One of my readers recently asked how I disciple Lily as a baby (help her become a Jesus-follower/disciple), and I thought this was a great question to answer! It made me think through how do we do this?!
I recognize that I’m a first time mom, and my baby is only 10 months old! I may not see how these five ways affect her long-term yet, but I do know that these ways honor God and they point ME to Jesus!
Many of these ways I have learned from others and my mom, so I can’t take the credit. But so far, these five ways have been an encouragement to our family, and I feel strongly that the Lord has called me to continue on in this way.
5 Ways to Disciple Your Baby
Read the Bible out loud around them.
The word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)! When I don’t have moments alone to read the Bible, I will read it out loud around Lily in the mornings, mainly for my own heart, but how awesome is it that I am speaking God’s word over Lily! We won’t see these affects on our babies now, but I believe that God’s word is still being impressed on them as babies when we speak God’s word to them.
Read Bible-saturate children’s book to them.
God says to impress His word on our children all the time (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). There are so many awesome baby Bible books these days! We have several, but my favorites are written by Sally Lloyd-Jones. We read at least one of these to Lily every day. Right now, we read Found to her every night before bed and it ministers to me so much!
Pray with them.
Similar to the above point of reading God’s word out loud, pray out loud when you are with them. Pray about anything! Pray for them out loud. But also, just pray about anything with them! This is laying a foundation of prayer for both of you that will create a habit of prayer in your lives for years to come.
Get involved in church.
I have been really involved in church my entire life. The most difficult time I have ever had going to church has been the past year with Lily. Learning sleep and feed schedules for a baby has been very difficult for me because I am a major planner, so planning anything outside of Lily WITH Lily has been very challenging. As I have been praying about it, I’ve decided that no matter what, I am taking her to church. The past few weeks this has meant waking her up from a nap which I NEVER would do otherwise haha! It has also meant altering her feeding to make church attendance easier for us.
Jimmy and I also believe it’s important for us as parents to be involved in different ministries at church. For us, this means supporting each other and taking care of Lily on evenings when the other is going to church. We both lead a small group, Jimmy serves on the financial team and I lead a women’s bible study in the evenings.
Honestly, I do not feel like going out at nights because I am so worn out from the day, but I know it’s important that I don’t let my comfort get in the way of growing in my relationship with God and serving the church. I hope that Lily will always see her parents serving and being involved at church because we love God and love people! And I pray the same is true for Lily as we bring her to church with us!
Train them that their world is not about them.
Once the newborn phase is over and they are in a developmental phase to be taught and trained, it’s important to not cater to their every want. I am learning this firsthand right now. Lily loves being with her parents more than anything, so much so that she will throw a fit when we walk away from her even if she was playing happily on her own. She LOSES it. I know she is at an age to be taught that she will be okay when mom and dad walk away. But it is very hard for me to hear her cry like that and not run over and hug her! My mom has been helping me with realizing this is for her good in the long run. And I do not want her to think she always gets what she wants! I also do not want our home to be a child-centered home because I promise you that is not good for anyone!!!!!!
This has been hard for me, but I know that training our children will only get harder and more challenging. It has been really good for Jimmy and I as parents to work on this with Lily. And I know we are teaching her to be a strong, independent girl who knows her parents are ALWAYS there for her :).
I would love to hear from you as I am learning constantly as well!
How do you disciple your baby???