One of my family’s fun pastimes is playing the game Connect Four. Over the years, we have pulled out this game and played it many times. Familiar to most kids, the point is to be the first to “connect you.” For many laughing, smiling moments my family has enjoyed this simple but strategic game.

To me, discipling our children is very much like the game Connect Four. Our kids’ minds are like Connect Four grids, waiting to be filled. It is our privilege and opportunity as parents and grandparents and spiritual mentors to help our kids connect the dots spiritually. Discipleship is strategically teaching the truths of God and His Word in an understandable, relatable way, so that each concept, word and verse gets put into a column of their own personal, theological Connect Four.

And this Connect Four is so much more than a game.

Every person’s spiritual grid will be filled up, one way or another, throughout life. The “discs” of what your children think about God and His Word may be dropped into their lives through experiences, friends and teachers, the media and our culture. Or, your children’s theological grid will be strategically, intentionally filled with “discs” of truth placed in their lives by you.

When you disciple your children through God’s Word, you fill their lives with a biblical worldview. For example, as you teach your kids the truths of Exodus 34:6-7 (that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, loving, faithful and forgiving), you plant six “discs” of truth into their understanding of who God is. That “column,” instead of being empty or waiting for just anybody to drop in information, is full of what God has revealed about Himself in His Word. As your kids grow up and go off into the world, it will not be so easy for an unbeliever to drop in untruths about God when that “column” about who He really is already filled with truth.

Slowly but surely, as you disciple the next generation about God and His Word, the columns will fill up, connected and interrelated. Understanding in one column will influence the understanding of another column, because God’s Word is interwoven. Our faith is richer, more textured and vastly more interesting when we are discipled through all of Scripture and feel at home there!

The legacy of our faith is one generation away. What you seek to know Christ, discipleship is your moment to speak it into the next generation. You may or may not play the game Connect Four in your home, but you should definitely have a game plan for discipling your kids.

And this Connect Four is not a game. It is the most important thing we will ever do.

© Tosha Lamdin Williams 2017

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