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Parenting Discipleship

By Craig Caster

INTRODUCTION TO PARENTING DISCIPLESHIP WORKBOOK

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 PROCESS

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.

REMEMBER:

  • This work is a new priority and will require dedicated time. The lessons are spread over five days, and to be done daily. If you miss a day, DO NOT skip it, but work to complete all days in order within the week. If you miss often, pray about your priorities and what you are placing ahead of this commitment.
     
  • At times we start projects and do not finish. Consider the importance of your responsibility in the area of parenting and make a decision to faithfully complete this study. Enlist the help of an accountability partner for prayer and study if necessary.
     
  • If married, your spouse is an essential partner in this effort. Study together or separately, but always discuss what you have learned as it relates to marital and parenting issues and changes.

STARTING EACH DAY

  1. View each daily study as time spent with your God, and expect Him to speak to you through His Word.
     
  2. Start each day with prayer, asking God to reveal where you need to change, and to empower you to apply what you are learning.
     
  3. Have a reflective mindset; do not rush through the material just to say you finished it. Give God time to speak to you, and meditate on what you learn.

THINGS TO NOTE:

  • Studies may vary in the amount of information presented. After you complete each day, look ahead to the next so you can plan your time with God and get the most out of it.
     
  • Space is provided for writing answers to questions, and also for relevant thoughts and prayers. If you have downloaded and printed this manual from our website, we suggest you put it in a three-ring binder, and include additional paper for personal journaling and notes.
     
  • Please take advantage of the Appendices at the end of the workbook. They are there for your growth and we refer to them throughout the workbook.

IMPORTANT MARKERS

Fact File

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.

Self-Examination

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.

Action Plan

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.

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