Building Gospel Categories In Daily Life
The way to dig a moat is to dig in the same spot in the ground, in the same direction, over and over. Now what do moats have to do with family discipleship?
The Power of Repetition
In his great wisdom and design, God has given parents a powerful tool for teaching children the truth: repetition in real life living. Digging in the same spot in the same direction, over and over.
Children demonstrate an amazing propensity for making sense of the world around them. And they do so by creating categories to organize all of the new information they are constantly taking in. Your toddler, for instance, is forming categories of mommies and daddies, yummy and yucky foods, good guys and bad guys, to name a few
They’re Already Doing It
Our kids are digging little paths of understanding in the ground all the time.
Now, we know that our job (and joy) as parents is to disciple our kids in the truth, leading their hearts to the gospel of Christ. What would it look like to build gospel categories in their lives? What channels might we begin digging to ready these young hearts for the work that only the Holy Spirit can do?
While we have them in our homes, we can build categories of good and evil, right and wrong, telling the truth, repentance and humility, forgiveness, grace and mercy, and redemption. Remember that the world has its own twisted definitions of each of these.
Here are some encouragements for gospel category building in everyday life.
1. Our teaching must not only be marked by declaration, but also demonstration.
Many kids grow up knowing the truths they were taught to recite (and this is a good thing), but do these truths have feet? We have the profound opportunity, as those whose lives our kids are watching, to demonstrate that the truths we profess are true in practice. They can take these gospel truths to the bank.
2. Our daily lives together are a powerful tool.
Category building is an opportunity uniquely given to parents first, through the gift of repetition in real life living. When a child notices her parents reading the Word each morning and night, it will be impressed upon her that God’s Word is of value. Repetition is key, and by God’s grace, we have our daily lives at our disposal for the repetition of glorious gospel truths.
3. Consider your mistakes as your greatest opportunity.
Thankfully for us, the gospel is about repentance, and not performance. In daily living, we sin against each other all the time. But when a child sees a parent confess out loud their own sin regularly, he will learn the familiar scent of that humility and make an acquaintance with the road toward confession of sins, himself.
Dear parent, don’t resent the mundane and ordinary days. There is a powerful thing happening in the life of your home, and with God’s help, you can wield the power of daily living for gospel readiness.
The way to blaze a trail in the wilderness is to walk it over and over, signaling to those who would come after us that this, in fact, is the way they should go.
For Further Reading:
Worldview article from Focus on the Family
Looking for a deep dive?
Worldview article from Union University
Worldview article from Dr. Peter Gentry