As a Christ-follower and a father, my heart is resolute in a deep desire to nurture my young children’s relationship with Jesus Christ. In an age of uncertainty, where our kids will be faced with worldly assaults at every turn, cultivating a steadfast and meaningful faith in them is not just a goal, but a profound responsibility, and one that drives me to dependence on Christ, calling upon Him to do in the hearts of my children, what I could never hope to do myself.
And for many of us who did not receive a consistent guiding hand from our own fathers or mothers in our journey in coming to know Christ, it can be really difficult to know just what to do and where to begin helping our kids, now that we are parents ourselves. In this article, I’ll feature practical insights and heartfelt guidance, taken from my friend and brother, Dr. Rob Jackson, on how parents can take practical steps as we embark on this sacred journey with our little ones.
(Article text below expounded upon original content written by Dr. Rob Jackson and used with his blessing).
Elevating Discipleship as a Priority
“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
The first step in nurturing a child’s faith is making it a genuine priority in our lives. While we may acknowledge the importance of guiding our children toward Christ, it’s crucial to commit wholeheartedly to a daily practice of discussing the One who can fulfill their deepest needs. Today is the day we put discipleship front and center in our parenting journey.
Creating a Sacred Haven
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6 (NASB)
Much like Jesus sought solitude to pray and commune with the Father, we too need a dedicated space for spiritual moments with our children.
“In my experience with my daughter, Abigail, having a specific place in her room where our family would gather to read and discuss God’s Word has been invaluable. It lends consistency and focus to our shared spiritual journey.” – Rob Jackson
Designating Quality Time
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 (NASB)
“Our lives as parents are often bustling, and mornings may not always be the ideal time for family devotions. In my own family, evenings provided us with unhurried, quality time. The key is to set a specific time each day, one that suits your family’s schedule, to ensure consistency. Without a set time, inconsistency can creep in, and we don’t want to miss these precious moments.” – Jackson
Crafting a Deliberate Plan
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)
“Randomly selecting Scripture without preparation can lead to disinterest and wandering attention. Therefore, having a structured plan for our devotional time is essential. Consider beginning with a weekly memory verse to help your children hide God’s Word in their hearts. Offer age-appropriate Scripture passages accompanied by a short devotion that imparts crucial truths about God and His plan. Encourage practical applications of the Scripture, ask thought-provoking questions, and provide prayer prompts. Incorporating fun learning activities can reinforce the lessons learned.”
“This structured approach mirrors my book, ‘Moments with God,’ designed to introduce children aged 5-12 to theological concepts in a child-friendly manner.” – Jackson
In conclusion, let’s seize the present moment and take practical daily steps to show our children the delight of knowing Christ! My prayer is that you will initiate or continue the journey of disciple-making within your family. May you invest time with your children in the Word, allowing them to witness and hear God’s love through purposeful Christ-centered moments. There is no better time to start than today!