Faith Training: Discipling Our Children at Home

H. Clay Trumbull wrote, “The training of a child’s faith is the most delicate and the most important duty that devolves upon one who is set to the work of child training. More is involved in it for the child’s welfare, and more depends upon it for the child’s enjoyment and efficiency in life, than pivots on any other phase of the training of a child. He who would train a child’s faith aright has need of wisdom, and yet more has need of faith--just such faith as that to the exercise of which he would train the child of his charge.”

Home educating means there are numerous academic subjects to study with our children. But there is no more valuable subject for the Christian home educator than teaching that causes our children to grow in faith, teaching that will bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition (instruction) of the Lord.

To bring up,” in the Greek language of the New Testament, is to raise and nourish our children. It is to meet both their physical and spiritual needs. This includes frequent time spent in God’s Word, the Bible, and in learning how to grow in Christ-like character. Faith also needs to be taught daily in the context of life together as a family, deliberately and intentionally.

We read about how this can be accomplished in Deuteronomy 6: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

First of all, we as parents must have a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot pass on to our children what we ourselves do not have. Secondly, faith training is not simply a matter of praying briefly as your day begins or just before science class and thinking that covers the faith aspect of your teaching. Faith and character are components of family living and home schooling all day, every day. Thirdly, our Christian homes should be filled and even decorated with words and art that make us consider and ponder God’s words to us all day long.

Parents are often at a loss about how to train their children in the Christian faith. Should they purchase a complete Bible curriculum? Although there are good curricula available, I would like to suggest some other ways to go about the business of faith training our children.

© 2008 Vicki Lewis