I’ve heard it said that faith is personal, but it’s not private. While it’s true that our faith is something we should share with others (as in telling people about Jesus), there’s another meaning here. The Christian life doesn’t work well when lived in isolation.
The Christian life doesn’t work well when lived in isolation.
We need to share the process of learning who God is, studying God’s Word, and living like He calls us to with others. The Bible calls this process discipleship. Here on the blog we often call it mentoring. It’s a simple and remarkably effective game plan for becoming more like Jesus. Do you wanna know the best part? You may not even need to change out of your jammies to make it happen.
God’s Design for Family
Sometimes when we consider discipleship/mentoring, we picture sitting in a Starbucks with our pastor’s wife. Sure, that’s one snapshot of how discipleship can look, but it’s not the whole picture. In fact, God built mentoring right into the family.
Proverbs 1:8 urges, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”
Fathers are created to give instruction. Mothers are designed to teach. Siblings have a vital role to play, too. Proverbs 17:17 tells us “a brother [or sister] is born for adversity.” In other words, your brothers and siblings are your lifeline. Part of the reason God made them was to act as a safety net for you (and you for them).
Perhaps the best classroom to learn a rhythm of discipleship is your very own home.
Why take the time to examine God’s design for family smack dab in the middle of a post on discipleship? Because we don’t want to give you the impression that a mentor is something you find “out there” beyond your front door or something you do only with girls who don’t live on your street. Perhaps the best classroom to learn a rhythm of discipleship is your very own home.
But . . .
I can almost hear your collective “buts.”
- But what if my mom just isn’t as spiritual as my youth pastor’s wife?
- But my siblings don’t respect me.
- But it feels awkward to talk about the Bible with my parents.
I get it. I do. But here’s the deal, mentoring (and being mentored) is supposed to be challenging. By design it may feel less like a warm cup of coffee with someone who loves to tell you how much you matter and more like being shaped and carved.
Proverbs 27:17 gives this description: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Your faith is personal. You can’t borrow it from your parents or download it into your sister’s brain, but it’s not private either. Talk about Jesus and His Word often. Discipleship can happen as you gather around the breakfast table, take road trips on family vacation, or put away the laundry together. It can be as simple as praying together before bedtime or as elaborate as organizing family devotions. Discipleship can happen tomorrow as you pour Lucky Charms into your bowl beside your parents and siblings. It doesn’t have to wait until God drops a mentor or mentee into your lap. It’s possible He already has.
Deuteronomy 6:6–9 instructs, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
In other words, talk about God and His Word wherever you go. Go therefore, and make disciples, starting with your family.
I’d love to hear from you:
- How can you share your faith more often with your own family?
- What faith lessons have you learned from your parents and siblings?