Q: How can I make sure discipleship doesn’t end when school does?
I love doing Q & A's on social media. This question came through during a Q&A Session and it stole my heart. I just had to give it it's very own blog post.
Question: Bible in curriculum pros/cons? How can I make sure discipleship doesn't end when school does?
Before I answer, I just want to say, this is actually less about curriculum and homeschooling and more about the culture of your home and the intentionality of your parenting, so homeschooling families and non-homeschooling families alike - read on!
Making sure that intentional discipleship never ends comes from an overflow of our own relationship with Christ and our own study of His word. Discipling means that you are allowing your children to follow you as you follow Christ. You literally cannot train them up to follow Christ unless you are doing so yourself. I know this seems obvious, but as a parent, sometimes I make my children’s discipleship more important than my own and then I quickly realize that I’m not discipling them at all because I’m not pursuing Christ for myself first.
If you, as the parent, are faithfully spending time in God’s word daily then it naturally becomes the lens through which you experience the day. It literally changes everything and your parenting or homeschooling time is no exception. For example, when you have spent time with God and in His word, then you see a beautiful sunrise through the window, your spirit is quicker to worship the Creator of the universe who painted it for you, discipleship means inviting your children into that moment of worship with you.
When your children are fighting with each other and using unkind words, if you have experienced God’s forgiveness of your own sin you will parent them out of a broken heart towards their sin as opposed to parenting them out of a frustration with their behavior. (Sheesh- that truth is preaching to my spirit in this very moment!)
While I am a lover of curriculums, books, discipleship plans, and family worship rhythms, true discipleship can’t be checked off of the to-do list and if you are a parent who is even asking this question, I am confident that your heart is for your children’s discipleship anyways and I would encourage you with these “action steps”
1) Be in God’s word regularly and continue to grow in your own sanctification so that your spirit is healthy and YOU are a disciple of Christ first.
2) Continue to pray for God to open your eyes and awaken your spirit for the everyday discipleship moments that are happening as you care for your children.
2) Be ready and present in those moments to turn your children’s eyes to the heart of God. The more that they experience God through you and alongside you, the more natural it will become for them to pursue and experience Him on their own.
Don’t you hate when you ask a specific question and you don’t get a straight answer? Ha! Me too! So here are my thoughts on the Pros/Cons of the Bible in curriculum.
Pros: The Bible is the best book ever written, by our Creator, FOR His creation, and the truth of His word transcends all circumstances, generations, and cultures. Therefore, I can’t think of a better book to teach my children from. I want them to leave my home feeling comfortable with reading it on their own, I desire for them to want to read it and cling to it for the rest of their life on earth. I might as well use that text to also teach them vocabulary, spelling, punctuation. I might as well use verses or passages of scripture for their “copy work” to increase the chances that it would be written on their hearts and memorized forever as God’s truth over them. The curriculum that I teach from includes scripture and teaches concepts from a biblical perspective, the kids and I read a devotion at breakfast, memorize scripture together, and play worship music throughout the day, we also have a rhythm of family worship built into our evenings. (I am not sharing from a posture of perfection on this matter, we are constantly improving and doing better when we can and are convicted during seasons of not doing this well)
Cons: I want them to cherish God’s word and I want to cultivate a desire in their hearts to KNOW God through His word. I do not want it to be a chore that they dread and something that their mom made them do so much when they were little, they never want to touch it again as adults. To try to combat that, I am intentional about timing and presentation. Our bible lesson is first, before our brains are exhausted, our memory verses are short, just like our attention spans, and our bible passages are engaging and I sprinkle in “secular” pieces of literature as well. If I notice that one of my littles is exasperated and just done for the day because of a challenging lesson with letters or numbers, I’m gonna let everything else go and if Bible is one of the subjects that we had left, that’s okay because I’m not dependent on that structured time, if I’m intentionally discipling them as we go about our day. If Bible lessons get left behind, I’ve also been known to reach for it after dinner and we can go through it as a family.