“One thing parents often say to me when I am talking about discipleship in the home is, “How?” The following explanation goes something like this:
We are so busy (tired, full schedule) that we are barely home (awake, together) and when we are, we just want to rest (relax, watch TV) not try to have church (do a family devotion, have a faith talk).
And after that is usually something like, “I know that’s not right but I just don’t even know where to start.”
I feel that, I truly do. Our family like many of yours also lives a busy life. Until recently , all of us, from the youngest to the oldest were full-time students, in five different schools, doing activities ranging from archery club to student newspaper to president of the student body. Our calendar is a veritable rainbow of appointments, events, and practices.
And the thought of having to add something else to it, especially something as intentional as a family devotional time or a faith talk, can feel absolutely overwhelming.
It’s at this point though that it is tempting to say, “Forget it. The kids will just have to get the Jesus stuff at church.” And that kind of thinking leads to a relinquishing of our unique responsibility to raise our children in the faith as well as a willingness to overlook the very real fact that parents, not ministers, have the greatest influence on their child’s faith whether they are intentional about it or not.
May I offer another way of thinking?
Could it be that when the charge to “impress these things upon your children” was given in Deuteronomy 4, it wasn’t a just call to family devotions? That perhaps what God had in mind was a bit more involved than that?
What if instead of adding another thing to our calendar, we sought for ways to intentionally invite Christ into what we are already doing?
What if instead of saying, “There’s no time to do more” we started saying “We are going to let God do more with our time.”
In that famous Deuteronomy passage, there are four discipleship moments mentioned: Getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, sitting down at home, and leaving the home (along the road). Throughout the world, these things happen every. single. day. We all wake up, we all sleep, we all sit, we all go.
I find it so interesting that these are the times that God said, “Talk to your kids about Me.”
The most ordinary, normative moments of the day become extraordinary moments to disciple our kids in the faith.
So, back to that original question of “How?”
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