I have many women say to me, I love the idea of discipling my children – but shouldn’t my husband be doing it? There are two situations where Mums find themselves stuck wishing their husbands would pick up discipleship in the family. First is when Dad isn’t a Christian and second when circumstances or choices hinder a Christian Dad from teaching his kids.
(I actually thought of a 3rd and added that at the end)
Though I believe it is God’s best to have father and mother both teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord, we cannot insist, or expect our husbands to do anything where his heart is not at – this is an issue between him and God. All we can do is pray, keep our tongue sweet, and our attitude and actions loving and honest while we do what God has put on our heart. Of course, if your husband is against the very things on your heart, that is another matter.
I believe with all my heart, that you – the mother, can disciple your children (and should be). Here’s why:
- I am reminded of Timothy from the Bible, he was discipled by his mother and grandmother. We don’t hear about his father, but we know he was Greek. We can read into that – or not – but either way, the mother and Grandmother are noted for teaching him the things of the Lord.
- We are all called (men and women) to make disciples according to the Great Commission (Matthew 28) and our children are our first disciples.
Like I said, it is best when both Father and Mother teach their kids God’s word but your children do not need to not hear God’s word, and not be challenged to respond because it is on you the mum to teach it.
My husband, Peter, worked away from home for most of our children’s childhood – kind of like Fly In Fly Out – though as a Vet. He often wasn’t around at the times when we were doing family Bible study, or early in the mornings when the kids had questions about what they were reading in their Quiet Times. But I never once thought Peter wasn’t being responsible for his family – we are in this together, even though I was doing the hands on, face-to-face, day-to-day discipleship. Peter still contributed to their hearts – to their life, it just looked different than the way I did it. When he was around he worked intentionally at building relationship with the kids and sharing his life with them so that he was invited into their inner hearts and faith walk – it was just different.
When circumstances aren’t as we imagined they would be, or wish they were, or thought they should be – it is easy to struggle and put it all on our husband. But God doesn’t do that – God gives each of us the responsibility to share our faith. He gives each of us, mother and father the responsibility to raise the children.
So step out in faith, and walk in the ways God has put on your heart, and believe that God will be faithful – as He always is.
The 3rd Reason why Dad’s aren’t Doing it:
So we’ve already talked about that Dad may not be a Christian, or Dad may not be around at optimum times but the third reason Dad may not be teaching his kids about the Christian life is that he doesn’t know how. Maybe he wasn’t raised in a Christian family, maybe he was but doesn’t like the way his folks did it, maybe he has just never thought he could. Well I believe he can – and I hope you believe your man can too. By the way – does he know that you believe in him this way?
Over to you:
So the heart work to do is to check in with each other.
- Ask yourself – am I holding back from teaching my kids about Christ and all that he taught because I think my husband should be doing it? If your answer is yes, start thinking of ways you can step up (not usurping your husband but either adding to what he is teaching, or picking it up because it is your responsibility as much as his).
- Ask your husband – If he is teaching your kids from his faith – ask him if there is any way you can help him do this better.
- Or if he is not, and yet is a Christian – ask him about how you can do this part of Christian parenting together.
- If your husband is not a Christian, continue to teach your kids, and pray for him.
Christian Parenting is About Discipleship in the Family: Christian Parenting is about discipleship in the family. As Christians we are called to make disciples; and our children are the first people we are to teach.
My Husband Won’t Change – and What you can do About it: We all know we can’t change our husband but it doesn’t mean we don’t try! But there is only one thing we can really do and that is look after our own heart.
Discover a Discipleship Approach to Homeschool: A discipleship approach to homeschool creates a whole-life focus where we teach, train, guide and help our kids to grow in every aspect of their life.