Coming to Jesus isn’t just for adults. In fact, Jesus himself said in Matthew 19:14, “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”.
One of the most heartbreaking trends I see is when Christian parents don’t step into their God-given role of disciplers and evangelists in their own homes. They miss out on opportunities to share Jesus in their own homes.
In the USA especially, we set up a family schedule that often hinders our child’s ability to come to Jesus. Our schedules are often so full of school, after-school activities, and household stuff, that we don’t make God a priority.
And maybe you’re thinking, “wait a second, I make God a priority in my home. We go to church. We tithe…We check the boxes….”.
Maybe you find that you do some or all of these things:
We pray at every meal.
We pray at bedtime.
We read scriptures as a family.
We memorize bible verses.
We go to church most weeks.
We tithe to a local body of Christ.
We volunteer. (either at church or for a ministry that helps people)
We send our kids to church camp.
We send our kids to VBS.
If you do any of these things, that’s great. There is nothing wrong with any of them. But what if leading your child to Christ goes one step further? What if it’s more than church camp encounters and Sunday school lessons?
Your life is a living testimony of Christ. What if leading your child to Christ also had to do with how YOU live out your faith in front of them? What if you were a living witness to Christ in you? Your children are watching.
Do you repent to them when you’re wrong?
Do you repent to your children when you yell out of anger?
Do you ever help the homeless man on the corner?
Do you let them see you praying?
Do you pray for your children?
Do you talk to them about Jesus?
I know easy it is to forget about my role as discipler. In my house we get so busy with reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and “playtime” i.e. “outside time so everyone can run around and play”. Sometimes, we don’t read our Bibles together as a family. Sometimes, I forget because the other things seem “more useful” at the moment. Sometimes I put it off for “later” but later never comes.
I’ve repented to my children countless times when I’ve yelled at them or accused them of doing something they didn’t do. I’ve asked them to forgive me. They are amazing, and always extend me that grace. I’m not perfect, and I’m a work in progress for sure. But I take heart that God’s word says,
Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
I want to tell you something important. In spite of my inconsistency, God is still glorified in my household. I still preach Jesus to my children. And then I live out my faith in front of them. Even the messy and imperfect parts.
As Christian parents, our primary role is to raise our children up in the ways of the Lord. It’s a hard and heavy task. I’ve watched great Christian parents in deep sadness as their child walked away from the Lord for a season. I’ve watched them rejoice when their child came back.
Your role is to teach them the ways of God and trust Him for the rest.
Do the things God is calling you as a family to do. Spend time in His word. Spend time in prayer. Worship together, in the car and at church. Tithe. Put your money where your mouth is quite literally. Talk about Baptism, not just in water, but of the Holy Spirit.
Most importantly, PRAY. God’s word promises us that if we raise our children up in His ways, then when they are old, they won’t depart from it. Pray over your children. Speak God’s promises over them.
I led my 5-year-old daughter to Jesus last week. Not because I am anything special, but because God is amazing. It's funny, because her and I had a conversation about Jesus a few months back, and I took the opportunity to ask her if she wanted to make Jesus her Lord and Savior. She thought about it for a moment, and said, "maybe later".
Well, the opportunity came again, she asked me to read her a book about Jesus for bedtime. We read it and then she asked me when she was going to get baptized. So we talked about Jesus, we talked about sin, and we talked about forgiveness of sin. We talked about baptism and that it doesn’t save us, Jesus does. And then I asked if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. And she said yes. She said yes to Jesus, and then we baptized her in our tub.
I know that this is just the beginning of her walk with the Lord. I know that there are going to be times where she’s going to struggle. We all do. But I know that God’s word says that I can trust Him with her. So I pray. And I will continue to teach her about Jesus and live my faith in front of her.
Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find. Knock on the door and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.Matthew 7:7-8
I don’t have a simple 5-step process to leading your child to Jesus. The truth is, it doesn’t look that way. I know what God’s word says. And I know, that yes, you can lead your child to Jesus too. Don’t let their age make you think they are too young to say yes. I pray the Lord would give you divine moments and that you wouldn’t be afraid to just ask.