This workbook is designed to bring you onto the path of discipleship, which really means walking in God’s principles. And when we use words like “walk”, we hope you understand that living in these principles is just as fundamental as learning to walk. The goals of our workbook are: 1) To show you that God provides principles for parenting, 2) To equip you with tools and applications for applying these principles, and 3) To guide your family into the forgiveness, healing and unity that comes through obedience to God. Family Discipleship Ministries exists because we believe that failure in discipleship is directly related to failure in parenting. And how do we know this? By what we have seen, experienced and what is proven by statistics today.
The study is divided into weeks, with five lessons each week. It is important to work toward completing one lesson each day for five days. Building daily study with consistency is a key to spiritual success. We encourage you to start with Week One and continue through Week Two and Three, etc.; skipping to a section that sparks your interest is tempting, but not efficient because one-week builds upon another. For example, you really want to master disciplining your child so move ahead to that study, but there are biblical principles that must be learned before you can discipline in a godly way.
The principles we are presenting have been tried and proven successful. I have experienced it in my own life, my own family, and also through the lives of countless people in counseling and parenting classes. Please understand, this is NOT a “Five Easy Steps to Parenting” manual. Biblical Discipleship is challenging work and will require that you change some of your attitudes and behaviors. The process will require commitment and sacrifice to successfully implement the principles as you learn them.
When you see this, you will find the definition of a word and/or phrase from the Bible. We have taken great care to use well-known and theologically sound biblical dictionaries and commentaries for biblical clarity, referenced when possible. Many of these definitions appear in the glossary, located in Appendix T, Glossary of Words and Terms.
This marks an opportunity to read a text of Scripture and relate it to the subject that is being presented. During this discipleship process, you will become more familiar with the Bible, biblical principles of parenting, and what God expects from you as a parent.
As you study and learn biblical principles, there will be times for self-examination, finding areas where personal improvement is needed. Space is provided for listing insights, confessions, and prayers for strength and wisdom to make those changes. One aspect of the discipleship process is personal accountability; if God reveals that you have sinned against your spouse and/or children, we encourage you to confess your sin to them and ask their forgiveness. Make this a regular practice even if it is not noted to do so.
After you have studied the biblical principles of that day or week, take action and apply what you have learned to your life. To be true disciples, we must understand that God not only desires that we grow in knowledge, but He also requires that we use it, or “live it out”.
Before you begin this wonderful journey, please go to Appendix R, Parents Commitment Letter and fill it out.
All the materials on our website www.parentingministry.org, focus on discipleship and are provided free of charge.
A Leader’s Guide for small or large group class settings is available at www.parentingministry.org under Free Ministry Downloads.