Discipleship is so much more than mere discipline. In fact, discipline is to be rooted in discipleship. Without the latter, the former won’t be effective. Discipleship includes discipline and a whole lot more. You might have heard the saying that discipline without discipleship is disaster, or some other such similar line of thought. And that is so true. Discipline divorced from discipleship will lead to devastating results.
The aspect of discipleship is one thing that sets homeschooling miles above any other education model. We have the opportunity, as part of our schooling experience, to disciple our sons and daughters.
But what does disciple mean? Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the word as meaning “to teach; to train, or bring up”; or “to make disciples of; to convert to doctrines or principles.”
You see, if the only thing we wanted to have our children experience was good discipline, then we could simply send them all to Marine Corps bootcamp. They would experience tough discipline in that environment for sure! But it would be nothing more than merely learning how to follow all the rules, check all the boxes, stay out of trouble, and not get bawled out by the Drill Sergeant. That discipline would be absent from the discipleship that a true relationship includes and brings about. It is true that discipline may – and often does – produce very orderly and well-behaved machines. But at its best, that’s all that discipline, when it’s divorced from discipleship, will result in. Such external obedience and orderly outward behaviors are not flowing from the heart; and therefore, they are likely to be thrown aside as soon as the disciplining and restraining influence is removed.
But when you have discipleship happening in a relationship – that takes discipline to a whole new level and beyond! Discipleship is what the Bible calls for; it’s one of those blessings that can and should be found in every Christian homeschool, but it cannot be duplicated – even with the best of intentions – in any public school classroom setting. In order for discipleship to be effective, it need to be going on 24/7/365 – which, of course, isn’t the case in a school setting outside the home and family. Discipleship is a parent’s full-time job, and it cannot be effectively accomplished during 8 or 10 or even 12 hours a day by teachers and other influences in a public school setting. Nor can fathers and mothers look upon it merely as an after-school or evening-before-bedtime activity to be checked off the to-do list. Discipleship is a commitment to a relationship with your child that will take lots of time, plenty of energy, and even more prayer. But the homeschooling education model offers you, as the parent, the unique opportunity to engage in that relationship commitment on the full-time level that is needed for maximum effectiveness.
The end goal of our children’s education should be nothing short of the cultivation and growth of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself! Discipleship is all about building a relationship. And when you have the right relationship with Jesus, other relationships in the family – the parent-child relationship, brother-sister relationships, and the husband-wife relationship – all these other relationships will fall into place too, making your family and your homeschool environment a much happier and more enjoyable place to be.
Thank you for taking a minute to read this article today. I’d love for you to share your thoughts and questions in the Comments below.
All for our King’s glory,
P.S. While I’m thinking about the topic of discipleship and relationships, I want to extend an invitation for you to register for a free ticket to the Homeschool Family Relationships Summit 2.0 that is launching the week of October 10-15, 2022! Find out who is speaking and get all the details here.