By Sammie Gallo, Creator of Abundant Life: You Were Made for More and Coordinator of Youth Outreach
The hardest thing about discipleship is that there is no formula to it – leading your children to know, understand, and love Jesus is a daily, grueling, repetitive process.
There may be significant, penny-dropping moments when we grasp a truth more clearly, or experience something of God that was previously only “head knowledge.” But most of the time we grow in knowledge and love for Jesus gradually, through an accumulation of Bible reading, daily exercised faith and obedience, and listening to the wisdom of other Christians.
We should expect the same for our children.
As parents we must remember that spiritual growth—just like growth of all other kinds—is usually a slow, gentle, and even painful process rather than a series of big leaps.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that God-given means of spiritual growth are often small and unspectacular—ten minutes a day; reading from the Bible; an ordinary, unimpressive parent talking with their ordinary, unimpressive child; little by little, step by step.
If you’re already engaged in this everyday pattern of sharing Scripture with your children—keep going! You may not see the effect immediately, but you can pray with confidence that God would use those small, forgettable moments to do great and lasting things.
If you haven’t yet started—get going! All you need is a child, a Bible, and faith in a God who delights to achieve magnificent things in unspectacular ways.
And here’s the key part: YOU have to keep going in your own spiritual walk with the Lord as you guide your own children in theirs. The necessity of every person having a strong biblical theology and intimate relationship with God in order to disciple our children well – it’s non negotiable. A wise friend once told me, “you’re replaceable in every area of your life… except in your home.” There is great work to be done there – work that only you can do.
“…and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This is a great reminder that the call God places on me to disciple my kids is far more comprehensive than what a few minutes of family worship can afford. Scripture portrays an all-inclusive approach to discipleship that resists compartmentalization.
I am confident in this: as we steep ourselves in Scripture and allow God to broaden our view of discipleship to encompass the entire day, our capacity to perceive and leverage timely opportunities will become the natural outflow of our lives. It will just be who we are. It will just become a part of us. As a result, our children may find faith that is utterly pervasive and a Savior who really does change everything, not just bedtime.
Sammie graduated from Robert Morris University in 2017 with a background in biology and psychology and started working with Anglicans for Life (AFL) in 2017. In addition to her work with AFL, she spent 3 years going into public schools with the Women’s Choice Network, speaking to high schoolers about healthy relationships and sex education. She has a passion for making sure every teenager, parent, and youth leader is equipped, engaged, and encouraged to have Gospel-centered conversations regarding relationships, sexuality, and life issues.
Sammie married her best friend, Juan Gallo, in May 2019. During her free time, she and her husband invest in teenagers and young adults in their community, disciple their daughter, Ofie, and Sammie recently began a new career path as a registered nurse in emergency medicine.