Introduction: Jesus calls each of us in Matthew 28:18-20 to make
disciples of “all nations.” Would this include making disciples of
our children? Of course it would! Last week we discussed what the
Bible teaches about the blessings and challenges of having children.
This week we turn to the topic of “discipling” our children –
teaching them to love and obey God. Let’s jump into our study!

  1. Stones

    1. Read Joshua 3:14-15. Imagine that you are one of the
      Israelites heading towards the place God has told you He
      will give you as your home. You come to the Jordan river
      and have to cross it with your family and all of your
      possessions. Unfortunately, the river is at flood stage.
      What are your thoughts and your concerns?

    2. Read Joshua 3:15-17. Now, tell me, how do you feel? What
      is your attitude towards God?

    3. Read Joshua 4:1-3. Those of you who have spent time in
      the outdoors, tell me what these stones would look like?
      How would they differ from other stones in the area? (They
      would be very smooth – perhaps even have a little shine.)

    4. Read Joshua 4:4-5. Did this require faith on the part of
      the stone retrievers? (The water is still piled up. I
      would be concerned that it might come down on me!)

      1. Why do you think Joshua chose 12 stones? (One to
        represent each tribe of Israel.)

    5. Read Joshua 4:6-7. What is the purpose of these stones?

    6. Read Joshua 24:25-27. What is the purpose of this stone?

    7. Read 1 Samuel 7:12. What pattern do we see with the use of
      stones and the relationship between God and the people?
      (They memorialize great events in the history of God’s

    8. Read Joshua 4:20-24 for the end of the story about the
      stones from the Jordan river. Notice especially verses 21-23 and the comment about children. What lessons about
      teaching our children can we learn from this story? (1.
      Teaching children is an intentional act of the Christian
      community. 2. Teaching the children involves using
      something that catches their attention. Did you notice
      that Joshua intended the stones to be attention-getters?
      3. The stones are a consistent generation to generation
      reminder. 4. The stones remind the children of God’s
      power, love, care and provision for them and their

      1. What can the church do today to create “stones” for
        teaching the next generation? (Read Exodus 12:12-14
        and Exodus 12:26-27. By observing and explaining
        religious holidays we can create “stones” for our

      2. How can parents create “stones” in their home for
        teaching their children?

        1. Is the weekly Sabbath a “stone?”

          1. How can you create a visible reminder of
            the Sabbath?

        2. How would you make sure a “stone” does not
          become an idol?

  2. Love

    1. Read John 13:34-35, Matthew 5:44 and 1 John 3:14. If
      Christian parents are to show love to others, should they
      show it to their children as well?

      1. Parents of teens, does Matthew 5:44 resonate in your
        life? (We may be tempted to return hurtful words with
        hurtful responses. We may be tempted to turn away
        from our children when they say they hate us. But if
        enemies deserve better, so do our children.)

      2. Parents, leaving aside the question of discipline,
        would you say the things to others that you say to
        your children?

    2. Read Exodus 4:22-23 and Isaiah 66:13. How does a child’s
      view of God get influenced by his parents? (God
      consistently portrays Himself as our parent. If you want
      your children to have a proper view of God, you need to be
      very careful about the mental picture your children draw
      from the word “parent.”)

    3. Read Genesis 37:3-4. Is this a foreseeable result of
      showing favoritism among your children?

      1. What problems followed because of father Israel’s
        (Jacob’s) favoritism in his love? (Scan Genesis
        37:23-36. Would it be too far a stretch to say that
        400 years of Hebrew slavery can be traced back to
        this event? Parents, do not show favoritism!)

  3. Instruction

    1. Read Proverbs 22:6. What do you think it means to “train
      up” your children?

    2. Let’s look at some texts that more fully explain this
      “train up” idea. Read Genesis 18:19. What did God expect
      of Abraham as a parent? (Do what is right and just.)

    3. Read Proverbs 2:1-9. Notice that these verses have an
      “if/then” sequence. What are children called to do? (To
      seek to know God and His will.)

      1. What does God promise if they do this? (God will
        given them wisdom and understanding which will help
        to protect them from making harmful mistakes in their

      2. How can parents instill in their children a desire to
        know God and His will? (The first thing they must do
        is present God’s words to their children. They should
        be presented as something that is desirable.)

    4. Read Proverbs 3:11-12. What should a child’s attitude be
      towards discipline?

      1. How do we teach that attitude to our children? (This
        gets back to the “stone” issue. If God has
        disciplined you, tell your children about it and how
        it has helped you to grow.)

    5. Read Proverbs 1:8-9. How is learning from parental
      teaching like wearing jewelry? (It makes you more

      1. Do you know some “good” kids that just draw you to
        them? You feel pleasure in talking with them? I think
        that is part of what Proverbs is talking about in
        this text.

    6. Read Proverbs 3:13-15. What is another benefit of parents
      teaching their children the wisdom of God? (It makes you
      rich. Whether this means rich in money is not clear,
      because the Bible says that God’s wisdom is better than

    7. Read Proverbs 3:17-18. What else lies in wait for those
      parents who teach their children to accept the wisdom of
      God? (Peace, blessings and life.)

    8. Parent, do you want your children to have a great life
      here and eternal life hereafter? Disciple them. Show them
      God’s love. Teach them the wisdom from the Bible. Remind
      them with “stones” of what a great God they serve! Will
      you determine today to do this?

  4. Next week: Wise Words for Families.