You have to prioritize your OWN faith if you want to have success with family discipleship // Episode 61

What are we talking about today?

How is your spiritual growth looking these days, mama? Sometimes, we get so focused on teaching and training our children about the Lord, we forget to invest in our own personal relationship with Him.

As moms, we are spiritual leaders of the most precious people on earth – our children. But we can’t replace our own salvation and our own spiritual growth with theirs! 

Today, we’re talking about why it matters to prioritize your own faith before focusing on your children’s – along with some practical tips for how to get time for your personal growth even with the busy mom schedule. 

Let’s dive in!

Listen to Episode 61:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 20 // Finding joy in the Lord during seasons of pain and sadness
  • Episode 39 // Take your thoughts captive to Christ.. but how?! Let’s build our intimacy with God and strengthen our own mental health by practicing 4 key steps to controlling our thought life.
  • Episode 45 // My daily habits that keep me spiritually healthy and help me raise my kids in the Lord (without extra work)
  • Episode 55 // 7 family discipleship strategies to teach your children how to love others, give back, and make an impact

Let me also offer a great resource that I know will be helpful:

Build the habit of spending time with God every day: Grab a copy of my FREE Holy Habits: 45-Day Bible & Prayer Challenge. With daily Bible readings, questions t consider, and specific prayer prompts, you’ll build a daily habit plus confidence in approaching God’s Word.

And if you want a devotional more focused on a specific topic area, check out our 40 Day Devotionals!

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

As moms, we are spiritual leaders in our home. We have a high responsibility for family discipleship, teaching our kids about Jesus and prayerfully leading them in the Christian faith.

And the thing about leaders is that they do best when they lead by example.

Think about it, mama. Your kids learn a lot more by observing you, watching you, than simply by what you say!

It’s true for our faith as well.

Don't shipwreck your faith

If we focus only on family discipleship and our kids’ faith, and neglect our own time with the Lord, we are likely to give up on faith and ultimately shipwreck ours AND our kids.

Consider this truth from 1 Timothy:

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle wellholding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

It is worth considering: are you fighting the battle well? Are you at risk of letting go of the faith and your good conscience (or, your good works for the Lord) and therefore at risk of shipwrecked faith?

Have a faith you want your kids to imitate

We want to live holy lives that we can encourage our kids to imitate. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:

I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. (1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

Is your faith life one that you hope your kids will imitate? Whenever we tell our kids to do something, but we are doing something else, we should pause and question what’s going on… and what we really expect our kids to do in the long run.

Handle every situation like Jesus

As Christians, we are called to handle every situation and do every chore or task for the Lord. And we won’t do this successfully if we are not filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit. 

Consider this short truth from Philippians:

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27a)

We all know that the “whatever happens” of life can be really, really difficult. And we may tell our kids to lean on Jesus in those moments, to handle hardship with patience and grace… but do we do that ourselves?

Your own salvation matters

Sometimes, we run the risk of thinking that because we used to have a strong faith, we’re good for the future. I’m not here to debate the theological questions around if someone can lose their salvation… experts far more knowledgable than me have said plenty on the subject! 

But I do know this:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Yes, mama, it is very true that your children’s faith matters. Their salvation matters. Your family discipleship matters. 

But it is equally true that YOUR salvation matters too. 

So it is always worth considering… are you continuing to work our your salvation with fear and trembling?

Is the Holy Spirit leading you? If you want him to, you must be intentional to invest in that relationship. He is the one who will lead your motherhood, along with everything else. 

If you need help investing in your relationship with God, grab my free Holy Habits 45-Day Bible & Prayer Challenge. Or go deep into a specific topic (which makes family discipleship hard for a lot of moms!) with my 40-Day Devotional on Anger & Emotional Control.

Some quick tips in your busy schedule

Wondering how on earth you can make time for your own faith when life is so busy?

Here are a few tips for your personal devotional time:

  • get up 30 minutes earlier
  • use the kids’ nap or rest time
  • treat it like homework, and you do your homework while the kids do theirs after school
  • listen to the audio Bible while you’re doing chores
  • have a “Bible chair” in the main living space with easy access to your favorite journal, pen, and Bible
  • find an accountability partner who will check in and encourage you
  • create an evening routine that includes Bible & prayer as you’re getting ready for bed

And yes, this is in addition to praying with your husband, praying with your kids, and reading the Bible together as a family. That can happen during a meal or at some other set time of the day.

And one last word on your personal devotional time… it doesn’t need to be long, but it does need to be more than reading 1-2 verses. That gives us an unbalanced perspective on the Bible. Be willing to go deep with the Lord. Some days will feel better than others. Some days will feel dry and boring. Some days will be rushed. That’s okay! Take the time and invest in your relationship with Jesus.

Friday Faith Follow-up

Can you say with confidence that whatever happens – whatever craziness or pain or trouble of life comes your way – you’ll respond in a way that looks like Jesus?

In this quick follow-up podcast episode, I’m sharing a short devotional on Philippians 1:27, looking at the connections between our own spiritual growth, emotional reactions, and relationship with our kids. God wants us to love them well – and we want that too! Let’s look together at some of his wisdom for how to do that.

Hey, before you go!

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.