As a church we believe that the discipleship of children happens best through regular and intentional times as a family. In Deuteronomy we see God’s instruction to his people and in this instruction we learn how the intentional and regular discipleship of children can happen in the context of the family home.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says – The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
As parents, our role is to teach our children to love God with heart, soul and might. We should teach them these things in the normal, every day settings that have been given to us. I realize that many of you didn’t have an example of this when you were growing up and you may need practical instruction of how to do this. We don’t have everything together as a family, but I thought I would share what we have done as some possible examples of how to disciple children in the every day settings of home life.
Next Sunday at The Town Church we will be starting a sermon series in the book of Ephesians. We believe that our Sunday morning gatherings should be a part of what we are also learning together as a family. In preparation for our time in Ephesians, we began memorizing chapter 2 together as a family. Ephesians 2 is a beautiful summary of the gospel and is a great chapter to memorize. Children of all ages are able to memorize Scripture. Don’t count the little ones out (our sons are 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 years old).
This is how we memorize together. We have taken note cards, cut them in half, put them on a ring and then leave them on our dining room table. I write the verse on one side and draw a picture on the other side that helps us remember something about the verse. At breakfast each morning we work through a verse or two together as a family. We have several methods of memorization. We will break the verse into short phrases and repeat them over and over. We will give each person a word of the verse and we will each say our word as we work around the table – over and over. We will say a portion of the verse but leave a word out, allowing someone to fill in the blank if they remember it. After a day or two of this kind of repetition, the verse has been memorized and we move on to the next. Below are some examples of our verse cards.
We are always amazed at how well our boys are able to memorize Scripture. Children often do better at memorization than adults. As a family, we would like to invite you to join us in memorizing Ephesians 2 with us.
READ & STUDY:
In addition to memorizing Ephesians 2, we are also reading the book of Ephesians together one verse at a time. We have chosen to do this at breakfast as well. I will read one verse from Ephesians and ask a few simple questions about the verse. The next day, I will read the same verse and ask some quick review questions from that verse before moving on the the next verse.
For example, I will read Ephesians 1:1 – Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who were in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.
Then I will ask the following questions:
- What book are we reading? (Ephesians)
- What kind of book is it? (a letter)
- Who wrote the letter? (Paul)
- What was Paul? (an apostle)
- Who was Paul an apostle of? (Christ Jesus)
- Did Paul choose to be an apostle? (No)
- Who called Paul to be an apostle? (God)
- Who was Paul writing to? (the saints)
- What is a saint? (a Christian/a follower of Jesus)
- Where were these saints? (Ephesus)
- Tell me something about these saints. (they were faithful)
The next day, I do a few review questions quickly from those verses and move on to verse 2. Repetition is key. Looking at the words in the bible is key. It’s really as simple as reading and asking observation questions. Our boys enjoy it and it is a tremendous help and supplement for them as they listen to sermons on Sunday mornings. They hear words we’ve already been discussing as a family and they are hearing how these words can then be applied. They see verses on the screen during songs or during the sermon and they are excited to see they’ve already memorized that verse. They see Sunday morning as an integration of what we are already doing and not simply something we add onto to the week.
Our role as parents is to disciple our children – to point them to Jesus. There are several ways this can be accomplished. These are just a few examples from the Black home. What do you do to point your children to God, His Word and His Son Jesus?