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Logos Prep Insights


Passing Down Your Faith Out of Relationship

November 03, 2022
By Leah Rabb

I can remember being eight years old when our pastor encouraged a congregational fast.  My daddy said that my brother and I, and he and my mama would all fast on the following Sunday until 3:00 p.m.  Now I was fine during Sunday school and the church service, but when we got home and it wasn’t lunch time I was defeated.  I remember the four of us gathering around the kitchen table and my daddy saying we were going to read the Bible and pray. I knew I was too hungry for that, but because it was perfectly normal to sit around the table as a family I sat right down.  We prayed for a few minutes and then, before my brother and I began to melt down, he started reading in Exodus about the plagues.  He created this wild picture story to help us memorize the 10 plagues.  We laughed and acted out the story and before we knew it was after 3 o’clock and lunch time was upon us. Growing up it was normal to pray, laugh, talk and seek the Lord as a family. We lived a lot of life together.

If you know me, you know I love being with my own kids a ridiculous amount. As a parent of four, my husband and I lived our lives with our kids purposefully nearby. Now hear me, there were days when relational proximity went out the window because mama needed some alone time! But on a whole, we endeavored to be together whenever possible, because we knew in order to be relatable with our kids we had to have relational proximity with them so  that we could lead and influence their lives. So as parents, when we messed up, we repented and said, “I’m sorry” and encouraged our kids to do the same with each other. When we did well, we celebrated.  When we failed, we got back up and tried again. And when we talked about the Lord and how He worked, it was just as easy as talking about the weather or the Astros. We did ministry together and lawn work together, we worshiped together and cooked dinner together, we talked about hard things and silly things together, the holy and the mundane.  Now you can’t include your children in every conversation or activity.  There are burdens in life that they aren’t meant to bear yet, but I want to encourage you to build good, healthy relationships with your kids by doing life with them and then disciple them out of that relationship.

“We want you to have a family that never doubts just how much you love them because in your relationship your affection and commitment are blatantly obvious.” says Adam Griffin in the book, Family Discipleship. When kids operate out of a relationship, it grows a heart eager to please the person over them and that is different from attempting to “be good” only when they know they are being watched. “A well-behaved child isn’t the same thing as a discipled child”, says Griffin. “Don’t raise a Pharisee who knows and follows the rules of God but whose heart is far from Him.” Relational discipleship encourages a heart transformation, not the path of least resistance.

No relationship is perfect. Seasons of parenting look different relationally.  No family has the ability (or desire) to stay together every minute of the day, but with the time you do have, don’t strive for perfection or you will live disappointed and discouraged. Just set your sights on enjoying the company of your children and you might be surprised how much discipleship takes place with no pain, no plan, no devotional, no formal service and no theology degree.  Just talk as you toss a ball, or cook a meal, ride to practice or sit around a fire. Invest in a healthy relationship with your children and discipleship will flow from the heart of God, through you, to them.  This doesn’t happen overnight. It is a day in and day out activity to grow this discipleship relationship. Be encouraged by Bob Goff who says, “No book is a chapter, no chapter tells the whole story, no mistake defines who we are. Hope makes our lives page turners.” So turn the page with hope today on a new approach to relational family discipleship and watch God move.

Becky Ross
Primary Education Principal