As parents, we’re often concerned about our children’s safety. Thoughts of the dangers that lurk out there motivate us to take extra precautions. You don’t just tell a small child to stay close when walking by a street, you hold her hand tightly, so you know for sure she won’t run into the street and get hit.
We know that when our children reach young adulthood, they’ll face a whole new set of dangers in this world. Will they fall into sin and be terribly hurt? Or will they follow Jesus and avoid the pain caused by sinful decisions?
In Christian homes, it’s easy to get the cart before the horse. We sometimes put a lot of emphasis on Christian growth truths when the child may not yet know Jesus as Savior and have the Holy Spirit for guidance. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him.” The greatest need of the unsaved child is to understand the gospel and choose to accept Christ as Savior and Lord of her life.
Once the child understands the gospel and receives new life in Christ, it becomes much easier to teach her Christian growth truths. If you have a Christian home, you or your child might be assuming that she is a child of God. If you don’t remember the time when your child received Christ as her own personal Savior, talk to her soon and guide her through the plan of salvation.
CEF has great resources to help you lead children in a salvation decision. Our favorite tool is the Wordless Book, which uses nothing but colors to help children remember basic concepts. For training in how to use these colors, go to cefonline.com/free. You can also watch a demonstration video on CEF’s YouTube channel for kids.
The Wordless Book starts with the gold page, which reminds us of God in Heaven. He wants to be your friend now and take you to Heaven for eternity. But there’s a problem represented by the next, dark page. It’s our sin, which separates us from a holy God and causes us to walk in darkness. Because God loves us so much, He made a way to be forgiven of our sin. That one way is represented by the red page signifying how the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on our behalf. It was a free gift, that we must choose to receive, signified by the light page, because the Bible says we can be washed clean and walk in the light. The green page is all about growth in God’s family. Now, this was a very simple explanation. The online training helps you explain each concept to the child, using Bible verses and examples, testing the child’s understanding and conviction as you go through the colors.
Once you learn how to explain the gospel clearly to a child, you can explain it well to adults too. Even if you don’t show them colors, you can go through the colors in your mind as you cover each concept. It also helps you stay on course as people sometimes divert the conversation to nonessentials. It helps you test a person’s understanding systematically, so you know where they are in their understanding of the gospel. It used to be that you could launch right in to talking about Jesus when witnessing, but now, you don’t know if when you’re talking about God, the other person is talking about the same God. You don’t know if the other person accepts the truth about sin and has any conviction of wrongdoing. Covering these basics first is more essential than ever.
So, whether you’re talking with your own child, or to a child whom God has given you the privilege of caring for in some role, or even to an adult, don’t assume anything. In your home, don’t skip this most important first step, helping your child give his or her life to Jesus before expecting that your child can understand and care about Christian living principles. Try as we might to teach our children how to behave well, training doesn’t work well unless their heart belongs to Jesus, so they are rightly motivated.
God bless you as lead others to his saving grace.
Stay Connected with CEF
Subscribe to our email lists to receive updates, news, and stories based on your needs and interests.