Second of a two part series on parental discipleship
by Marcelo A. Tolopilo ©
As we saw in our last article, the world through its values and culture and often through its laws and decrees attempts to separate children from the leadership of their parents. Scary as it may sound, if the forces of secularism at work in our world could pass a series of decrees barring us from mentoring our children and grandchildren they would. What would we do then?
My friends, we would continue on this same proven road of discipleship. We would look to God’s precious word in faith, pour it into our souls, allow it to nourish our spirits and kindle anew our love for God. From this inward treasure we would teach God’s ways to our children and grandchildren in the ebb and flow of life. This is God’s will for our families.
God’s summons on our lives to disciple our kids is clear and uncompromising. And that, my friends, is the voice we must heed no matter how loudly or menacingly the world screams in our ear. Let’s take a brief look at our summons to discipleship.
God’s clarion call to parents and grandparents, Deuteuronomy 6:1-9.
Nowhere is this loving duty of parents better expressed than in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. No doubt this is a familiar text to you, but please allow me to briefly extract the simple charge the Lord lays out for parents and grandparents in this familiar passage. First God through Moses reveals to us …
The substance of our calling, which is God’s Law, His word. This is the emphasis of verses 1-3. The Lord wants His people to understand the incomparable, and everlasting value of His word which is the substance of our discipleship. Note that in verse one God calls His word the “commandment,” “statutes,” “judgments” (all synonyms for scripture). God holds up His Law as if it were a multisided gem that shines its light of understanding into our lives through its many facets.
The substance of our teaching as well as the authority to teach our children does not rest on the opinions or wisdom of men, but on the eternal unchanging veracity and value of God’s truth. Secondly, the Lord through His servant Moses shows us …
The transforming power of our calling. In God’s design for discipleship His aim is not only to transform our kids, but you and me as well. In fact, as a logical priority God wants to change us first in order to make us change agents in the lives of our children. Please notice that we are instructed, commanded to take the substance of our calling, “These words,” God’s words, His Law, and place it where? On our hearts! “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart” (v.6).
The term “heart” in Hebrew “levav” is used to refer to the entire immaterial person. The real you! The heart is the seat of our reason (where we think), our passions (where we feel) as well as the throne of our volition (where we will to do). In other words, your heart is who you really are. In this discipleship process then, God instructs us to flood our hearts with the light of His life changing truth, allowing it to shine into every corner of our souls and shape the way we think, feel, act.
What’s more my friends the most important transformation the Lord wants to kindle in us as we disciple our children is a revived and dynamic, scripture-fueled love for Himself! “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (v5), which is ignited and fed by“These words”(v6), God’s words.
Living out our calling. From the developing and richly cultivated soil of our heart God calls us to lead and nurture our families spiritually. God beckons us to continually live out our evolving transformation before our children in the ebb and flow of life where they can see it and follow in our footsteps. “You shall teach them [God’s ways]diligently to your sons 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 up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
What a privilege and joy it is to lead our children and grandchildren in God’s proven paths. It is a journey that transforms us and prepares our family to live a godward life in a world that needs the Lord so desperately. Our great missionary task begins at home. May the Lord encourage and strengthen you in this lifelong endeavor, and may He make your family a beacon of gospel light to our world.