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God calls each of us to a clear purpose: to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. God made this clear to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:4–9. Jesus also reiterated this when asked which commandment was the greatest. God, not our children, should be the center of our lives. If our hearts are set on following the Lord, we have taken the first step toward properly raising our children.

As parents, God has given us authority over our children. But we are to exercise that authority with the same love, grace, and discipline that God exercises over us, always recognizing that our children are watching us and are keenly aware of discrepancies between what we teach and what we do. Living out our faith in an authentic, vibrant way is an integral part of teaching our faith to our children.

By participating in the Aslan Academy, you are taking the first step toward following God’s command. Commit to praying for God’s help as you prepare how you will teach and model God’s Word and His commands to your children.

Read the following verses from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Leviticus 19:18) and from the New Testament (Matthew 22:34–40). What two key commands does God make?

According to the above verses, what should be the center of your life? What might that look like in your daily life?

If your children look closely at your life, how do you think they would describe your life’s primary focus? Ask their opinions.

Review how you spend your time and your money. See how that matches with how God is calling us to live?
Write down specific areas of your life that you believe are hindering your ability to love God and love your neighbor. Commit to praying regularly for God’s help to refocus your life.
Read Psalm 127. How does God describe children? How do you see your children as a blessing?
Read Matthew 18:10–14. How important is it to God that each of these “little ones” come to know Him? How does that change your thinking as a parent?
Read Deuteronomy 6:4–9. After giving His command to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength, what else does God say to do?
Read Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:1–3. What does God command children to do?
Read the next verse in the Ephesians passage (v. 4) and Colossians 3:21. Reflecting on these verses and the passage in Deuteronomy 6:7, what role and responsibility is God giving parents? Why do you think God is giving parents such authority over their children?

How is God making clear that He expects parents to show grace toward their children?

God expects children to submit to parents’ authority. Jesus is the perfect example with His obedience to the Father (Philippians 2:5–8). Children must be taught to submit to their parents’ authority; this involves discipline, done with love. Read the following passages (Proverbs 123:24; Proverbs 23:13; Proverbs 29:15; 2 Timothy 4:1–2; and review Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21). There are widely divergent views from parenting experts on proper discipline. Based on these verses, how  would you describe an appropriate plan and limits for disciplining your children?

God loves us unconditionally and will never leave us (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:4–5; Hebrews 13:5).
Read the story of the prodigal (Luke 15:11–32). What does this story tell us about how we are to love our children?

No matter what you teach your children, they will notice your example. Are you living by what you are teaching your children? If not, list below some of the inconsistencies and repent and commit to seriously addressing these issues.

In what ways are you setting a godly example for your children? List some of them and thank God for His grace and goodness. Pray that He’ll continue to strengthen and empower you to disciple your children. After all, He chose you to be their parents, so He will equip you for what you need.

C.S. Lewis Institute

C.S. Lewis Institute, In the legacy of C. S. Lewis, we develop wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ who will articulate, defend, share, and live their faith in personal and public life.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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