15 Oct Creating a Heart for the Lost in Your Kids
We all want to raise kids who have a heart for the Great Commission. We want them to care about the lost in the world.
My husband and I recently became foster parents. We felt that God was calling us to minister to kids in this way. Although we want our foster kids to be reunited with their parents, we are open to adoption.
This experience has changed my biological kids. Of course, there have been some rough times, but I’ve seen my boys grow.
How Fostering Affected My Kids:
They realized that not everyone had a life like theirs.
We can easily get into the habit of thinking everyone has as good a life as we do, but fostering opened my boys’ eyes to the struggles other children faced.
This changed how they saw other kids at school. They began to grow in compassion as they realized that their classmates might not have the same family situation that my boys do.
They experienced suffering.
My boys had to experience the struggles that come with having strangers move into your house. They had to share their parents with kids they didn’t know. They had to say goodbye to kids who went back to their bio parents.
Experiencing suffering isn’t a bad thing. As my pastor said, “Remember that suffering is how our redemption happened.” Jesus suffered for us, and we are called to suffer for others.
Suffering caused my boys to grow. That was rough on me, as their mom, but it was good for them.
They learned that God’s will isn’t always easy.
We felt like God called us to this, but that didn’t mean that it was easy. It was hard. Really hard.
My boys learned that God will call them to hard things, and they also learned that they can persevere through those times.
How to Create a Heart for the Lost in Your Kids
Show them an age appropriate view of the real world.
Obviously, you can’t show a young child graphic images of drug use and abuse, but we shouldn’t shelter our children from all the bad things in the world.
Talk to your children about the problems other people face. Maybe you can explain to them that some children have parents who are incarcerated, and encourage them to pray for those kids. Let them know that there are people suffering.
If we can give them a glimpse of the suffering in the world, they can have empathy for the lost in the world.
Explain that God died for suffering kids as much as He did for them.
Let them know that God loves the struggling child as much as He loves them. Have a conversation about God’s heart for the lost, and let your kids know that He cares about everyone.
Ask your kids, “If God loves them, shouldn’t we? Shouldn’t we try to tell them that there is a God who loves them?” Let them know they can share the message of God.
Open their eyes to the world
We already talked about opening their eyes to the struggling people around them, but we need to open their eyes to how things are in other places of the world.
Our children need to know that there are places where the children have to walk barefoot every day to school or travel many miles for water. They need to know that American conditions are not the normal for everyone.
You can use Operation World to discuss different countries with your kids and how they can pray for them. You’ll find a country for every day along with information about needs that country is facing.
BONUS: Sponsor a child in a third world country to help your children understand the lives of children living in impoverished nations. We use Compassion International.
Let them see you have a heart for the lost.
Your children have to see that you have a heart for the lost. Maybe that means being a foster parent, helping at a soup kitchen, volunteering in ministry, or anything else you can do to help the lost.
Let your kids know that this is important to you and it will become important to them.
I’d like to end with a quote from my pastor. “Sometimes God doesn’t act because He expects His people to.”
We’re the hands and feet of God in this world. It’s important to pray, but it’s also important to act. We can do that, and we can teach our kids to do that too.