HAVE DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR KIDS!
By Dana Roberts
As a Christian parent, grandparent, teacher, or other mentoring adult, you are given an awesome responsibility and opportunity to talk with kids about living God honoring lives. The world is a scary place and we can not let our children slip into its hands. I believe that when we have open and honest conversations with our kids, and that when we “teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Understandably it can be difficult to have discussions with kids, no matter their age. But, be reassured that you are not alone. And, the Bible sets forth a great foundation for essential conversations. Once you have established a solid foundation (through the Word of God), your child is more likely to continue to be open in future discussions. It is in my opinion that every opportunity must be taken, while our kids are still young, to form that solid foundation. But, no matter their current age, I also do not think it’s ever too late to begin to speak truth into your child’s life. Everything you need is found within the passages of Scripture. “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3) The resource of knowing Christ and having God’s Word provides everything needed for life and godliness, not only for our own benefit, but also to have godly discussions with our kids. (Please note: discussions are not monologues! Have a conversation with kids. Let them ask questions, go to the Bible, together, for answers. And if you don’t know some answers, it’s ok to say, “You know, I’m not sure about that, but who do you think we could call to help us?” Let the kids be involved with finding answers and talking with other solid believers.) This article will briefly point out four areas that, frankly, must be discussed with children in order for them to live a God honoring life.
1) Understanding Salvation. Maybe your children are blessed to be growing up in a Christian home, hearing about the gospel, but have not yet believed in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Or, maybe you have grandchildren that are being raised in a non-believing home. Do you have the opportunity to have life changing, essential conversations with them? Maybe you’re a Sunday school teacher or a mentor for a youth program. Do you know a kid in either of these settings in which you can have life changing discussions? Everyone needs to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior; no one can do it for another. I encourage and challenge you to have these discussions with the kids around you. They must know that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) I implore you, do not wait one more day to introduce or re-introduce Jesus into your child’s life!
2) Living for Eternity. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Accepting Jesus also means to begin living for eternity - now! “What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life [soul]?” (Matthew 16:26) If our kids are so hung up on gaining the next toy, gaming device, or piece of clothing, how is that storing up their treasure in heaven? If they are chasing after becoming the next great football player, musician, or artists, are they willing to give that all up to chase after Jesus instead? “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33) Our kids need to know that living for eternity now means that they believe in the Greatest Treasure! They need to know that by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are guaranteed life eternal!
3) Living Like Christ. Helping our kids live like Christ is crucial. They need to know that when their sins are fully forgiven by accepting Jesus, they become a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) None of us have had to teach our kids to sin, they’ve figured that out just fine all on their own! But, they need to know that the old selfish, sinful way dies when they accept Christ. And, He gives them a new heart! A heart that wants to follow and obey Him. A heart that is guided by the Holy Spirit that dwells within them as soon as they proclaim, “Jesus is Lord.” They need to know the biblical principle of putting off the old man and putting on the new man (found in Ephesians 4).
4) World Events and Social Pressures. Kids will (and can!) have the desire to live like Christ, even in a world full of fearful events and more social pressures than ever experienced before. By allowing the Holy Spirit to help guide them, kids can live out the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), and know how to activate the Armor of God through prayer (Ephesians 6), and love one another well because God so loved the world (John 3:16). Are we not all, sometimes, pulled into world events, finding we can become fearful if we are not carefully walking in the Spirit? Are we not all, sometimes, preoccupied by social pressures, finding we can become overwhelmed if we are not carefully putting on God’s Armor and praying? And, are we not all, sometimes, unloving to those we should be loving the most, finding we can become angry or bitter if we are not carefully reminding ourselves how much God first loved us? Please do not let your kids fall under these same fears and pressures. Help them show God great love by accepting His greatest gift of love: His Son, Our Savior, Christ Jesus!
I encourage you to use the scripture passages provided at the end of this article to have mini-Bible studies with your kids (elementary age), allowing a gateway to open for important conversations. I pray that you and your child will be blessed by them. (Also, in order to get the conversation flowing, use Appendix A questions relating to each of the Bible passages.)
Please remember, God sent His Only Son to save all of us. It is never too early to help our kids realize the love that God has for us. It is never too early to show our kids God’s love within the pages of His Book! It is never too early to help our kids know that sin separates them from their Creator and His greatest desire is to be reunited with them. Please do not be afraid to have life essential discussions with your kids. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “if you don’t talk to your children, someone else will.” Don’t let that “someone else” be something that is not grounded in the Truth of God’s Word. Don’t let that “someone else” be the media or internet or unbiblical systems. Don’t let that “someone else” be a Bible-plus, false teaching way. Please hear the emotion of my heart in all of this! We must have discussions with our kids! We must love them enough to not wait another day.
Allow me to emphasize again, in closing, the Bible sets forth a great and solid foundation to have life essential/life changing conversations with your child. God has provided you with everything you need to live a life honoring to Him and to teach your child do to the same. May you be richly blessed as you open yourself and your heart to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and knowledge. Allow Him to do a great work in you as you help your child come to know and love Jesus as their only Lord and Savior!
* Please note that there is a “Mini-Bible Study” curriculum available with this blog that is designed to guide parents in discussing some major biblical topics with their children. To access, please click on the link.
As part of Harvest Community Church Biblical Ministry team, I’d love to connect with you. If you or your child would like further guidance with the mini-Bible study, or you’re struggling with the trials of life, please contact the church office. 920.845.1463