Lead Your Children to Jesus
One of the most important things you can do to give your children a good foundation in life is to help them establish a personal relationship with God, through Jesus. Children can pray and receive God’s gift of eternal salvation, through asking Jesus to come into their hearts, at an early age. Receiving Jesus into their hearts is so simple that even a two-year-old can do it!
As soon as you have taught your child who Jesus is (children’s picture Bibles are great for this), you can explain: “Jesus wants to come and live in your heart. He loves you very much, and He wants to be your best friend and stay with you always. If you ask Him to, He will come and live in your heart. Then He will never ever leave you! Do you want Jesus to come into your heart?”
You can then pray a simple prayer that your child can repeat after you. Simply pray: “Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me for being bad sometimes. Help me to love You, and help me to be good.”—And Jesus will come in; your child will be eternally saved. That is God’s promise. It’s as simple as that!
Your older children may need a fuller explanation of salvation. Perhaps you could share the following, or parts of it, with them:
We all have weaknesses and are not perfect, and sometimes we do wrong things. God loves us so much that He wants to forgive us and help us change, so He has worked a great miracle: a plan to save us. He made it so simple that anyone can be saved! All you need to do is to simply believe and receive Jesus in your heart. When Jesus comes into your life, He will help you right now, and He will also give you eternal life forever in Heaven. Salvation is a great gift from God to all those who love and believe in Jesus.
Once your child receives Jesus into his life, he has it. It’s a wonderful experience for parents to be able to share in their child’s discovery of Jesus and His salvation.
Giving Your Children the Word of God
We wouldn’t say to a child lost in a forest, “Find your own way.” We would never think of not feeding our children, or not clothing them, or not letting them go out and play and get fresh air and exercise. Neither should we withhold from them the Words of life—the power, light, and life of God. Jesus said, “The Words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
It is through God’s Word that your children will learn what is right and what is wrong, and it is God’s Word that will give them a solid foundation to hang onto through all the tests and trials they will face. And as they grow up, they will indeed face many, because life is a proving ground where we must learn to make choices on the side of what is right and good, rather than what is wrong and hurtful. Young as they are, your children soon find themselves engaged in this spiritual struggle and begin making choices that can greatly affect their lives and the lives of others. As parents, you can better prepare your children for these tough choices by giving them Jesus, a foundation of faith, and a knowledge of God’s Word.
Bible Stories for Kids
Teach your children Bible stories starting at a young age—the younger the better. Even as babies, they can drink in stories about Jesus and men and women of faith. This will lay a good foundation for deeper discoveries from God’s Word as your children get older. Having daily Bible stories with your kids will bring you all closer together, and help you grow in your faith and understanding of God’s Word. As you read and discuss these stories, you will be surprised at how many lessons you’ll find that apply to your everyday life. Take time to talk about the details and the meaning of each story and help your children apply the lessons to their own lives. (You can find Bible stories for children of all ages here.)
Exploring God’s Word is a spiritual adventure your whole family can share, and you don’t have to know all the answers to begin. If your children ask you questions that you don’t know the answer to, simply tell them, “That is something I don’t know yet, but as we keep reading I’m sure we’ll find out!” Ask the Lord to help you see the answer as you read the Word. You might find it helpful to discuss their questions with your husband or wife, or a Bible-reading friend. The Bible is a big book, and even after a lifetime of study you will not have learned all of the wonderful things it has to say.
Excerpted from the book "Keys to Kids" by Derek and Michelle Brooks. Used with permission.