Raising children deliberately takes, well, deliberateness. (That must be a word because I didn’t get a red line.)
I can wring my hands over how to educate, how to prepare them for their life work, how to make sure they get socialized properly or participate in the right activities, but all of that is the extra stuff.
The only thing I’m commanded to do is to raise them to love the Savior. Do I make it a priority?
So I came up with an acronym that helps me remember the pillars of raising children to be followers of Christ.
DIRT. Ironically, dirt is where stuff grows, where we plant seeds and where life springs forth. But the thing with dirt and growing things is, I have to get my hands dirty, and I have to be at the work consistently.
DIRT is Deuteronomy 6 with flesh.
Disciple the soul.
This is relationship. Relationships are only built through time. “…when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up.”
Instruct the heart.
This is communication. A constant speaking of the things we ought to do. “You shall talk of them…”
Renew the mind.
This is transformation through the power of God’s Word. This is reading Scripture, memorizing Scripture, posting Scripture, singing Scripture. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and gates.”
Train the will.
This is forming habits. Habits will be formed by the constant practice of the three things above. The will is trained by the daily practice and reminding of what is right and good.
This is our job. It is full-time, constant, tedious, and marvelous. This is The Great Commission, making disciples of our children, equipping them to make disciples of others when they are fully trained.
Discipleship is DIRT. It’s messy and it’s marvelous.