Parents must be proactive and desciple their child

In two months, my wife, Jen, and I will welcome our third child into the Mulvihill family. We have been told that we are having a girl — our first.

We eagerly anticipate the birth of Jennifer Jr. In preparation for our daughter’s birth, we have purchased baby furniture, bought lots of pink clothes and researched hospitals and doctors. We will pack our bags and plan our route of travel to the hospital.

This week, my wife went to the doctor’s office to discuss our birth plan.

The hours add up quickly when I begin to calculate the time spent planning for my daughter’s birth. This is time well-spent. Yet this planning cannot be exhaustive in my daughter’s life. If I spend this much time planning for her birth, then how much more time should I spend developing a plan to help my daughter know and love Jesus as she grows older?

I have been amazed over the last five years at the number of conversations that I have had with parents across the state of Minnesota who have no plan to disciple their child. Sadly, some parents today have been taught that their main job is to drop off their child at church so that the trained professionals can do the teaching.


This concept is foreign to the Bible. The church plays a vital, but not exclusive, role in nurturing a child’s faith. The primary responsibility is given to parents.

We’re comfortable planning for our retirement, setting goals for our company, and even ourselves, but many of us have never considered creating a plan to disciple our child. Raising a Christ-like child requires forethought.

The discipline of planning is highly recommended in the Bible. Proverbs 14:22 says, "Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness."

We need to be intentional as parents. There are so many chances that we have to teach and reinforce Christ to our children, but we often miss those opportunities because we have not thought ahead and been proactive to implement a discipleship plan.

Every time we put our child to bed, ride in the car, or sit together for a meal, we have the opportunity to influence our children. If we have not been proactive to plan for these opportunities, they will pass us by.

There is no shortage of organizations or people who have a plan for your child. The media, schools, churches, and sports teams encompass a fraction of those groups.

Their plans, whether good or bad, are not your plans. I want the privilege of teaching my child about God, how to develop spiritual habits, what it means to become an adult, and dozens of other topics. Deuteronomy 6:7-8 reminds us that it is a parent’s joy to have this responsibility.

Our children are learning plenty about life and God. The question is, "Who is the teacher?" Is that you? Or is that someone else? If we do not have a plan to teach our children the things of God, that void will be filled through other sources.

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