Sharing the Gospel with Your Child
An encouragement to our fellow parents in the church from your children’s ministry staff team, Amy and Andy.
From the moment you become a parent, your love for your child drives you to want what’s best for them. We want them to be healthy and full of joy and life.
So as a parent who’s given their life to Jesus, it makes sense that we want our children to experience the kind of eternal life and joy and health that comes from knowing and loving HIM! Great! Yes! But…how do we move from the first weeks of parenting a newborn toward this ultimate good that we want for them?
I do truly believe that sharing the gospel with your children is a calling God gives us when we become a family. I believe this is the most important part of parenting. And I believe this feels hard.
Please hear this: you can’t save your kids. The gospel isn’t something you can quiz your kids on with flash cards to make sure they “get it.” It’s a deep, abstract change that’s hard to know for sure from outside your kid’s heart. Your parenting (good or bad!) doesn’t guarantee your children will turn out a certain way. Our role as parents is not to “make” our kids believe in Christ. That’s not possible! Our role is to teach them the wonders of God and the gospel so that they have the understanding they need to choose Jesus for themselves. We intercede for them in prayer. One of my prayers is, “Father, make my child’s heart soft and receptive to You.” He (alone) is powerful and eager to save.
There are hundreds of wonderful resources I could share (and I will share if you’re interested!) that give a guide for laying a foundation of the gospel. There’s so much to understand about God- He’s an unending treasure. If you feel overwhelmed with that and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone.
How do you share that gospel with your kids?
Begin by being personal and authentic. How does the gospel make a difference in your life? What about Jesus changes the way you live, talk, spend your money, choose your friends, react to difficulties, etc.? Has He protected you from fear, anger, worry, despair, bitterness? How has the hope of the gospel changed your outlook on the future?
This will be more natural if you talk about these changes as they’re happening. For example, if your kids see you praying when you’re tempted to worry. Or if you verbalize to them that you’re forgiving someone else because God in Christ forgave you. But if you’re reading this part and feeling like you’ve blown it, hold on! It’s not too late! Just start today. You can talk about those changes in the past that your kids didn’t see, and make a decision from now that you’re going to show them the power of Christ affecting your life going forward.
Some of the basic parts of the gospel could be summarized like this:
God Created Us
God is the loving king of the whole world because He created it (Revelation 4:11). That means He created US so that we can live in friendship with God and discover how amazing His creation is. Wow! 🙂
Sin Breaks Our Friendship with God
We sin (Romans 3:23). Sin is anything we think, say, or do that goes against God. His way is always good, but sin is when we say, “No, God, my way is better.” That’s not good. It hurts us, it breaks our relationship with God, and it hurts those around us. Because God is holy and perfect and entirely true, He can’t just pretend our sins didn’t happen. We can’t be friends with Him when there’s sin in us, and nothing we can do will cover up or take away that stain.
God Made a Way Back
BUT God made a way FOR us. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life on earth and take the punishment for our sins, even though He didn’t deserve it (John 3:16). He did this by dying on a cross, and after 3 days He came back to life.
Jesus has power over sin and makes it possible for our punishment to be taken away (1 Peter 3:18). We have the freedom to ask for forgiveness from God. And when you ask God to forgive you, he looks at what Jesus has done and forgives you completely (Romans 3:25)! He makes us new from the inside out and invites us into friendship with Him forever. He makes us part of His family and calls us His children!
New Life with God
When you believe in Jesus, He puts His Holy Spirit inside you so you can say “no” to sin and say “yes” to doing things God’s way (Galatians 5:16). He teaches you and reminds you that you are forgiven, and that you are free to say “no” to sin and love other people as you have been loved. He will always be with you and nothing can take you away from Him (Romans 5:9-11).
Today, parents, praise God with fresh thankfulness for His good news! 🙂 The only “work” of salvation that we do is to believe! God does the rest. That’s life-changing news worth sharing with the young people in your family. God has given you a special relationship with them and walks with us as we parent, ready to help. Start talking about Him today!