We recently had our first "Back to School" night and met Kate's teachers. They encouraged parents to continue reading to their children regardless of their age or reading level. At first this caught me by surprise because we had recently allowed Kate to take over the reading. She reads well, so at reading time, she reads to us. But the suggestion was--great, let them read, but if she is able to read every book you read together, then it is time to start picking more difficult books.
It seems this is the concept: before your child could read, you read to them books that are appropriate for the first and second grade reader. Now your child has grown up and can read first and second grade material. So by all means, let them read first and second grade material... but now start picking out 4th grade material that they are not comfortable reading, and read that to them.
Aha! Of course. And this never ends... When a child can read 4th grade material, its time to read 7th and 8th grade material together... it is validation of the growth that has occurred and casting a vision of what is ahead.
What a great model for our spiritual discipleship. We must always be surrounding ourselves with people further along on the journey--a reminder that we have come a long way, and a vision for greater faithfulness down the road. We never master Christian living, we are always mastering Christian living.
How have you changed your discipleship practices as you have matured?