We've talked about building godly character and habits in our children's lives. Now, it's time to mentor our children, be planted in a local church, and reach the lost.
Mentor Your Children
Take your children under your wing and teach. Spend lots of time talking and listening to your children. Each of your children will be different, with different gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. Learn to give thanks for each child and make it your ambition to truly know and love your children. Give your child positive feedback as often as possible, affirming and encouraging your child to be the best he/she can be.
Look at Jesus and try to imitate his style of mentoring.
Children are born with a natural desire to please their parents and receive their respect and approval. When children do what they are supposed to do, praise and thank them. That's how God treats us. He doesn't have to reward us when we tithe because it's simply our duty, but He opens the floodgates of Heaven and pours out a blessing we cannot contain! Let's pour out blessing on our children's heads when they obey the Lord.
Provide opportunities for your child to grow in his giftings and abilities. Try to lead children from success to success to success. Think of things to do together that will make them feel proud of their accomplishments. If you are teaching them to play tennis, don't enroll them in a tennis tournament after the first lesson, but a game with another mother/daughter team would be fun. See mistakes as stepping stones to success, helping your child learn from each one.
Surround this mentoring relationship with other believers who share your goals and values. The best place to find these people is in the local church.
Be Planted in a Local Church
God makes local churches a microcosm of the larger Body of Christ with different ages, income levels, interests, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Don't limit your relationships in the church with people your own age. As a family, get to know older and younger people, as well as singles and married couples. Hopefully, there will be some other homeschooling families in the church you attend.
Church attendance is the starting point. Attend church each Sunday because you love Jesus and are committed to worship Him with other believers every Sunday. My children know that this is a priority for me. I will not miss church, whether we are on vacation, I've just had a baby, or there is something more fun going on. Since I was saved thirty-one years ago, this has been my way of life. It will not change.
Beyond attending church, get involved--be planted. A plant puts roots down. Roots are best cultivated through relationships. Get to know the people in your church. Don't wait for them to reach out to you. Invite them over for dinner or dessert and a movie. Attend church social event with the intention of building relationships with your fellow church members.
If your church has weekly Bible studies or home fellowships, I recommend getting involved. They are a great way to grow in your knowledge of the Word of God. But, they also provide a way to build other believers up in their faith. If possible, attend these meetings as a family, so you can all be growing together.
In Part III, we will talk about reaching out to those who are not yet saved. After all, disicples reproduce!
If you are looking for practical advice about homeschooling, you will love Joyful and Successful Homeschooling available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick. Full of tips, practical wisdom, and family stories from a family that's been homeschooling since 1991, Joyful and Successful Homeschooling has been a blessing to many homeschooling families with help on management, how to teach, educational philosophies, family dynamics, learning styles, how to keep your home running smoothly, and help to teach each subject with curriculum suggestions.
Happy Disciple Making!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)