Points before you start!
There are many things that need to be done before starting discipling our sons, but if we do them all perfectly, our sons will be all grown up! It will be too late. My son already can read. This fact in itself shook
me up. This means he can read His Bible but probably doesn't know how to sense God's glory in it. Or if so, he can be easily distracted and discouraged. Daniel, my son, started his own reading the Bible by reading Daniel. But I know he would get lost. He did. He hasn't been reading lately. I don't need these things to compel me to train him. The scriptures are very clear.
I would like to list a number of things that need to be done as one gets ready. Some might seem them trivial, but none should be left out or just assumed.
Pray for your son's warm receptivity to spending time alone with him and the Lord. The degree of difficulty doing this will reveal how poorly we have been doing our job instructing our children. Prayer will throw off the enemy in keeping the time from becoming a confrontation rather than a time of great joy and closeness.
Confess your sins if there is anything between you and your son. It is urgent that these things have to be properly dealt with or resentment will build. Focus on what you might have done to disappoint him, or ways that you have not been a good example. You might start by saying something like this,
Share your vision.
Share your vision about what you want for him. Tell him about your past, and your struggles with growing up in the Lord. I told Daniel about the lack of my father sharing anything of this sort with me. I also explained how because of this, I went easily astray. Share with him what you would like God to do through your times together. I kept it real short, by the way. I found it much easier to share more during the study itself.
Set a time aside.
Plan ahead when to meet. Have him anticipate this time. Don't all of a sudden jump in and command your son to meet with you. But when you set a time, don't forget it!!! Let's do this right. Make it like a work appointment. Serious. Important.
Each person should be using the same version. Don't complicate things by reading your version, making it difficult to follow along. Our house is littered with different versions. For Christmas, I bought everyone the same version (NASB), a good study Bible, in paperback version. They might not use it a lot, but when we are doing something together like memorizing or reading, we all are working in the same wavelength.
Anticipate God's grace.
Expect God's grace to come on the both of you. This is very important. God loves this discipling (Deuteronomy 6). It does not depend on your skills but your sincere dependence on Him to teach you both. Don't have an agenda but a burden. The Spirit of God is your teacher. You might want to refer to "Spirit Dependent Teaching."
Pick a passage.
Pick a passage by praying and seeing if God would lay anything special on your heart. The Lord led me to start with Proverbs 4 because it helped set the right tone between the father and son. It helped explain my vision. Obviously, we should start off with simple passages rather than something like Romans or Hebrews. Let the message be straightforward.
Get ready by having a couple of pens and paper or notebook. My son repeated one of our family's poison statements that float through the house, "I don't know how to take notes." I said that is fine. I will take them and show you how. I did. I wrote right in front of him on the desk. He saw what notes were. He saw the usefulness of them. He actually helped me draw a diagram of an ear.
Begin with both of you praying. I asked him to pray, but our children are shy at doing something new. He didn't want to pray. He didn't know what to pray. I told him, but he whimpered. I hardly wanted this to be the main attraction of the study. So I just asked him to repeat after me. (Our family uses this method quite often when we memorize scripture together). Just pray that God will teach both of you. Make the prayer simple.
Close in prayer
Always close with prayer. My son had warmed up a lot during the study. We had good sharing over the Word and life. But when we came to closing in prayer, he said he didn't know what to pray. I said that is fine. I took out our notes and pointed at two or three things we could pray for. He picked up on that right away and prayed away.
Choose a good place to meet. I chose my study because of the big desk, privacy and computer Bible search if needed. You might go outside or meet at a restaurant. But if your environment holds you back from publicly praying, choose another place. I refuse to answer the phone. My son is important.
I will share how to study together as we go through each lesson. I have our first six lessons uploaded all from Proverbs 4. The notes are given in detail, more in the first lessons, so that you can get a good handle on how to lead your son to study. Many people, including fathers, have never been discipled or discipled anyone. I will share with you the basic steps. Some of you might not need any more challenge or direction than what has been given above. That is fine. The most important thing is that we disciple our sons as God commanded us. But if you would like to join us in our study, please do! (Thanks to Daniel who didn't mind me putting these notes up to help other fathers.)