books on a table

This blog post contains affiliate links. This just means that if you choose to purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my small business.

In this blog post I will be sharing a simple routine of discipleship that is helping our family to intentionally teach our children about Jesus.

Our children are one of life’s greatest joys and blessings. As a Bible-believing mama, my children are also one of life’s greatest responsibilities. The task of raising them to know and love Jesus is a great privilege, but not something to be taken lightly or without thought and intention.

books on a coffee table

What does it mean to disciple my kids?

Contrary to what some believe, discipling my children is not the same thing as disciplining them. There can be some overlap, for sure, but generally speaking disciplining them deals specifically with correcting a wrong behavior.

A disciple is a person who learns, obeys, and follows a specific teacher. In this case, we desire that our children learn, obey, and follow Jesus. It is this desire, then, that motivates us to intentionally teach and train our children about Jesus so that they will learn to obey and follow Him as they grow older.

Why should I start a discipleship routine with my children?

Children are like sponges. They soak up everything, learning and remembering more than we catch onto, frequently surprising us with the things they repeat back to us when we didn’t think they were listening.

It is this amazing capacity for learning and memory that has prompted me to be super intentional, especially in the early years, with how I teach and train. It is never too early to start teaching your children about Jesus.

As you contemplate intentionally training and teaching your kids, it is important to consider our family routine and rhythms. What time of day is the best for you to spend uninterrupted time teaching? What methods and resources best suit your family’s needs based on your kids’ ages and personalities? Will you be doing this alone or alongside your spouse?

books on the floor

When should I implement this discipleship routine?

In the Old Testament, the book of Deuteronomy gives specific instructions to parents about teaching their children. Here is what it says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8)

With these verses as a guide, we understand that we are to teach our children at all times and in all places. I like to think of it more like living out life alongside our children in such a way that conversations about God and His Word happen while mopping the floor, washing dishes, on a walk, or while taking a bath. These opportunities should be a natural part of our days, not just something limited to Sunday morning or one particular moment of our day.

Having said that, I do believe that it is important to set aside specific, uninterrupted time to teach our children about Jesus.

Bedtime has been a special time of connection and teaching as long as we have had children. Ever since our girl was a newborn we would sing hymns to her while rocking her to sleep at night. This eventually turned into including bedtime stories and prayers. You can read more about creating a bedtime routine with your little ones in this blog post.

Why do I share our bedtime routine? Well, for us, bedtime was our first intentional discipleship time. As we sang hymns and spiritual songs with our girlie we began to lay a foundation of teaching her about Jesus and His love for her. She now knows many, many songs and hymns by heart and I am convinced that much of that is from singing to her from the time she was little.

How we started our meal time discipleship routine

We still have a sweet bedtime routine, but as our daughter got older, we realized that she was ready for more and we wanted to be intentional to pour into her in the early years. The idea of meal time discipleship is one I have loved for many years. Of course there is tremendous value in conversing and sharing our hearts and daily events with each other, but when you have small children, it is also a time when they are relatively still and you have their attention for a short period of time.

This is why we chose meal time to be a dedicated part of our day to teach and train. I’ll walk you through exactly what we include in our mealtime discipleship and share some resources that may be a help to you.

I like to keep all of the resources that we have chosen in a basket on the table for easy access. When everything is kept together and in easy reach, we are more likely to be consistent with following through on our plan.

flowers on table

What should I include in our mealtime discipleship?

The beauty of this rhythm is that it can be anything that you would like for it to be. You could read a Bible passage or other picture books, learn about manners, memorize scripture, study character qualities, memorize hymns, and so much more.

Bible Reading

We typically spend some time each morning reading through The Kingdom of God Storybook Bibles from Lithos Kids. We also have a good collection of Bible story picture books that we regularly work through. You can find some of our favorites here.

We also believe that it is important to read the actual Word of God aloud to our kids. Sometimes this is a short passage from the New Testament other times it is a Psalm or Proverb. One simple way you could begin to incorporate more Scripture reading into your daily rhythm would be to read the chapter of Proverbs that correlates to the day of the month. For really young kids, maybe you just read a couple of verses.

Bible Memory

Meal time is also a great opportunity to work on Scripture memory together as a family. We often do not give children enough credit for being able to memorize, but they can do it so easily and I have often been convicted about intentionally pouring into my daughter while she is able to learn so quickly. Some of my favorite passages to start with: Psalm 23, Psalm 100, Galatians 5: 22-23, and Ephesians 6:13-18.

Character Study

Because we start the morning with Bible reading, we usually do not include this in our meal time routine. We initially started by adding these character study cards from September and Co. This set has 12 cards, each with a different character quality including things like kindness, obedience, diligence, and cheerfulness. The back of the card includes a brief description of the character quality and a scripture verse reference. We have loved making these a part of our table discipleship routines.


We have recently added in this book to our mealtime discipleship and we have loved learning and memorizing these foundational truths of our faith together. This book has 52 questions and answers regarding core doctrines of our faith. It has been a great way to teach our 3-year-old truths like, “What is God?” and “Why did God create us?” and it has given us a solid vocabulary and succinct answer to some of these big questions.

hand holding book

Additional ideas to intentionally use your table time

Our desire is to use our time together at the table intentionally; to forge connections and relationships and grow together as a family. Our resources are not limited to just spiritual training for that reason, although that is our primary focus. Here are a few other ideas for intentional table time.

Conversation Cards

These Hygge conversation starter cards have been a part of our mealtime for quite awhile and have been such a great way to have intentional conversation. There are a variety of questions and they can be adapted for even the littlest members of your household to participate.

Read Alouds

We have been reading aloud the Little House on the Prairie Books during meal time and it has been so sweet. I don’t know about you, but I am often finished eating before my preschooler and reading aloud to her has a great way for me to stay focused and present. Although my daughter does not usually struggle to sit and listen to stories, if you have children that do have a hard time listening, pairing a read aloud with another activity might be beneficial. If you need ideas for family read alouds, I recommend checking out the book lists over at Brighter Day Press.

Etiquette and Manners

This is not something we have added in yet, but it is something that I would like to start. We are big fans of the Busy, Busy People Books and this is the book I am planning to purchase for learning about manners. This one also looks good for older kids.

Getting started

As with any new rhythm it will take time for it to feel like a natural part of your day. If this is something that you are wanting to start, I encourage you to pick one or two things and just start. Add more as you get comfortable with the routine and don’t be afraid to switch things up to meet the needs of your family.

Meal time discipleship has been a blessing to our family and I hope it will be to yours as well. If you have any questions, be sure to send me a message over on the ‘gram. I’d love to know what you think and how you use this rhythm in your own home.

Related blog posts: Favorite Bible Story Books; Coffee and Tea Time: Our Preschool Morning Routine

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *