Raising Tiny Disciples at Home
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. –
While on a Sunday morning walk, I noticed a vehicle with cartoon figures of a mother, father, and children on the back window along with vinyl words which read, “Raising Tiny Disciples.” Those words struck a chord, as they are so descriptive of Christians’ homeschooled family life. As I sat at the kitchen table of my niece and nephew and their five homeschooled children, with Scripture and a cup of tea, I saw much evidence of a home centered on raising tiny disciples: their Bibles, a hymnal, Sonlight curriculum, children’s artwork of God’s creation, a large children’s library, and Bible storybooks.
The whole point of raising a family is to raise disciples of Jesus. The children learn through the love and patience and care that mom and dad model. They learn through the didactic teaching of Scripture. They learn through experiences of service to others. They learn through the daily prayers of mom and dad on their behalf. And, they learn through the Holy Spirit as He calls them to be His children and teaches them through daily living.
The Work of Raising Tiny Disciples at Home
Raising tiny disciples of Jesus while homeschooling is not easy. It requires extraordinary love, patience, and intentionality. Love overflows in the homeschool setting and intentionality is the name of the game if you want your children to follow Jesus through their childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
The spiritual lives of homeschool families are not perfect. There are still regular occurrences of conflict, meltdowns, resistance to parental authority (e.g., children who don’t want to nap or go to bed, children who have their own ideas about how to govern their school day, etc.), and resistance to God’s authority (e.g., why do we need to go to Sunday School?). However, it is all worth it… when you are raising tiny disciples of Jesus, you are fulfilling the most God-honoring responsibility of your lifetime.
Reflect and Pray
- Lord, where am I experiencing tension or resistance in the spiritual training of my children?
- Abba, do I keep the end goal in mind of training tiny disciples to bring you glory even when I am fatigued or frustrated?
- Jesus, am I still carving out a quiet space with you in my daily routine? (If not, how can I be more intentional in this area?)
Lord Jesus, please fill me with your peace, even on turbulent days when my children resist all semblance of order, reception to your word, and civility with one another. Infuse my home with your peace, grace, and wisdom and help me keep foremost in my mind, no matter the teaching and household responsibilities, that my primary duty as a homeschool parent is to raise tiny disciples of Jesus. In the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
June Hetzel, Ph.D., Dean of Education, Biola University