Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Lead Your Child to Christ- Part 3

In the first two parts of this series, I shared some ideas for
To get your child to say "I want to be a Christian" or to repeat some prayer after you without having this as a foundation can lead to a false sense of security for both you and your child. It is crucial that each child, to the extent that they are cognitively capable, fully understand the decision they are making. In addition to Step 1 & 2, there is (at least) one more element that is necessary for your child to understand what it means to be a Christian.

Step 3: Teach your child what it means for him to make Jesus "the Lord of his life." 

That phrase, "the Lord of your life," is a little church-y, as in you hear it all the time in the Church but if your were to say it to a random stranger they would likely need interpretation.

Jesus is often referred to as "Lord" in the Bible. He is even called Lord of lords. Really, all it boils down to is that He is the leader. He's the One with the authority to make the decisions.

Driving in the car recently, Andy asked Caedmon, "What does it mean when someone is the master?"

I'm sure Caedmon's mind immediately went to Jedi Masters so he began explaining that being a master meant that you are the best at what you do and you're in charge and tell everyone else what their missions are supposed to be.

Then Andy asked, "What does it mean to be the leader?"

After Caedmon gave his explanation, Andy asked, "And what does it mean to be a king?"

Caedmon did an impressive job of answering the questions, and then we started discussing how that is what Jesus is for our lives. Jesus is our Master, our Leader, and our King. When we decide to follow Jesus, we give over the leadership and decision making to Him. We no longer decide for ourselves what we want to do. We listen to Him tell us what He wants us to do. 

This concept is hard for a child to fully grasp, but I do not believe a child is ready to receive Jesus as their Savior until they have some level of understanding of this crucial element. 

How do you make it practical?
  • Talk through your decision making process with your kids at age-appropriate levels.
For example, our family is in the process of moving as our lease is up in March. We have talked with the boys about our decision making process and prayed with them that God would lead us to the place that He wants us to live.
  • As you read the Bible & devotional books together, talk about how your kids can apply what they are learning to their everyday lives.
There are so many Bible stories/verses that highlight generosity, kindness, self-control, courage, etc... Character qualities that are God's will for all of our lives.
  • Share with your child (obviously, in an age-appropriate way) areas of sin that you have struggled with and how you have decided to stop doing things your way and start following the way Jesus has prescribed.

In my opinion, there needs to be a time when your child recognizes that what he wants to do (i.e. punch his brother in the nose) is not what Jesus wants him to do. And in that moment he has to make a decision whether or not he will allow Jesus to be his Master or will he put himself back on the throne of his life. This is the point at which a child can grasp the concept of surrendering his rights and his life to the Lordship of Jesus. 

I will post Part 4 on Wednesday.

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