“How do you lead a child to Jesus?” That was my question to my friend, Patti, who has 8 children. I really thought it was a great question. Her answer surprised me.
“You don’t,” she said. “Children already know in their hearts about God. You just need to make sure you don’t lead them away.”
So many kids are told that their prayers aren’t good or right. So many kids are told that they need to behave in a certain way in order for God to like them. And many are told that God is angry with them, that they are bad, or that God doesn’t like them.
This is a picture of one of the millstones at the reproduction grist mill that Henry Ford build in Sudbury, MA. Our visit there was an eye opener to me as I remembered that Jesus said not to hinder the little ones. And that for those who do, it would be better for them if a millstone were tied around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. (Mark 9:42) Ouch!
Jesus has opened the door for all of us to enjoy fellowship with the Father. This is no longer dependent on whether or not we are “good enough”. Jesus took all our shortcomings, past, present and future, and nailed them to the cross. We are at peace with the Lord.
With that in mind, lead your children by example. Know that you are saved only by God’s grace. Trust in His goodness, and not in your own. Many of us think of God as disappointed in us, angry with us and waiting for us to fail. But that is not Jesus. In fact, the only thing Jesus got angry about and fought against when he was walking the earth, was the religion of the day. Jesus is anti-religiosity and legalism. A great resource for learning more about this is Plain Truth Ministries.
So when you talk about Jesus in your home, do it with smiles, with hugs, with gladness. And if your own relationship with God is characterized by fear, anxiety and unhappiness – you could know that you are not hanging out with Jesus. Because He’s not about that. I know people who are unhappy, angry, and resentful. They live in fear, they approach their faith with an uncomfortableness that is palpable. And then they wonder why their children aren’t excited about following God. Hmmm. Would you be? If your biggest example of what it means to be a Christian was you, would you find that appealing?
Rather, remember that Jesus loves you and wants to enjoy a relationship with you. He is patient. He is kind. He accepts you today and every day, exactly how you are. And He feels the same way about your kids.
Wish you were here!
Wish you were here!