For the majority of today’s families, most days probably seem like a blur. Between working, cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, and the like – the thought of adding family discipleship to the family schedule may seem overwhelming.
The truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t focus so much on having different routine compartments, so to speak. Instead, we should have family routines that flow and help our families to flourish.
With this goal in mind, let’s look at 5 simple ways to build family discipleship into your family’s day.
5 Ways to Build Family Discipleship into Your Day
Give It Meaning
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments (instructions) 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.”
This passage is the perfect example of how to give meaning to your goal of creating a family of disciples. The foundation here is placing emphasis on how important the word of God is and how we should teach it to our children. These scriptures also give ideas as to when we can teach our children how to be disciples for Christ.
Create a Schedule
With the above passage in mind, building family discipleship can be done through creating a schedule.
Some examples are:
- When you sit at home. Think about the times that can be redeemed at home. How often is your family distracted by video games, cell phones, or other busyness? Can some of that time be used to gather together to strategically talk about the Word? Can you invite a neighbor over for dinner to get to know them better and possibly share your testimony?
- When you walk along the road. Think car rides, errand time, or neighborhood walks. These are perfect and valuable times to talk about God, His word, and ways it can be lived out loud.
- When you lie down. Nighttime routines are something that most parents already have established. Use story time to read a Bible story, or prayer time to pray specifically for someone. This time can also be used to recap a day and talk about God’s grace shown throughout it.
- And when you get up. Morning routines are another time that parents typically have established. If you have a quiet time, invite your children to also participate.
The idea behind creating a routine, is to use your family’s natural rhythm to be more intentional in thinking about, talking about, and living out the gospel.
More Ways to Build Family Discipleship
Modeling discipleship is one of the best ways to build this in the lives of children. When they see their parents genuinely walking it out, they are most likely to follow suit. This doesn’t mean always looking at the outward appearance of one’s faith more than inward at one’s genuine walk with God.
The characteristics of a genuine Christian is one who is diligent, committed, and repentant. These can be enhanced through prayer, Bible study, group meetings, fasting, and so on. Modeling discipleship should be well-rounded, practical, and produce good fruit.
Highlight Discipleship Moments
Highlighting discipleship moments can help bring meaning and purpose to gospel-centered conversations and actions. Being intentional about bringing up these moments can also teach your children how to be observant and prepared to take advantage of “God moments” both in and out of the home. This is also another aspect that should first be modeled in the home through interactions with one another, and through topics of conversations.
Look for these moments through the following questions:
- How are your everyday interactions with one another?
- How are spiritual matters handled?
- What is your practice of confession/repentance like?
- Which fruit of the spirit are evident? Which would you like to see grow in your family?
A great way to be prepared for highlighting discipleship moments is to make sure everyone is on the same page. This can be accomplished over time using the previous three suggestions (give it meaning, create a schedule, and through modeling).
Celebrate Discipleship Milestones
The same way we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates, is the same way we can make it a point to celebrate discipleship milestones. This kind of milestone is an event (or change) so significant that it’s worth reflecting on. Think about God’s work in the lives of your family members, and how this work can be used to minister to extended family, friends, neighbors, and so on.
Consider the following milestone examples:
- Getting your child their first Bible.
- Mission trip.
- Purity ball or ceremony.
- Starting to serve at church.
As you cultivate family discipleship into your day, keep in mind how God will bless you and your family in the efforts to influence the hearts of your children in a Christlike way. The discipleship built in your family will have a lasting effect between the members of your family, and in the lives of others they come into contact with – and this is both a privilege and a joy.