1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)
Make it a priority to have healthy snacks available. Try buying more yogurt and fruit. It not only helps our children choose wiser snacks, but it helps Dad and Mom too!
Be proactive in getting exercise. Our family has been more proactive in exercising this year, and it has made a difference in being more alert, as well as sleeping better at night.
Have a nightly routine. My children, ranging from 9-13, all go to bed between 8:30-9:00 pm. We have a nightly routine of reading the Bible, giving thanks, and saying prayer. Then, it is lights outs. There is no reading or listening to music. This not only allows them to get the sleep they need, but it also gives Dad and Mom a bit of down time together.
“Dear fellow parents, God’s inspired Word is perfect and absolutely sufficient for equipping us to do the work of God — particularly the grand task of raising godly kids.” (Steve Ham)
My prayer for each of us today is that we lead by example and disciple our children using the all-sufficient parenting guide: God’s Word.