My kids are getting to the age where they can ask serious questions about the faith.
Recently, we attended the funeral for Abby’s grandfather, Roy Whisler. It was a good funeral. Jesus was front and center. Roy’s nephew officiated, and Abby’s brother gave a eulogy. They both made it clear that Roy believed in Jesus. The saving message was presented clearly by Roy’s nephew. I hope my funeral will be like that.
The night before, we went with the kids to see Roy’s body. I wanted them to see their great-grandfather. Scout didn’t know what was going on. Daphne understood and was troubled and didn’t want to go near the body. But Zane didn’t seem troubled. He went up real close.
“So…is it true that one day, Grandpa Whisler is going to walk around on his legs again?” Zane asked.
I said, “Yes.” We talked about what Jesus promised about the resurrection of the dead and how He said:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live (John 11:25).
While Grandpa Whisler’s spirit is in heaven right now with Jesus, one day, when Jesus comes back, the dead will be resurrected, and we’ll all meet Jesus in the air in our bodies.
“But what if Grandpa Whisler becomes bones? Is he going to walk around in bones?”
Believe me, little kids as young as five can think about the deep questions of the faith—if you give them a chance!
My point is, it’s important to disciple your kids and grandkids from a young age.
I’m reading Winfield Bevins’s Grow at Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Family Discipleship. We use his Field Guide for Family Prayer at home, to give some simple structure to our family prayer. I wanted to see what Bevins had to say about family discipleship.
He uses Deut 6:5-9 as a paradigm for what you should be doing:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut 6:5-9).
According to this passage, who has the responsibility to teach children about God?
In other words, you.
Bevins thinks parents are often confused about that point:
Many parents believe that it is the church’s responsibility to raise their children in the faith. Too often, people think that the church is more like a babysitting service to watch our kids for a few hours a week. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the church is important, the Bible tells us that the home is the primary place of learning the Bible and giving moral instruction (Grow at Home, p. 7).
You have to teach your kids about God and Jesus and the gospel.
And the way you teach your kids doesn’t have to be complicated.
You don’t need special training or a fancy curriculum or even to set aside a special time during the day.
Discipling your kids can be as simple and as natural as talking to them throughout the day. As Deuteronomy says, “talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” And when you attend a funeral, too.