As parents we are charged with leading and growing our family as Christ leads the Church, helping each other—especially our children—come to know and grow up in Christ.
The word and concept “disciple” (and related “discipline”) means learner or student – It is not primarily punishment. Discipling for a Christian and within a family encompasses teaching, instruction, learning, and growing. Parents are to provide that in their home, whether they are together or separated by deployment.
It has well been said that “charity begins at home.” It is no less true that application of the “Great Commandment” and “Great Commission” also begin at home. As a married couple and/or as single parents of children it ought to be our desire and objective that husband, wife, and children all grow in their knowledge and love of God and in the practice of all He has taught; we are to be “discipling” each other and as well as those who come into the home. The first and primary relationship is that between husband and wife; it has been well said that after loving God, the best thing a father can do for his children is to love [agape] their mother. (Of course, the same is true from the mother to the children’s’ father). Then, serving together the “one flesh” team of husband and wife seek to “train up [their children] in the way they should go…” (Proverbs 22:6).
Study the following biblical references and consider how they address the questions listed below. If using this outline with a Small Group, consider assigning different Scriptures to different individuals and relating them to one or more of the questions. Then scroll down the page to review our recommended resources for the topic of Stages of Growing as a Christian and consider how the various articles or podcasts provide further insights relating to this topic.
Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 28:19-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 5:21-6:4; Proverbs 2:1-11, 22:6; Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:1-13; Proverbs 18:13, 21; Acts 18:1-3,18-28.
- Do you understand your spouse as “a helpmate”? How do you help each other?
- How does the “Great Commission” (Mt 28:19-20) apply in the home? What do its two imperatives, baptizing and teaching to obey… indicate as goals in the raising of children?
- Are you praying for the opportunity, and are you prepared to share the Gospel with your children?
- How are the members of a family to “submit to one another” (Eph 5:21), in particular wives to husbands, husbands to wives, children to parents, fathers [and mothers implied] to children? What goal is the husband/father to seek for his wife and children?
- What does the writer of Proverbs 2 (and 22:6) indicate is the outcome desired in child rearing? What can we learn from Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 and Ephesians 6:4 about how we facilitate this happening?
- What can we learn about disciplining children from Proverbs 13:24 and Hebrews 12:7-11?
- How might the wisdom of Proverbs 18:13 & 21 relate to the command to fathers of Ephesians 6:4 to avoid “exasperating” their children?
- Is your home a place for discipling others? Who might you and your mate welcome into your home—to fellowship, encourage, and disciple—to be a Priscilla and Aquila?