True Discipleship: Your Kids
Once again, we were going to do one thing and as I suspected, the Father has moved me to teach on another subject. Statistically speaking, about 85% of Torah observant people came into this walk as adults. There are not many from my generation or the generation before mine that had much experience in Torah observance. Many of us were raised on Western Church values and ideologies. Given, the values are for helping people be better people but not so much as being obedient, God fearing individuals. They claim it and they think they know it but most the time, they are too often following the teachings of men. Thus, this rolls down the lines of generations, creating generations of people who follow suit with those same teachings and traditions of men. Then we move into the age that we are in now where there is an awakening happening. A people are rising and stirring trouble amongst some of the oldest and foundational church denominations in Western civilization.
The hardest part of our job is the Great Commission. Going out there and putting forth an effort to grow our family in Messiah and to help others achieve the same goals. Over the past two months, we have put a lot into discipleship. The elements and everything entailed but today we start in the home. Today we look at discipleship with our children. If there is a person that listens to this message that can honestly say that all the church leader families and see that the children were pillars of light for Yeshua, please raise your hand. Every time that I have met a church leader’s family, I have most often seen children buried in rebellion and disobedience. We have all seen it and heard about it. The pastor’s daughter was a floozy, sleeping with every boy in town. The son is a dead-beat high school flunk that sells drugs and manipulates being a pastor’s son to further a wicked agenda.
Think about this, if we don’t disciple our children, a person in our lives that we love, protect and raise, how can we disciple strangers? Often, we can find ourselves failing in this objective due to peer pressure, being soft or just plain loving too much. Let’s get started on discipling our kids and to do that we need to understand that it is commanded to do so and that’s where we will start.
6 And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,
7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up,
8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This is the command to parents to impress, mark, implore and instruct your children in the ways of the Father and all that He has commanded us to do. This is important because this is the Father putting an emphasis on the teaching of His commands to our children. Keep in mind what we are taught as kids. We are taught to love Jesus, get to know Jesus and explore the stories of the bible. I was never taught the commands, nor did I ever get told to follow the commands. I was only taught that the commands were given to Moses and in a child’s brain, these commands are for Moses and not for us. When I was taught the 10 commandments, the emphasis was to not kill, lie or steal. I wasn’t taught about false gods or remembering a Sabbath day. I wasn’t instructed not to have envy or not to covet. I was taught to love my neighbor and to live by the golden rule. This was what I was taught. Taking that type of upbringing and looking at my life and how it progressed, I can see why the Father’s teachings did not bring about a very fruitful adult life. As many of you know, I was a filthy, no good, dirty scoundrel. I lived in the law of sin and death. If I was brought up in the spirit that is being relayed in this section of scripture, is it plausible to think that my life would have been producing fruit for the Father? I think so.
Once we get the understanding that we need to teach our children the truth about the Father and His commands, we need to set realistic expectations for our children so that we, as parents, give our children a chance to grow without always feeling the brunt of failure. Does that make sense?
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children, but bring them up in the instruction and admonition of the Master.
Listen to the word here. It tells us as fathers which is also applicable to mothers not to provoke the children. Think about that statement for a moment. There are many ways to provoke a person or child. In this context that I’m bringing, there are many ways to provoke a child. If we have set the expectations so high that at every turn, your child feels failure, anger, regret, not good enough or undeserving we have at this point provoked. In the book of Proverbs, we are given a charge, a charge that many people don’t understand.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he turns not away from it.
This is the verse that parents need to etch on their minds and sear into their hearts concerning their children. This verse is the verse that never needs to be forgotten. This verse is a promise given to us from the wisest of all men, Solomon. Solomon is telling us quite clearly, if we train up a child in the WAY he should go. What way is Solomon speaking? We all know it’s the Father’s way. If we do that, our child will not turn away from it. This is the promise, this is the mistake. In the church, I would boast and say 95% of the children do not know about the true WAY that the Father has laid out for us. From the moment they are born to the moment they reach understanding, we are responsible for their upbringing. We are responsible for fulfilling the command to raise up the child in the ways of the Father. We are responsible for making a disciple out of our children. We are not commissioned to teach them sin, sex, secularism, tolerance, disobedience or any other non-biblical value that is taught in this world and in the world church system. We are responsible, challenged, commanded and held to the high standard and charge of raising our child up in the Fathers Way.
