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How to Help Your Child to Choose Jesus

Jun 5, 2023 | Teach Kids Articles

As parents, we’re often concerned about our children’s safety, while thoughts of the dangers that lurk out in the world motivate us to take extra precautions. You don’t just tell a small child to stay close when walking by a street, you hold their hand tightly so you know for sure they won’t run into the street and accidentally get hit by a car.

Wanting the best for our children when it comes to important faith decisions is much the same thing. 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?

Following Jesus Should Be a Choice

In Christian homes, it’s easy to “buy the cart before the horse”, so to speak. We sometimes put a lot of emphasis on exacting standards of godly living or instilling Christian truths into our children, even when the child may not yet know Jesus as their Savior or have the Holy Spirit for guidance. As well-intentioned as this may be, this kind of forceful indoctrination is in error. 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 what it means for them first, so that they can make the choice for themselves to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord of their life. The gospel and the love of God comes first. Righteous living and daily Christian living practices come second. Once the child understands the gospel and chooses to receive new life in Christ, it becomes much easier to teach them Christian growth truths and how to live a godly life.

If you have a Christian home, it’s easy for parents, or even for your child, to assume that they are a child of God. However, if you don’t remember a time when your child openly received Christ as their own personal Savior, talk to them soon, and offer to guide them through the path of salvation — though only if they choose to!

How to Lead a Child to Christ

CEF has great resources to help you lead a child to Christ and into a salvation decision. Our favorite tool is the Wordless Book, which uses nothing but colors to help children remember basic gospel concepts. 

As a very simple explanation, the Wordless Book starts with the gold page, which reminds us of God in Heaven. He wants to be our friend now, here on earth, and to take us to be with Him in Heaven for eternity when we die. 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 — a gift that we must choose to receive — as 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.

For further training on how to better use these colors and to get your own copy of The Wordless Book, go to cefonline.com/free or visit this link. You’ll receive a free digital copy, as well as an online training that helps you explain each concept to the child using Bible verses and examples, while testing the child’s understanding and conviction as you go through the colors.

You can also access tons of kid-friendly gospel content on CEF’s YouTube channel for kids, U-Nite Kids, by clicking this link or searching “Unite Kids” in YouTube’s search bar.

All Ages Need the Gospel First

Once you learn how to explain the gospel clearly to a child, you can use the concepts shown in the Wordless Book to 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 and step to receiving the gospel. It helps you stay on course, as people sometimes divert the conversation to nonessentials. It also 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 into 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 or has any conviction of wrongdoing. Covering these basics first is more essential than ever.

So, whether you’re talking with your own child, 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. Try as we might to teach our children how to behave well, training doesn’t work well unless their heart belongs to Jesus first, ensuring they are rightly motivated. Don’t skip the most important first step of helping your child to give their life to Jesus, before expecting them to understand or care about Christian living principles.

God bless you as lead others to His saving grace.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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