Tips For Discipling Your Own Children

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Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to discipling your own children.

1 – Start before they are born. Get in a routine of reading scripture to them, praying over them, etc. You cannot start too early!

2 – When they are infants, everything is done to them and for them. They won’t understand what you are doing but you are setting patterns and practices early. Say blessings over them like Number 6:24-26 (the Lord bless you and keep you…). Do this every day. Mix up the blessings, maybe something from the last chapters of Genesis or the psalms.

3 – Your approach is developing as they are developing. Add to the blessing routine over time. Add scripture, song, and prayer. There will come a time when they will be doing their part (imitating you…the songs you sing, your prayer words and posture, etc) and it helps if they have seen this consistently before that time arrives.

4 – Once they are able to articulate for themselves, involve them in praying, singing, reciting of scripture (even if they cannot yet read…you can teach them scriptures to recite).

5 – As they grow and mature you can offer them options, all of which are good. But as they get closer to their teen years, you will want to allow them to make more and more decisions but give them the things you want them to consider in how they are making the decision. This allows them to become wise, independent decision makers so they don’t leave the nest one day and not no how to live an un-micromanaged life. We raise kids to be independent of us, not dependent of us. It starts young and you must be intentional.

6 – They will pay more attention to what you do than what you say. Make sure you try to live a life of integrity/consistency.

7 – A good marriage is a wonderful gift to your children. Whether they realize it or not, much of what they do later in life will be based off what they saw.

8 – Be sure to apologize. They need to know you know you messed up and they need a model for what it looks like to mess up and get things set right again. Some families operate like all is lost at the smallest problem/goof up…that’s too much on the line and produces loads of anxiety!

9 – They need to see you have healthy friendships. That means avoid isolation at all costs. This is especially true for men. Allow your kids to see you having fun with other adults.

10 – Teach them to pray, read the Bible, listen for God, share their faith, and follow God’s lead.

Bonus – we want kids who are in tune with God. That means you need to point out to them how the events of the day were connected with the activity of God. You could say a thing happened that day or you could say not only that it happened but how you saw God work and orchestrate things to be what they were. Your kids will start to learn to notice and articulate the same things. They will begin to expect God’s involvement in their lives.

Bonus Bonus – Give yourself plenty of grace…they can turn out just fine even if we don’t master all of this!

All of these things can be part of raising children who are mature disciples of Jesus. The church can help us disciple our kids but we are their primary disciple makers!

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