Seth McBee wrote a helpful article, How Kids Learn to Follow Jesus. His purpose is not to write a to-do list or formula, but to give us a vision for living "normal life with intentionality."
Using the framework of Deuteronomy 11, McBee explains that parenting is holistic discipleship, with two key principles:
- "Discipleship is for the head, heart, and hand. We are to teach our children to know the gospel, believe the gospel, and obey the gospel."
- "The discipleship process is happening all the time, in everyday life. Every moment of the day is a chance to speak, teach, and demonstrate the gospel."
Not only has this article helped me in my parenting, but as I've done my own personal devotions, I've been seeing the theme of head, heart, hands all throughout scripture, especially in the context of discipleship. I hope to write more on that in the future.
For now, I'll give you some excerpts from each of these three categories. And note that it's the same concept in How to Make Disciples (the source of the image above).
Head: Knowing the Gospel
We want our kids to know theology. We want them to know who God is, what God has done, who we are and how we should live.
The issue is our kids get bored with the many way we have tried to teach this in the past. Memorize this verse, sit here for Sunday school, or listen to mommy and daddy read from the Bible. Noe of those things are bad, but what if we could do all those things in ways that they'd actually love and look forward to and ask to do?
Heart: Believing the Gospel
Not only do we want our children to learn theology and mission through teaching, but we want them to believe it and know it in their hearts. We want it to go from information, to transformation. . . .
Find out how to affect their heart by seeking the Spirit and continue to do it, even if you don't get the reaction you were hoping for.
Hands: Obeying the Gospel
Not only do our kids need to know about God in their head, and know what he's done in their heart, but they also need to work this out as disciples and missionaries. We have to know that our children are not missionaries only when they get older. They are missionaries now.
Be sure to read the full article.
And on a related note, watch this short video by Paul Tripp, on How to Disciple Children for Misison.