Growing up I believe that I was discipled by my parents. No, I do not recall them sitting down and going through a discipleship book with them. But I do remember praying with them before school in the morning, during meals, at night before bed, and other random times. I also remember walking down the stairs in the morning and often seeing my dad at his desk reading his Bible and doing his quiet time. Then in the kitchen I would see my mom reading her Bible while eating her cereal. So guess what I did. I had a quiet time and learned to have a prayer life. While it was not automatic, practicing spiritual disciplines in front of your children is also teaching them how to do it. So if you are not doing those, then your children, I believe, are less likely to practice it.
I really enjoy talking with my parents about spiritual things. It is awkward sometimes, and I do not think that I was always like that. But I think that it has its place and is important for the child to see that you do have a spiritual side to you besides just going to church. My mom always shared with me who she was witnessing to. This encouraged me to pass along my faith, but also to pray for the lost.
I know that my parents were not perfect. They taught me that as well. But I did learn quite a bit from them. My dad’s willingness to be a missionary is probably the main root that caused me to go into missionary work. He never became a career missionary, but he was always ready and willing to go. He went to Mexico for a two week trip as a doctor. They held clinics to meet physical needs and had people there meeting spiritual needs as well. Then he took our whole family to the Amazon in Brazil where he volunteered for two and a half months in 1993 and six months in 1996-1997. If I had never had that exposure to Brazil, I am pretty sure that I would not be returning to that same area where I was before. God really used those trips to impact my life. So maybe God has never called you to full time Christian ministry, but that does not mean God cannot use you to shape your children’s future in serving God. Be open to ministry opportunities and having the opportunity to expose them to Christian service.
We are not all called to be in full time Christian ministry, but we are called to be full time Christians. We may not have the time to study and preach a 45 minute message to our kids every week, but we can read and study the Bible enough to show our kids the importance of it.