“Mothers, don’t forget that you are the shapers of destiny, co-operators with God, sculptresses of young lives, and quiet servants of necessity.” Elizabeth Elliot

At times, our society seems to underestimate the importance and value of being a mom.

I was a stay-at-home mom for 23 years, and I loved it! It was a privilege and blessing to be home with our kids and to homeschool them.

But there were several times throughout those years of raising and teaching our kids that I wondered if I was stifling my impact in the world because I was home.  I felt like I needed to do something “bigger and more important”!

I didn’t fully recognize the huge ministry I had right in my own home, with our own children.

One of the biggest roles we have as mothers is leading our children to faith in God and discipling them.  Jesus did relationship discipleship, investing in his disciples and spending a lot of time with them.  He calls us to follow His example. For mothers, those He’s put in our lives to disciple and minister to first and foremost are our children.

As mothers, we have a huge influence on our children.  The example and guidance we give them will impact their lives more than we’ll ever fully know.

As I ponder the last couple decades of my life, I see how God used me in my children’s lives despite my crazy notion that I had to do bigger things for Him than I was already doing in my own home. (Thank you, Lord!)

My discipleship efforts have multiplied as our adult children serve Jesus in their lives now.  That’s how discipleship works, it expands and reaches more and more people as the person who was discipled begins to disciple others.

I write this post to encourage mothers everywhere, and especially homeschool moms who might be feeling a little weary.

Moms, the sacrificial pouring out of yourself for your children is making a difference!

If you’re a mom, discipling your own children in their faith is your God-given ministry.

 

How can we most effectively disciple our children?

 

Lead by example

Jesus led by example. Our children will learn more from our example than from what we say!

How is your walk with the Lord?  Is He first in your life? Do you spend time with Jesus every day, reading His Word and praying for guidance and strength? Do your children see you living out your faith? Do you pray with them and for them often?

If you want your children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, then you need to love Him that way first. (Matthew 22:37)

We need to have our mind transformed by God’s Word to help lead them towards God so their lives can be transformed. (Romans 12:1-2)

We ought to love Jesus so much that His love pours out of us to our children.

Teach them using God’s Word

A daily time of family Bible reading is a great way to start your day. There are so many good resources today for teaching our children about God.

One of our favorite Children’s Bible’s to read aloud together was written by Catherine Vos, “The Child’s Story Bible”  (for ages 4-11). There are just enough pictures to help the younger children stay tuned and it’s written in a way children can understand, yet it remains Biblically sound.

When they’re old enough to read on their own, they can have their own Bible and be encouraged to read it. They also need to learn how the Bible is organized and about Biblical history. Walk through the Bible is a great resource for this.

Memorize scriptures together that help them navigate life better, such as verses on trusting God, living godly lives, etc. “Fighter Verses” a ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church,  or the AWANA program are great resources for this.

Growing the Fruit of the Spirit, A Bible-based Unit Study is another wonderful resource to foster spiritual growth in your children.

growing the fruit 2nd edition.front cover

 

Teach them to pray

Include prayer in your everyday life. As struggles arise, pray with your child, showing them that we need to seek God’s help.  Remember to watch for His answers and praise Him for how He responded. Keeping a prayer journal with your children is a fun way to do this.

When our children were younger, we wanted a piano so they could learn to play. My husband began praying with the children that God would provide us with a “free piano”!  I must confess; I struggled to believe God would give us a free piano. But God did answer his prayer! In less than a month, we were offered a nice, FREE piano and the person who gave it to us had no idea we were praying for it!  What a great lesson for our children (and me).

Keep in mind, we need to be careful we’re praying for the things that God would truly want us to have.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  I John 5:14

Teach your children to pray by your example of bringing everything to God in prayer.

 

Serve the Lord together!

God may have places for you to serve outside of your home as well.  Having your children help you is a great way for them learn to serve others, plus it will have a huge impact on your children. Jesus taught His disciples about serving by having them help him as he ministered to others.

We were part of a church plant that met in a school, and our children often served alongside us unloading the church trailer and repacking it after the service. They helped babysit for our small group meetings. They helped me make and deliver meals to new mothers or others in need of help. We packed meals together at Feed My Starving Children. This led to them serving in their churches as they became adults.

Can you find ways to serve together as a family?

Praise God for this great gift of being a mother!

Don’t let anyone tell you that being home with your children isn’t important because it’s a HUGE MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY! God will use you mightily in your children’s lives as you seek Him and ask for His guidance.

I’d love to hear from you!

Please take a moment to share a resource or idea that has helped you as you’ve been discipling your children.