27 Nov How to Lead Your Child to Christ
I get a lot of questions about how to lead your child to Christ. I want to encourage you that this is something you can do. You don’t need to be fearful about it.
We should be intentional about teaching our children, leading them, and helping them to accept Christ as their Savior because it has eternal consequences.
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Desiring for Our Children to Follow Christ
There is no better feeling for a parent than leading their children to accept Christ as their Savior.
Mark 8:36 says, What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
When I see that verse it makes me think about how you can have everything this world has to offer, but it would be heartbreaking if your children choose to not serve the Lord.
In 3 John 1:4 it says, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
We want to know, not just that they’ve accepted Christ, but that they’re walking in the truth and following the Lord. There is no greater joy to a parent than knowing that their kids are serving the Lord.
Practical Steps for Leading Your Child to Christ
#1: It Has to Be Their Decision
We can desire for our kids to come to know Christ as their savior, but ultimately it has to be their decision.
My parents are kids pastors, and my husband’s parents are active in kids ministry at our church. Both my husband and I attend church with our kids.
There have been plenty of times that it would have been easy for us to say, “Don’t you want to ask Jesus into your heart? Or don’t you want to accept Christ?”
But I wanted it to be of their own volition. I wanted it to be their decision. I wanted it to be them seeking me out to say, “I want to serve the Lord.”
In Luke 3: 8 the Bible says, Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Your Kids Must Acknowledge Their Need for a Savior
I never wanted my kids to automatically assume that they’re saved just because they come from a home where both parents are saved.
One day when I was getting my son out of the bathtub and drying him off he said, “Mom, I just want to be clean on the inside like I am on the outside”. I was able to lead him to the Lord right there. My other son was saved in children’s church.
It was important to me that both of my kids accepted the Lord because they thought of it. Anytime you allow your child to make a decision, it becomes internalized way more than if you suggest it or bring it up to them.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever talk about it, but let it be their decision.
Once they make that decision to accept Christ as their savior, the first thing that they need to do is admit that they’re a sinner and that they need a savior.
This might seem counterintuitive because we want our kids to feel good and we want them to be saved, but the most important message of the gospel is that we need a savior.
Romans 3:23 says, All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Too often we put emphasis on the fact that Jesus loves us no matter what. We forget that the truth of the gospel surrounds the fact that we all need a savior.
It can be hard, especially when they’re small, but you need to let your child come to the sobering knowledge that they are not perfect, that they have done things that are wrong.
Your kids have to admit that there’s no way that they can go to heaven if they don’t receive Jesus. We may think that they’re not capable of understanding, but the truth is they might understand it better than we do. God gives us a sense of right and wrong, good and bad from a very young age.
Don’t Underestimate The Depth of Their Salvation Experience
I still remember my own salvation experience.
When I was growing up, and even now, my parents pastored children. During church, when I was about three years old, my mom was telling a story, and I remember thinking, “I am lost without God”.
At three years old, how many bad things could I have done? But in my heart, I knew how bad I was and how much I needed the Lord.
I was very young, but I can remember the way I felt that day, and that is the Holy Spirit.
We don’t need to underestimate what the Lord can do in their hearts, because their hearts are so soft and so malleable at a young age. The Lord can speak into their lives and remind them that they need him.
It’s okay if your kids are emotional at first because that’s where we all were. We were all at that place where we had to stop and say, “I can’t do this on my own. I cannot save myself. I can’t do anything without him”.
Once we come to that place, that’s whenever they can believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, and they have to believe that Jesus is the only way.
Romans 10: 9-10 says, If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved for it’s with your heart that you believe and are justified and it’s with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
I love those verses because it says, if I make this decision, I’m going to believe it with my heart, I’m going to declare it with my mouth that he is Lord, and then I will be saved.
We can start to teach our kids that it doesn’t matter if Mama said it, or if Dad said it, or Grandpa or grandma. What matters is if you believe it.
Questions to Ask Your Children to Help Them Understand Their Decision
Do you believe that there is only one way to heaven?
Do you believe that Jesus came, died, was buried and raised on the third day so that you could go to heaven with him?
Whenever they say yes, that’s all it takes.
It’s good to pray with them as they accept Christ into their life, and when they believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord and they’ve confessed that belief with their mouth, they’re saved!
You are leading them to God’s salvation already.
As parents we often feel like we have to get everything right, we have to have the words right, we have to have the verses memorized or else it just messes everything up.
God is the one that works in our kids’ lives, and if you are being an example of repentance, following in the Lord’s footsteps, parenting with intention, it’s going to be natural for your children to accept Christ because they’re seeing how He changes you.
They can see that even when you want to be frustrated or even if you’re scared about something, that you have peace in your heart and they’re gonna want that, too.
We need to allow them the opportunity to admit that they’re a sinner, that they need saving.
Then they need to believe and confess, with their heart and their mouth, that Jesus is Lord and that he is the only way that they can be saved.
Celebrating Their Decision
Once they’ve done that, Mama, it’s time to celebrate! Heaven is celebrating too!
In our church, if a child has been saved, they get a little certificate with the date written on it.
Make it a day that they will remember. Write it down, put it on a calendar, so they can remember this important occasion.
Both of my boys ended up receiving Christ on days that are memorable. One was Easter Sunday and the other was Superbowl Sunday. We made it a special celebration by taking them out to eat.
Some ways you can make it special for your child is by taking them to their favorite restaurant or giving them a special gift, maybe give them a new Bible.
Whether they’re three years old or 30 years old, whenever you accept Christ, it’s a turning point in your life, like getting married or having a child, and it’s something that needs to be celebrated.
This is a big day to celebrate so it’s okay to go overboard. All of Heaven will be celebrating your child on this day too.
If You Need a Little Extra Encouragement
If you have questions or concerns or you just want us to pray with you, I am happy to do that.
You can send me an email to [email protected](dot)com.
You can also go to the Girl of Grace Facebook group where they will be conversing about this topic.
If you have questions, we have a weekly prayer thread where you can share a need that you have or ask questions.
I’m here to help you. I want you to be able to raise your kids knowing that they’re world changers, and for you to raise them knowing that what you’re doing matters.
And I never want it to go without saying: if you want to know the Lord yourself and you’re not sure how to do that, please email me. I’m here for you.