We often joke that our children grew up with another set of parents in their lives, along with an additional set of grandparents. These men and women were godly, mature believers from our church who served as invaluable mentors for our children. Little did we know at the time, as young parents, the rich benefits we and our children would reap from these relationships. With that experience in mind, I was so pleased that Chap Bettis included an entire chapter titled “Connecting Your Children to Others” in his book The Disciple-Making Parent—A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ. Here is a brief excerpt:
I cannot handle the discipleship of my children alone. Although this discipleship is primarily my calling, humility compels me to invite the input of others. Our children need other examples and models who will take them further than we can. We are not sufficient in ourselves. Having said this, there can be a tendency for parents to give over the entire responsibility of discipleship to the youth leader or the Sunday school teacher. Or, by contrast, others overreact and isolate themselves and their families. They want to be the only influence on their children. This reeks of pride and self-righteousness.
Children need to see others up close. They need others to speak into their lives. As a parent, I have the ability to call out others as good examples. As my children grow older, I have the ability to encourage mentoring relationships with others.
Disciple-making parents actively connect their children to other godly examples.
(Copyright © 2016, page 56)
How can parents be intentional in seeking out and establishing these kinds of relationships? Here are just a few things we did: