Discipleship and Training: Principles for Parents

Principles of Discipleship and Training That Parents Can Glean from 2 Timothy 2

Parents seek to train their children in what they deem as necessary life skills. These skills include reading, writing, communication, social, history, and math among others.

The methods of teaching vary from parent to parent. No matter which direction a parent may take, each parent can learn important principles from Scripture that will guide them in their endeavors.

Photo by Lela Johnson from Pexels
Parents desire the best for their children. (Photo by Lela Johnson from Pexels.)

There are some important principles found in 2 Timothy 2 that Apostle Paul utilized to train his young student, Timothy.  Parents can apply those same principles  in training their children.  Let’s look at several verses to find a few.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Parenting Is Discipleship

Paul was a spiritual parent to Timothy.  Calling Timothy his “own son in the faith,” Paul discipled Timothy as a father would disciple his own son.  (See 1 Timothy 1:2.)

Parenting Is Instructional

Paul directed Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Paul knew that the strength Timothy would need to fulfill his destiny would be found only in Christ.  He would need Christ’s grace and mercy so that he could minister the same to others.

Parents are the best teachers when it comes to doing the difficult.
Parents are the best teachers when it comes to doing the difficult. Children naturally trust their parents to teach them correctly. (Photo by Lgh_9 from Pexels.)

Parenting Is by Example

As a spiritual father, Paul’s life testified of Christ’s influence.  His testimony was esteemed highly by those who knew his daily walk, business principles, and communications.  

As a tentmaker, Paul labored to provide the best workmanship that a purchaser of tents could receive.  As an evangelist, he sought God’s direction as to his travels and ministry practices.  As a teacher, he taught truth despite the contradictions of others.

Timothy modeled his life accordingly.  The methods that Paul used to teach Timothy, Timothy then used to disciple others.  His was a self-disciplined life marked with determination to avoid worldly lusts and pleasures which would lead him from his pursuit to fulfill God’s will.

Many people depend upon tents for shelter today just as in Bible times. (Photo by Oziel Gomez from Pexels.)
Many people depend upon tents for shelter today just as in Bible times. (Photo by Oziel Gomez from Pexels. )

Parenting Is Being a Child’s Hero

Paul was Timothy’s hero and rightly so.  Paul’s life was not contradictory.  No matter how he was tried or persecuted, he remained true to the principles of the gospel.  Paul’s boldness in preaching the gospel was an encouragement to Timothy to be bold as well.

Parenting Is Being Respectful

Paul always showed respect to the authorities.  Even though he was a Roman citizen, many times Paul was jailed or beaten against the law.  In those cases, he still showed respect.

In every situation, Paul displayed the fruit of the Spirit working in and through his life.  He remained temperate in all things.

Parenting Is Being Mindful of What Is Being Taught

Paul taught daily in the temples, synagogues, street corners, houses, or roadsides.  Sometimes he had a classroom in which to teach; sometimes it was just a courtyard. 

The location was not important.  What was important was the doctrine and principles of the Word of God he conveyed.

Timothy was taught well.  His later life as a pastor was a result of Paul’s teaching.  Many men were taught under his ministry who were enabled to teach others also.

Every young child sees their father as their hero.  Sadly, many fathers do not live according to godly standards.  But when fathers do, what a difference it makes in the lives of their children.

Fathers teach daily.  Although it may not be hand in hand with a textbook, life is still being taught.  The location is not important; but the relationship and principles taught by one’s life is.

No parent is perfect, but moral character is evident to every child.  If we desire mastery for our children, then we must strive lawfully also.  If we require honesty of our children, then we ourselves must be honest. If we want our children to love God and submit to His desires, then we must love God and walk in submission.

Man and children fishing from pier. (photo by Olle from Pexels.)
Children enjoy fishing and other recreational activities with their parents. (Photo by Olle from Pexels.)

Parenting Never Ends

Discipleship is not an 8 to 3 endeavor.  It is an around the clock endeavor.  Consider what Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy, and may the Lord give thee understanding also.

©2018 by Uncovering God’s Word

Something to Consider

The disciples of Jesus walked, talked, ate, and slept 3 ½ years with their Master.  Jesus taught them the principles they would need to live their lives according to the gospel.

The disciples lived well, and they died well.  Their legacy of spreading the gospel remains to this day.

What legacy do you wish to leave your children?

Do you believe that lessons are only taught from 8:00 to 3:00 Monday through Friday?

Do you consider your children as your disciples?

In what ways might you need to change your discipleship methods for your children’s sake?
Discipleship is not limited by time. (Photo by Jess Watters from Pexel.)
Discipleship is not limited by time. Neither is parenting. (Photo by Jess Watters from Pexel.)


My father taught me about faithfulness. It wasn’t just the words he spoke or the result of any forceful action on his part. It was, however, a daily lesson.

Faithfulness Taught by Example

My father taught me about faithfulness. It wasn’t just the words he spoke or the result of any forceful action on his part. It was, however, a daily lesson.

My father taught me faithfulness by simply being faithful.

Man and children fishing from pier. (photo by Olle from Pexels.)
My family enjoyed fishing with our parents. (Photo by Olle from Pexels.)

Faithful to Family

My father was faithful to my mother. No other woman entered his thoughts or entertained his attention.

The word divorce was never mentioned in our home. In fact, I probably didn’t even know the word until my later years in school. My mother never had to worry about where my father was. He always told her where he was going and usually how long he expected to be away.

Faithful to Employer

My father was faithful to his employer. He never laid out of work no matter how he felt. Unless he was in the hospital or deathly sick at home, he always rose early in the morning, did his chores, gave Mom a special kiss and told us goodbye. He gave his employer ‘an honest day’s work’ whether he received an honest day’s pay or not.

Faithful to Parents

My father was faithful to his parents. He always checked in on them, prepared and shared garden produce, and raised a beef for them each year.

Faithful to Children

My father was faithful to his children. We were secure in his love for us. He did without to provide our needs. There was always food on the table and clothes on our backs.

Money was hard to come by, but if he could afford it, he would do his best to provide what we needed.

As a child, I never had to go to bed hungry or worried that my father would never return home.

Faithfulness Brings Joy

Faithfulness is a Bible word. Paul speaks of faithfulness in Colossians 2:

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

Displayed by the Colossian Brethren

Paul spoke highly of the faithfulness that was displayed by the Colossian brethren. They exhibited a steadfast walk of faith that brought joy to Paul’s heart.

The Colossians’ walk of faith was due to the faithfulness of the One they put their trust in, Jesus Christ.

Following Jesus’ example of living, a fruitful life laid the foundation for a solid walk that led to an abundance of thanksgiving.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”  Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Faithfulness Gives Joy to Relationships

The Colossians enjoyed the blessings of a true relationship with their Savior.

It brings joy to my heart to look back and remember my father’s steadfast faithfulness to his family.

His walk of life was a path that I could tread upon with thankfulness, but Christ’s faithfulness to me is the most important example of faithfulness I could ever discover.

©2017 by Peggy Clark

To further your studies in Colossians, check out Ms. Clark's Bible study, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.

A Picture of Christ and His Church

The Godly Man’s Role

As Spiritual Leader…

A godly man desires to be the spiritual leader of his home.  He is in conflict for his family as Paul was for the citizens of the Colossian church.

He desires, as Paul did, that his family would be comforted, knit together in love, understanding of his role in the home, and acknowledging of his accountability before God.

As Decision Maker…

As the leader of his home, a godly man must make decisions that affect his entire household. He does not make those decisions lightly.

It is a heavy burden that he must bare for the consequences of those decisions can bring about a good result or a disastrous one.

As Seeking God’s Guidance…

Therefore, it is of utmost importance, that the family members understand and acknowledge his role and thus pray for God’s guidance in his decisions.

The Family’s Role

The family is a beautiful picture of Christ and His Church.

As a picture of the body of Christ, the family body that prays together, is knit together, comforts one another, and upholds one another is a family that is a beautiful picture of Christ and His church.