Discipleship homeschooling, or discipleship parenting, is all about the relationship we need to build with our kids. It is through relationship that we speak to their hearts. They are watching what we believe, how we respond or react to people and circumstances, how we make decisions, what we are passionate about and if we do anything about that. Our kids want to copy someone – we need to be that someone in their life.
In this day and age where productivity is the measure of success it is hard to give relationship building its right place in our life. We must see that building a relationship, strengthening and encouraging a relationship is doing something very productive, in fact we cannot put a price on this. We know this to be true, we give lip service to that idea, but when the rubber meets the road, in the daily grind will we put relationships first?
I’m not saying we don’t have to do the other things in our life, they are our responsibilities, but we do need to be honest, and give time to be with our kids.
- Get to know them, their quirks, their passions, their strengths, their weakness
- Let them get to know you – your quirks, passions, strengths and weaknesses
- Have fun together – be social together – laugh together, play together
- Be there when they are sad, and have them with you when you are sad
- Pray together – good times and hard times
- Say sorry and ask for their forgiveness when you mess up, and be complete with your forgiveness when they ask for it from you
- Surprise them with a gift, a hug, a date, a note, or do something for them unexpected (though these are in keeping with love languages – most kids would feel loved by each and every expression – don’t limit yourself to one way of showing your kids you love them)
- Talk, talk, talk
For me as a mum, I am challenged with this when it comes to interruptions. I have a to-do list, and a plan for each day and then something will happen. One of the kids may be having a hard day, my husband may change his plans, something breaks and makes a mess, someone has a question that they need help with, someone is sick… interruptions to my plans. But when relationships is our number one priority, it means we can lay aside the math, the critical thinking lesson, the mopping the floor and cleaning the windows, the grocery shopping or balancing the books. These things pale into insignificance when my child has a heart issue.
A heart issue is where the very being of their life – their beliefs, their will, character, emotions and passions are being challenged, stretched, tested, defined. We have to be there for them when these things happen, and if we haven’t been there in the good times, our kids will shut down and we will have lost the opportunity to help shape their heart, shape their life. These heart issues start from very young – it isn’t something we need to step into when they hit the tween years – no, we need to start building relationship with them now, letting them know they are precious to us, and that they are our priority.