Father-Son Discipleship

Four Truths for Discipling Your Son

Ryan Sanders

Whether you know it or not, you’re in a battle. The battle does not end. It doesn’t stop because you’re busy. I’ve heard it said, “If the devil can’t make you bad he’ll make you busy.”

Maybe you don’t have an hour to have a full-on Bible study with your son. But you can use these four ideas to intentionally disciple him — whether you have ten minutes or two hours. These four ideas are the framework you can use to maximize time with your boys.

So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine  … Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. —Deuteronomy 11:18-19

1. Listen: Build the Relationship

The point here is this: connect with your son. Resist the urge to jump in rushed just to check another thing off of your weekly to-do list. This step sets the tone.

Create a “porch moment” with your son. Think of The Andy Griffith Show, when Andy and Opie would sit and chat on their front porch in Mayberry. Andy asked questions of his son and then listened well to his responses. They talked about what was going on in Opie’s world—a world of schoolwork, sports, piano lessons, best friends, bullies, and girlfriends. Andy had a window into his son’s world because of these times spent talking — and mostly — listening.

2. Read: Get into God’s Word

Take a moment to read the Bible yourself. Don’t get hung up on which part of the Bible. Make notes about what is significant to you.  Then, share your heart with your son. It’s okay not to have all of the answers.  You are revealing another world to your child.  It does not have to be long or elaborate.  In fact, shorter is probably better.  If you have a printed Bible, read it with your son.

Manhood Journey’s 1 on 1 Guides were created for this purpose. They tell you what to say and when to say it. But here’s the point. If you never use those guides, you still need to be intentional about discipling your son. So, take time to create a plan for keeping your conversations meaningful, based on Scripture, and relevant to what your son needs at the moment.

3. Act:  Apply the Word

This is the “so what” part. Maybe the verse you’re on is about behavior change. Maybe it’s about service or how to treat your neighbor. Do your best to apply truth in love.

Whenever possible live out what you read with your son. If a passage talks about serving the poor, find a practical way to do so. Does your church or community have an opportunity that needs your help? This is the type of question you should ask yourself on this step. Over time, you’ll notch several life applications and have memories that connect back to the why of Scripture. We call this biblical fatherhood.

4 Pray: Talk with God

Close time with your son with prayer, simply talking with God about what you’re learning and praying for, and with your son.  Additionally, keeping a journal of prayer requests and seeing together the Lord answer can be a powerful means to see God work overtime.

As you implement these ideas, try and see this time not as one more thing to do in an already busy week. Rather, make it a part of what you’re already doing. Jesus command in the great commission was to make disciples “as you go.” Jesus knew what it was like to be busy.

Simply find a moment to open a Bible, listen, share your heart, pray, and live your faith together. The point is to not make this weird and awkward, but to enjoy this time with your son. These brief moments will become significant encounters that weld you together.

Adapted from the original post by our ministry partners at Manhood Journey:  http://blog.manhoodjourney.org/4-ideas-for-intentionally-discipling-your-son

Ryan Sanders
About the Author

Ryan Sanders