We pick up this week where we left off last week.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.2 Timothy 2:15-19
Before I can teach my kids, I must have something within me to teach them. I must be faithful in my personal devotional life. I must be constantly preparing myself so that I will be able to teach my children in all of life. Before I can show my children something, I must be able to see it for myself. Before I can expect my children to believe something, I must believe it. If you seek the Lord in His Word for yourself, you will be adequately prepared to teach your family.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.2 Timothy 2:20-26
I must also focus on more than head knowledge if I going to teach my children. I must ensure that my lifestyle is in accordance with what I am teaching. Many children leave the faith because of the hypocrisy they saw in their parents. One of the greatest ways to disciple your children is to model the Christian life for them. Far more is caught than is taught. Your children will do as you do, not as you say.
Although Paul is talking to Timothy about false teachers within the church, his wisdom here applies to our children as well. Fighting and arguing with them over things that do not matter only alienate your children. We need to humbly tell our children the truth as we pray for God to soften their hearts.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.Ephesians 6:4
We must be very careful that we do not provoke our children by a perverse lifestyle. Few things will turn a child off to the things of God more than a hypocritical parent. This does not mean that we are to be sinless; it means that we must model repentance for our children.
But speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine: that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience: that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed: the younger men likewise exhort to be sober-minded: in all things showing thyself an ensample of good works; in thy doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us.Titus 2:1-8
One of the greatest ways to prepare yourself to disciple someone is to be discipled yourself. Older men and women in the church should be willing to bring young parents under their wings and teach them. Discipleship should be a chain that spans the generations.