We want to give our children the best that we can, right? The best provision that we can give them is Jesus—to teach them all about him and how to have relationship with him. You and I are called to make disciples, and our primary disciples are our children. It is not up to us to figure out how to make our child a disciple. It’s up to us to decide to live like a disciple and embrace Jesus’ command to make our children disciples. He will show us how and he will do the heart-work. Let’s get started. Listen in!
Episode 5 Resources: Passing On What We Value
- Matthew 28.19-20 (NIV)
- Matthew 4.19 (ESV)
- Grab a copy of my book, Becoming A Peaceful Mom ~ Through Every Season of Raising Your Child
- Find me on Instagram @teresadglenn
Read Episode 5 Transcript
If you’ve had a chance to listen to the first four episodes, I hope you’re beginning to see two things especially: (1) that God is with you at home, in your car, at the store to help, love, and lead you as you raise your child; and (2) in the ordinary stuff of your day, God is shaping you, your child, and your relationship.
Today I want to begin to talk about our role in teaching our child about God, throughout the years we raise them.
When we become a mom or dad, we take time to consider what we want to teach and expose them to. We hope to pass down, what we think they need to know and what we believe will help them in life. We teach them life skills, social skills, and expose them to all sorts of experiences and activities. We plan how they’ll be educated and fun ways to spend time together.
These are good things and contribute to the quality of life of our child. After all, we want to give them the best, that we can, right? And so, above all of these, the very best provision that we can give our children is Jesus—to teach them all about him and how to have relationship with him.
This needs to have priority in our plans, so that we intentionally weave things about God and talking to him into the fabric of our ordinary day. He created your child for a loving relationship with him; he designed her abilities, and he has written all her days. Imagine how her life and your relationship can be impacted, if she opens her heart to Jesus, learns to depend on him, and trusts God love for her! Like us, she’ll probably still make some unwise choices over the years, but her heart will have seeds that God will faithfully grow all her days—and those days include the days in your home.
In Ch 28.19-20 (NIV) of the apostle Matthew’s gospel account, Jesus commands his disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we become his disciple or follower. His command extends to us: You and I are called to make disciples, and our primary disciples are our children. If you ever question your value and purpose, this is a very important part of it, as you raise your kids.
And keep this in mind . . . When Jesus gave this commission, none of his disciples had walked with him for very long. The longest relationship was 3 years old, and some were probably only days old. He knew they would wrestle with feelings of inadequacy—so he assured them that he would always be with them, to lead and equip them.
The same is true for us. We have Jesus with us. We have God’s word to help us learn about him and what it looks like to be his follower and how to make disciples.
It is not up to us to figure out how to make our child a disciple. It’s up to us to decide to live like a disciple and embrace Jesus’ command to make our children disciples. He will show us how and he will do the heart-work.
When we make this decision, y’all, it is a game-changer.
Now just so you know, when I made this decision, it was more like a reaction to how unequipped I felt. I had just finished reading one of our 2 toddler books about God to our son Terrell, when I had this random stream of thought—What comes after he outgrows these books? He’s learning animal sounds, family names, and even little phrases of songs… Hmm, should I be teaching him things about God.
In a split second, anxiety kicked in: How do you do that? I don’t know enough! Later that day after I’d exhausted myself fretting, I whispered out loud: God, I want to tell our kids about you. I want them to love you and learn to depend on you. But I have no idea how to begin or what to say when I do. I haven’t even been reading the Bible that long. I need you to lead me and show me how to do this.
If you feel anything like I did, take some time to talk to God about it. He knows your story and circumstances. Over the next few days, I realized there was a shift in me: I still wanted to learn about God for myself, but now I also wanted to be able to share with our little boy.Also, I realized that I was starting to try to be attentive for ways that God might show me to mention him during a day. Jesus’ words, “Make disciples” became personal, and the greatest relief was that I wasn’t in charge. This is what God does in our heart when we reach out to him. He heard my anxious words of overwhelm and received them as an invitation for his help and power.
Your child may be much older. Your relationship with Christ may be new. Or, maybe you’re returning to a relationship with him. God is with you and he is faithful.
Telling our child about God, about Jesus, and how to have a relationship with him is a journey, not an event. We will do this for a lot of years. That we begin matters. Begin.
Decide to live like a lifelong learner and ask for God’s help to follow him closely. Pray to see yourself as a disciple—like the early disciples we read about in the 4 gospels. They were ordinary people, with all sorts of backgrounds. They tried to live the way that Jesus taught them, and they practiced making disciples while they continued to learn.
Finally, take heart with Jesus’ promise to his first disciples and now, to you and me, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4.19) Jesus will make you. Jesus will make you.
Thank you for the privilege to be your disciple and that you are always with me. Help me follow you. Thank you for your promise to shape me, to make me, as I try to tell my child about you. Amen.