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Last week we started a discussion about Family Discipleship. What is family discipleship? In their book, Family Discipleship, Matt and Adam define Family Discipleship is leading your home by doing whatever you can whenever you can to help your family become friends and followers of Jesus Christ." (Family Discipleship, page 30.)
The idea of raising up our kids to love Jesus and chase after him with their lives has been one of our greatest goals. In fact, it might be our greatest goal. Good in school? Yes. Important. Good in sports. Sure. Important. Kind to others. Absolutely. Responsible? Definitely. Financially secure and successful? We hope. But in a personal relationship with the God and Creator of the universe, Yes, yes, YES!
Recently, our oldest turned 24 years old. 24 years old! That means we have been parents for 24 years. And in those 24 years, we have produce 4 more kids totally 5. 5 unique, individual, dramatically different kids. Not one is like the other. Yes, they might share similar interests and activities, but each one is unique to themselves. And with that, the responsibility to train them up to know, love, and follow Jesus.
As we said in our initial post, Let's Talk About Family Discipleship, we're looking at a book co-written by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin, as our guide in this discussion of what family discipleship looks like. Family Discipleship, Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, & Milestones, has been a huge help for us as we think about how we disciple our kids.
Now, let's be honest. We have 5 kids. Our oldest is 24, our youngest is 13. Our number 1 and number 2 are out of the house and leaving on their own. Of the three who are still living with us, number 3 is almost 20 years old and working to become independent and self-supporting. Numbers 4 & 5, are teenagers. Clearly, we are in the latter days of our child rearing. Isn't it a little late to be thinking about family discipleship?
No, and that's the point! It's not too late! In fact, whatever your stage of family life and child raising, now it the perfect time to start your journey with Family Discipleship. Let's start with a quick definition of modeling, according to Family Discipleship, by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin.
Modeling: Serving as a godly example for your family, living out your genuine walk with God, and demonstrating true repentance where and when you fall short. (Definition provided in Family Discipleship, page 43.)
Pastor Matt, gives a great message on Modeling. Take a few minutes to watch the sermon. When you finish, consider the following questions and thoughts.
How are you modeling?
How are you modeling Christ? As parents, what does your faith journey look like? What are your kids seeing as they watch you?
Do they see you pray? Do they see you reading your bible? Are you serving at church? Are you leading others to Jesus? Are you talking about Jesus, as you are at home, in the car, or out and about? Are you seeking forgiveness when you make a mistake? Are you living in grace? Showing grace?
But modeling is faith and life. What are you modeling when standing in the line at the grocery store? What do they see as you interact with friends and strangers? What do they hear when you're talking with your friends, while you are watching your favorite sports team when they're down by 20?
How are you loving your spouse? Are you serving them well? What words do they hear when you are talking to your spouse? What words are you using when you talk about your spouse? What do your kids see when you argue, make a mistake, seek forgiveness, offer forgiveness?
You see, modeling is something we do whether we are aware of it or not. Our kids are always watching. And whether we are being intentional or not, our kids are picking up what they see in us. Modeling isn't just being seen doing the right or good things, modeling is being aware that we are always being seen.
Here's the thing, it's never too late to start modeling for your kids. You can get started right now. I know we're looking to improve our modeling, even as we parent our teens and our young adults.
Be sure to check back in with us next week as we look at Moments.
Till then, thanks for taking time to consider Family Discipleship.
- the higham family
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.