Disciple-making starts at home.
Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to make disciples of all people-groups. That includes strangers nearby and far away — red, yellow, black, and white. And that even includes our children.
In the words of Asaph the psalmist, we must not hide God’s mysteries and stories from our children, but we must tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done, so that the next generation will know them, even the children yet unborn.
And we must arise and tell them to our children, so that they will set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments from the heart, as faithful servants of the Lord. (Psalm 78:2-8)
To do what Jesus commanded requires baptizing people and teaching them to obey his word. (Mat 28:18-19) Teaching requires talking, training, and telling. That means mom and dad must take time to talk with their kids and tell them who Jesus is, what he said, what he did, and why it matters. Only in this way will our children become doers of the word and not hearers only. Name-bearers are meant to be world-changers.
One of the promises of the new covenant is that ministers of the word will turn the heart of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers in the power of the Holy Spirit (Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:17; Acts 2:39). We have worked towards that goal over the past several years, and now we can see this happening in all the families throughout our congregation.
You fathers and mothers are taking a deeper interest in the spiritual formation of your children. And they are responding to it favorably.
You are making real effort to bring up your children in the discipline and doctrine of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)
You are teaching your children — even from infancy — the sacred writings, which are able to make them wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 3:14-15) FYI: The Jesus Storybook Bible and a Children’s Catechism are great places to start.
You are bringing your children to worship assemblies, which pleases the Lord, because he calls all his people — even nursing infants — to gather in his presence. (Joel 2:16)
Your children worship the Triune God along with the rest of us, for “out of the mouths of infants and children God has ordained praise.” (Mat 21:6)
You are bringing your kids to Jesus, just like he commanded parents to do. This is fitting, for the kingdom of God belongs to them as much as it belongs to you. (Luke 18:16-17)
All this is good and pleases the Lord. So keep up the grace-works and don’t lose heart. Our God sees your labor of love and he will reward it with much fruit. Not only in your life, but also in the life of your children and grandchildren.
To a thousand generations of those who love him.