The following is a GUEST WRITER for JeubFamily.com. Every once in a while we welcome the views of others to our blog. If you would like to be a guest writer for JeubFamily.com, see our writer's guidelines. Enjoy this article!
Recently, I got the privilege of pointing a coworker to Jesus. God had been working on her heart, and he used me to help her overcome some intellectual hurdles into a commitment to Jesus. It was great! Not only was it fun to watch her open up to Jesus, but it strengthened my faith in reviewing my reasons for belief with her. I can’t wait until God allows me to take part in that again.
My hunger to see more folks start their journey with Jesus caused me to consider how I can increase the amount of evangelism in my life. It occurred to me that loving another child in a Christ-centered home IS evangelism. But how? Here are three things we should teach our children early on, all part of planting seeds of faith in their hearts.
Teach a child to seek the truth
Often, sharing Christ with adults means helping them conquer myths, stereotypes and lies about Jesus. Many of these misconceptions were learned in the formative years between birth and 21 years of age. In a home that is focused on Jesus, we can assist our kids to avoid these pitfalls by teaching them to love the truth and to commit to it at all costs. When we teach them to think logically for themselves, they can navigate through these fallacies on their search for the truth.
As parents, we should also be prepared to tell them why we believe in Christ, and help them wrestle with any objections or questions they have, especially when we don’t have an answer.
Teach a child to avoid harmful behaviors
It has been my experience that the central thing holding many people from following Jesus is their attachment to sin. While someone may hold numerous intellectual reasons why they reject Christ, exposing those “reasons” to light still fails to convince them. I’m convinced that our self-centered, sin nature is the chain that prevents us from following Jesus.
I see this often in my own struggle with sin. While we can’t train the sin nature out of children, we can help them avoid too much commitment to themselves, and work to prevent them from building patterns of sinful behavior. By teaching them about the ugly consequences of sin, we can lessen the enticement of sin on their hearts
Teach a child to shape their life around the Kingdom of God
A life committed to Christ is discipleship. A disciple is one who learns and imitates the teacher. We don’t want to just make converts of our children, but rather teach them to be disciples of Christ. A convert sometimes lacks depth and maturity, while a disciple is always increasing both of those factors. Parenting with love requires time spent with a child and therefore, plenty of time to disciple. Our goal is that our children, when beginning adulthood, surpass the maturity in Christ that we had when we were 18. Here are some trigger questions for growing disciples:
- What did Jesus mean when he told us to take up our cross and follow Him?
- Why did Paul and Peter refer to themselves as slaves or “bondservants” of Christ in their letter introductions?
- Can we be a disciple of Jesus without obeying his commands?
Teaching our children about Jesus and training them for discipleship cannot guarantee that they will choose to follow Christ. However, it makes it difficult for them to choose otherwise. When we see our children as our mission, we can revel in the sacred task of leading them to Jesus. What do you think?