I praise God for parents who told me about Jesus when I was young. My siblings and I all came to know the Lord and have a personal relationship with him because of our parents. Helping me to have a relationship with Jesus was, by far, the greatest treasure my parents ever gave to me. It is the same treasure I want to give my children – the treasure of eternity.
But this task is urgent. Our children are given to us for such a short time. As parents, we busy ourselves and sacrifice to provide love, emotional support, physical comfort, and a good education for them. But these are not the most important things. The single, most important thing we can do for our children is to introduce them to Jesus and help them to have a personal relationship with him. This is big picture parenting — parenting with the end in mind.
Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)
Are our children coming to Jesus?
I hope that what Edric and I are doing with our children will encourage you to do the same. While we talk and live out our faith, including them in our ministry activities and letting them see what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, we prioritize sharing the gospel to them. For us, the earlier, the better!
Jesus did say, “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” which means that children have the capacity to believe. God will give them the faith they need to accept the truth of his love for them and what he has done through Jesus Christ, his son.
Our older two sons, Elijah and Edan, each made the decision to believe in Jesus at the age of three. We have seen the Holy Spirit cultivate their faith and helped them to grow spiritually. Our third son, Titus, only recently made the choice to accept Jesus into his heart.
It was Sunday evening when Edric took Titus’ hand and let him to the boy’s bedroom, and as he passed by me, he said, “Hon, I think it’s time I shared with him. He’s ready.”
I knew exactly what he was talking about and I was thrilled. It was a life-changing moment for Edric and Titus, and as tempted as I was to spy on them and hear their conversation, I waited patiently in a separate room. Twenty minutes later, they emerged from the bedroom and Edric came to me with tears in his eyes. “He understood!”
“How do you know?” I asked while my eyes began to tear, too.
Edric explained how their conversation went. He told Titus about God’s love for him and how God sent Jesus to die for all of us to save us from our sin. He talked about the reality of hell and heaven. But when he asked Titus, “Do you want to go to heaven?” Titus shrugged in an I-don’t-know-manner. So Edric thought, how can I get him to understand how wonderful heaven is going to be? He then proceeded to share that, “Mommy, daddy, Elijah, and Edan are going to be in heaven because we have Jesus in our hearts.” Titus’ eyes lit up.
Edric added, “And, heaven is going to be more fun that anything you can ever imagine. What is the most fun thing for you, Titus?”
“Marbles!” Titus said excitedly. (Marbles have been his most recent obsession.)
“Well, you can have lots of marbles in heaven!” Edric said.
Titus’ eyes lit up even more. He must have pondered upon these things and been thoroughly convinced because when Edric asked him again, “Do you want to accept Jesus in your heart so that you can go to heaven?” Titus spoke out a most certain, “Yes!”
Edric led him in a prayer to say sorry for the wrong things he has done, ask forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into his heart.
As Edric finished recounting to me what happened, I was overjoyed and thankful to the Lord. I knew we would have to keep on reinforcing Titus’ decision by helping him to grow in his understanding of who God is and mature in his relationship with him. But, at least, he had made the choice and now the Holy Spirit could begin to work in his heart.
Edric told me, “Why don’t you ask him some questions later to see if he really got it.”
So when we were sitting around the dinner table to play one our board games, I said, “Titus, what did daddy tell you about Jesus?”
He said, “I prayed to Jesus. Daddy told me about heaven.”
“What about heaven?” I asked.
Titus replied, “That there will be people there.”
“Who will be there?” I asked.
He started naming names, “Elijah, Edan, mommy, daddy, Uncle Paul, Aunty Jenny…”
When I asked him, “Where is Jesus?”
“In my heart,” was the soft reply he gave and pointed to his chest.
The next day, he also told our househelp that there will be marbles in heaven!
I know we have a long way to go to disciple Titus because he is still young, but I’m thankful to the Lord for this new beginning in his life. And, I’m thankful for a husband like Edric who loves our children so much that he would never want to leave their eternity up to chance.
I pray that you will consider sharing the gospel to your children even while they are young. There are several ways to share the gospel. One way is to use the wordless book — a book of colors to illustrate sin, God’s love, heaven, new life, etc. Another way is to tell the story of the garden.