Building a house with a solid biblical foundation is important today, probably more than it has ever been in our lifetime. As parents, we must cultivate and disciple our children for the sake of our children’s souls and their future. Psalm 127 says:
“1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
Our children are spiritual sponges and it is up to us, parents, first and foremost to teach them what to believe and why from a Biblical Worldview. Not only will it help them to be able to communicate God’s truth, but it will also help them defend it as well. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says:
“6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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.”
Discipling our children in our homes is so important. Unfortunately, the Cultural Marxist and Secular Humanist political worldviews and philosophies such as Critical Theory, have been taught in public schools for decades, and have now seeped over into our churches. Colossians 2:8 says:
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Unfortunately, as the Church, we have allowed Caesar to train our children in public schools for well over a century, the effects of which we are currently witnessing among young believers as well as pastors. The truth of the matter is, is that parents today have failed to realize that discipleship is their primary responsibility, not the church on Sunday mornings and not the schoolhouse during the week. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go out and make disciples and the most important disciples in your life are your sons and your daughters.
In our family, we consider schooling as a form of discipleship and we homeschool our children. Parents, I’m here to tell you that if you’re sending your kids to public school every day, you can not compete with the anti-biblical worldview that your children’s teachers are instilling in them as well as undermining and supplanting your biblical worldview.
Your children are being indoctrinated 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week with a Cultural Marxist, Secular Humanist anti-biblical worldview. This does not include the indoctrination that they are getting from Hollywood, social media, and the entertainment industries if you allow them to watch such things. How hard do you think it will be to do a spiritual detox with them so that they can unlearn all of that indoctrination of unbiblical, spiritually damaging garbage from your children’s brains? It’ll be much more difficult than you think.
The truth of the matter is, we must be intentional to train our children in the ways of the Lord and the infallible Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from an early age. We must raise our children to trust and follow Jesus with all of their hearts and teach them that He is a sovereign God in all things at all times.
If you’re new to family discipleship, you’re in the right place! I’m going to give you some practical tips and resources to help you with your Family Discipleship journey!
Who Leads Family Discipleship?
I’m blessed with an amazing husband who leads us in family discipleship/worship. But if you’re a single mom or if your husband is not ready or willing to lead your family, you can still lead your children in family discipleship/worship without him because God gives you grace for it.
If your husband is an unbeliever, pray that the Holy Spirit will move in his heart as he witnesses you lead your children before the throne of grace. Seeing his family worship just might be what the Lord, in His sovereignty, uses to bring your husband to faith and repentance.
If you’re married, just be gentle, and slow to anger with your husband and pray for him that the Lord will work on his heart. When your husband is ready to step into his role and lead family discipleship, you will then give the mantle back to your husband when he’s ready.
How To Get Started?
If you’re new to family worship, the best thing to do is just start! It doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s all about the heart behind your worship. Our kids are 6, 4, and 3 and while it can be a battle sometimes to keep them all engaged, family worship is something that we prioritize.
To help keep their little bodies engaged try giving them their Bibles to follow along with you! Also, allow them to choose their favorite hymns and songs to sing. This is one of our children’s favorite things about family worship! If you have older children, give them a task to complete. Maybe a bible verse to read or have them pick a biblical topic they want to study and discuss!
What To Do In Family Discipleship?
When you’re planning out your family worship/discipleship, it’s best to keep it sound (pure in doctrine) and simple (easy to understand). The last thing you want to do is provoke your children to anger by drawing out your time and making them wish it was over. When doing your worship time, you’re not duplicating a church worship service. You’re simply leading your family into worship to God. Here are a few ideas of what you can do during your family worship time:
- Read a small portion from Scripture: Old and New Testament, perhaps one (Old) in the morning, one (New) in the evening
- Read a Psalm/Proverb
- Read or review catechism
- Read a devotional guide
- Hymn Book
- Sing songs
Where To Have Family Discipleship?
The best place to have your family worship time is where there is the least amount of distractions and where there is the most familiar for young children. And parents, that means putting your phones away and turning off all electronics! This is a time that we are devoting to God and He deserves our best and undivided attention. This also helps teach our children to prioritize our Heavenly Father and not allow distractions even for mommy and daddy. Here are a few ideas of where you can do your family worship:
- Kitchen table (our favorite)
- Living Room
- Family Room
When To Have Family Discipleship?
We typically have ours after dinner time but you can have yours whenever best suits your family’s schedule. It’s better to have 15 minutes of family worship time than none.
Family Discipleship Schedule
To be successful at family discipleship, you want to make sure that you keep it short, and be consistent. Also, make sure that you give yourself grace for the days when you just can’t do it because those days happen and that’s A-Okay!
Be sure to give your little ones grace too, especially if you’re new to family discipleship because their little bodies tend to hop and bop around a lot when they are learning something new or they could just be having a rough day. It happens, mama! Oh. And give yourself grace too!
Our family worship time typically looks a little bit like this:
- Review catechism questions
- Bible Reading (One Chapter from the Old Testament, One from the New)
- Read devotional
- Sing to 2-3 worship songs or hymns
Engaging Your Child’s Heart
The best thing you can do during family discipleship is to be joyful! Make it an enjoyable time in the Lord and something they look forward to doing, not something they dread. We want their hearts to be engaged and opened, not closed and hardened.
Allow for spontaneous conversations about the passages read, and don’t feel like you have to continue ALL of your reading when those things happen, and they will. Whenever we end up on rabbit trails we usually finish reading the chapter we are in and pick up where we left off next time.
If your children are asking questions that means they are learning, which is precisely what you want! When they ask a deep question, answer it biblically, to the best of your knowledge. Do you think if your children were attending public schools or watching secular television that they would get censored answers to their questions? Umm, no! The point is, if they are old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to get a biblically sound and mature (for their age) answer.
In our house, our 6-year-old has already asked very mature questions about sex, death, LGBT, etc. Each time we have not shied away from these questions but have given her sound, Biblical answers that are suitable for a 6-year-old yet not watered down.
One of the best things in the world is watching one of my kids engage in family worship and seeing their sweet little theological light bulb go off in their little heads as they ask a question or answer a question correctly. I just love it!
When implementing and building your family discipleship foundation, the most important thing is to have a plan and then prayerfully and joyfully engage your family.
What are some of your favorite ways to engage your family during family worship? I’d love to hear it in the comments!