Teaching Your Child about Christ, Part 1
May 13, 2020
Our highest priority at Camps is your child’s relationship with Christ. All the fun, friendship and adventure are part of the package, and they are important, but we know that getting to know Jesus will transform your child’s life for eternity. We will miss sharing Christ with our campers this year, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out. We hope this blog encourages you to be real, be bold, and be grace-filled as you teach your child about Christ.
One of the best things you can do for your children’s spiritual life—if not the best thing—is to give them a solid and secure relationship with the most important person in their life: you!
Your child’s relationship with God is, at least initially, going to look a lot like their relationship with you. At some point they will make their own decision to follow Jesus or not, and as a parent, you want to give them every opportunity to see God as a loving and generous parent, full of grace and kindness.
If this responsibility terrifies you, I get it. If you didn’t have good role models to follow, you aren’t alone. If you feel too broken to parent well, I understand.
If you didn’t have perfect parents—and nobody does or is, so just let that expectation drop off your shoulders right this minute—God can give you what you need to be patient, kind, firm, compassionate, or whatever the moment requires.
Love is the foundation. If you love your kids and show them, you’ve won already. Part of loving them well is sharing your faith with them and leading them to the One who is Love.
Keep Jesus as your #1 Priority
As a mom, my highest priority was that my boys would love Jesus. My husband Jay and I are far from perfect. We do not have perfect children. And, as is true in most families, our children posed unique challenges in parenting—but ours are a bit more unique from each other than most siblings.
Our son, Zack, is tender-hearted, emotional, and has intellectual disabilities and autism. Zack will remain a child mentally for his entire life. The way we parent him is very different than the way we parent Taylor. At the age of 23, Zack still loves Veggie Tales and has a theology that is simply “God loves me.” We rejoice when he waves his arms in the air while listening to worship songs and says “Amen” at the end of grace.
Our first born, Taylor, hit every milestone early, made friends easily, did well in school, is talented musically, and excelled at sports. Being neuro typical, Taylor has a much greater capacity for complexity in his faith. That is a blessing and a challenge in parenting. And because that is more likely to be your experience, I’m going to focus the rest of this piece on how we parented Taylor.
There were years (all the way from late elementary through high school) when Jay and I prayed for just a glimpse of the Holy Spirit at work in Taylor. He was a good kid, and every now and then we’d see a spark of love for Christ, but there were also a lot of eye rolls whenever we tried to have devotions as a family, and other forms of passive resistance.
Then, you know what? He went away to a public university and fell in love with Jesus! Now he and his wife are in full-time ministry. God is faithful and He has plans for all of our kids that go beyond our hopes and dreams.
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us.”(Ephesians 3:20 AMP)
Pray Like Your Life Depends on It
Praying for our kids is the most effective way to bring them to Jesus, because God is the one who does the work. As much as we’d like it, we don’t have much control. But the Lord answers the prayers of a mom and dad for their child. It really helps to pray with other moms, too, whether with women friends or with a group like Moms in Prayer International.
In addition to praying for your kids, it’s important to pray with them. For example, on the way to school you can pray a blessing on their day. At bedtime, ask if there’s anything they want to share with you about their day (which can bring surprising confessions). Pray through those things and ask the Lord to help them sleep well. At mealtimes pray together for specific needs and thank God for his answers. And be sure you don’t do all the talking because your kids have things to say to God, too.
To be continued next week …
Written by Elizabeth Griffin, Senior Writer for CRISTA Ministries
Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash