Child Discipleship: Primary Disciplers, How Are You Influencing Your Children?

Over the past week my heart has been heavy as I’ve thought of young people who aren’t walking with God; others who are just nominally walking with Him. I feel the anguish of their parents.

Mom, Dad and Me

Mom, Dad and Me

What was it in my life that led me to have such a connection to the Triune God at a young age? 

It began with my mom and dad, my Primary Disciplers, walking faithfully with the Triune God. In our home God was the center of everything. I KNEW due to their actions, their talk, the way they spent their time and money, that a relationship with the Triune God was the most important relationship I could ever have.

They were very involved in our local church and made sure I was also. Our local church was like a second home to me.

I have a memory of one day standing and watching my mother as she adjusted the old dress, attempting to make it look better with the jewelry she had. She was getting ready to go to school where she taught kindergarten and first grade children.

I don’t know how I knew; maybe I had overheard my mom and dad talking, but I knew that my mom had saved up enough money to purchase a new dress; then she heard of someone who had a greater need than hers and she gave the money to them.

In my 9 year old wonder I stood behind her and watched her get dressed, marveling at what she had done – a memory that has never left me.

My mom was a huge influence in my life, she taught me what it meant to walk with God. I doubt she knew how much she taught me – I could tell you a lot more stories.

From my childhood I had been taught to walk by faith, it had been modeled for me in so many different ways. I had been taught to have confidence in God – to trust Him.

Dad giving my son, Joseph, a ride on the tractor.

Dad giving my son, Joseph, a ride on the tractor.

I was a young mom and we didn’t have the money to purchase our son shoes for school. Joe and I had been praying about what to do. Then one day I opened the front door and found an envelope laying on the stoop, inside was a couple of hundred dollars in cash and a note, “Love from Jesus.”

A few weeks later my dad and I were on a walk around his farm as I told him what had happened. “Wanda, how can you live like that – so on the edge?”

I was shocked and responded, “Dad, we are just living the way you taught me to live. You taught me to walk in faith, to do whatever the Lord sets in front of you to do. You are the one who taught me to trust God.”

My dad was a huge influence in my life and he didn’t even know it, he wasn’t aware of what I had learned from him.

Primary Disciplers (those responsible to raise a child) are the primary influencers in a child’s life.

How are you influencing your children?

Ask the Triune God to give you the  strength and desire to walk with Him in faith so you will influence your children to walk through life with God – regardless of where He takes them. 


About Wanda

I have worked with children and families for over 40 years in both secular and Christian settings. • Following college I joined VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and served in a migrant labor camp in Texas. • After VISTA I married Joe Parker. Joe was a Boy’s Club Director and we served in several inner city and barrio areas in So. California. • I served as Children’s Director and Family Pastor in three Orange County Churches. During this time I was a co—founder of CCMA • Right after the Los Angeles riots, and while serving as Family Pastor at Mariners Church in Newport Beach, Campus Crusade approached me to develop a reproducible ministry to reach children in inner city areas of America, known today as S.A.Y. Yes! Centers of America. • In 1998 I was invited along with 25 others, representing every continent of the world, to be part of a symposium in England. This was the initial gathering for the creation of a curriculum to equip people working with children living in difficult circumstances. Celebrating Children is taught today in Christian universities around the world. • In 2001 KidTrek was begun, a unique ministry to equip the Church to disciple children. Married for 47 years, I have three married children and eight grandchildren who walk with the Lord. The greatest gift a mother could ever have.
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