“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 19:1 (ESV)
There is nothing more important to us than our children’s salvation. We don’t care how successful they become, how much money they make, how many people they impress, or how famous they become. We want them to know the Lord.
We want them to love Him like we do. We want them to be able to enjoy a full and rich relationship with Christ on earth and spend eternity with Him in heaven.
And we want our children to choose Him for themselves.
Not because we’ve suggested it or because it would please us. Not because it’s how they were raised. Not because their friends in Sunday school are doing it. And not because we take them to church every Sunday and it’s just a tradition they feel they have to continue.
Our greatest prayer for our children is that they would find true faith in Jesus for themselves and desire a relationship with Him because they see how faithful God was to us as a family. That they realize that they are indeed sinners, like the rest of us, and need a perfect and holy Savior to take their place in the seat of judgement. And a Shepherd to help them overcome the trials and temptations of this ever-fading world.
The only way they will know that is if we show them.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 offers us a simple, yet powerful command:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your might. And these words that I command to you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Recently, our pastor said, “Our faith is very personal, but it’s not private. We were meant to tell the world about it.”
Even when our world is small.
Every day is a new opportunity to demonstrate for our children the source of our peace, the desire to obey our Heavenly Father, and the desperate need for a forgiving, loving God.
Even in our mistakes, especially in our mistakes.
It is not weakness to show your children that when you’re wrong you ask forgiveness of those you’ve offended.
It is not simple-mindedness to obey commands that we know will benefit our lives (even in difficult circumstances). (John 14:15)
It is not naive to trust in a Savior who has time and time again proven Himself faithful in our lives.
I am not saying we have this all figured out. That we’re some kind of super spiritual parents who are always quoting the perfect Scripture for all situations, that we never lose our tempers, or overreact to something that’s not really a big deal. Or even that we have an answer for all the questions our kids have or will have about God as they mature and begin to search out faith for themselves.
But I can say this: We know that God will give us everything we need to shape these little hearts entrusted to us when we are seeking Him daily ourselves and depending solely on Him for wisdom and guidance before we react to each of the situations presented to us in parenting.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some resources that have really helped support us as parents as we try to fulfill the command from Deuteronomy to teach our children diligently.
I’ll also be sharing some observations we’ve made and conversations we’ve had with our kids that have provided great opportunities to share the Gospel with them, even when they’re still too young to fully understand the implications of Jesus’ death on the cross.
I’d love to hear what some of you guys do to share the Gospel with your kids or even demonstrate it to them in some cases. Please share below or share resources that have benefitted your family. See ya next week for more in this series.
The post “Shaping Little Hearts” first appeared on Little Paper Crown.
I shared a couple of practical ways to share the Gospel with very young children a few months ago HERE.