When we do this, when we start the path at birth, then the expectations are set for you and the chances of provocation are low. The chances that you sear and etch the Way of the Father into the mind and hearts of our children are statistically higher than those who rely on a church system and not an eternal system. This does not mean that we will not ever have to discipline our children. It does not mean that our children will never be disobedient, and it doesn’t mean that our children will be perfect. What it means is that our children will live for the Father. Which brings us to the next topic at hand, discipline.
11 And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
5 A fool despises his father’s discipline, But he who heeds reproof is clever.
Discipline is seen as a show of love from the parents toward the children. When we lack discipline which we can proof of that in the Proverbs. Discipline is vital in our walk and when we are training our children in the ways of the Father to be a disciple, they need to learn discipline to be successful in their faith.
24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him, seeks him with discipline.
Solomon makes the statement quite clearly. Our inability to discipline our children shows hate in a sense. The reason behind this is because if we truly want the best for our children and for them to live a sacrificed life which is a disciplined life, it is needed for them to have discipline and to be disciplined. There is so much more to discipling your child that we need to go through.
Our next step is a game changer in most families when this truth is brought about. Make discipleship a way of life and not a lesson plan. That’s what the past two months have been about. We have been teaching discipleship, but it is showing you that this commission we have is a way of life and not just a simple job. That is the whole point of Deuteronomy 6 that we read earlier. That’s what Yeshua means when He says, take up your cross and follow me.” This is a life long decision and if you make it a way of life and pour that same dedication, love and admiration that you have for the Father and the Way into your children, just imagine the fruit that’s going to grow.
Make your focus and your life tunnel begin and end with Yeshua. Transforming our children to be good people can often lead us down the path of moralism. We don’t want to get on that path because it’s a path that is separate from the Father. When you put your child on the path to the Father, moralism is a by-product of this path in truth. It’s vital to give our children the bread of life and not the junk food of fools. It’s imperative. We can find ourselves keeping our child away from Yeshua if we don’t steer away from moralism.
14 But יהושע said, “Allow the young children and do not stop them from coming to Me, for of such is the reign of the heavens.”
We allow the children to come to Yeshua right here, right now by teaching them what we know about the Father and what the Word says about our way of life as a set-apart people that has come out of the world. Think about this, when we look back at our childhood, wouldn’t it have been much nicer to be taught what we know now rather than what we knew then? I certainly wish that I would have been brought up the right way, but I wasn’t. I’m just blessed the Father called me and I listened and one day, I finally answered back with a resounding and unwavering HalleluYah Yes!
Another thing we need to keep in mind is that we aren’t needed to be a boot camp sergeant but rather we need to guide. We have authority but if we break them into submission, we can miss our mark. See, if we are too hard, we push our children away. If we are too soft, they push us over. We must find the balance so they will come to us and we can go to them. They need to know that they can come to you and not be condemned for every mistake. Teaching moments are easier when our children can come to us. They will also be more willing to listen.
As we are teaching our children, it can help us hone our own craft in our faith of Messiah. Get better in how we act, live by example and proclaim our faith, to name a few. We will find ourselves diving into the Word more often and praising Him with greater shouts and joy. When we do this, it helps us to teach by example. When we say do as I say and not as I do, it harms us and our child. We need to lead by example and within ourselves we will grow better through our own leadership.
12 So that, my beloved, as you always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much rather in my absence – work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling,
13 for it is Elohim who is working in you both to desire and to work for his good pleasure.
Is it not so farfetched to think that if you are leading by example and trying your best to show, portray and teach your child this walk, it would lead to your own working out your own deliverance? This parenting thing comes with great responsibility and accountability. We are given a gift because if done right, our greatest joy will be a spirit perfecting effort as a by-product of making a disciple in our children.
Finally, we must always remember to pray with and for our children. They are sponges and they will do what you do. They will say what you say. If you pray, they will learn to pray. If you cuss, they will learn to cuss. If you smoke, they will learn to smoke. The list goes on and on.
In closing, for parents and those with kids in your lives, discipleship begins with them. Do not underestimate the power of raising a disciple. Do not underestimate the responsibility of having that child in your life with whom you are given for discipling. If your discipling efforts are failing or falling on deaf ears, let this year that we are in change for you. Try your best with all your efforts to turn it around. Do NOT give up, do not give in and do not be lazy. This child is your heavenly gift from above, treat it as such. Do we have any questions?