The greatest act of loving parents is bringing our children to Jesus.
What’s the most loving thing a parent can do? Correction and discipline? Well it’s true that if we fail to correct our kids, we fail to love them, but that’s not it. Encourage and praise them? We should encourage ten times as often as we correct, but that’s not it either. The greatest act of loving parents is bringing our children to Jesus.
The disciples severely underestimated the value Jesus placed on children and Jesus turned the moment into an opportunity to share a great truth with parents…
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left. - Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)
As a Pastor, I’m delighted and privileged to help a parent talk to their child about spiritual things, but a far greater thrill for me is to see a parent confidently and clearly share the gospel in a way that their child can understand and embrace Jesus. That means that we need to be intimately knowledgeable of the gospel and be spiritually trustworthy in our kids’ lives.
The notion that “kids will figure it out on their own” and “make their own decisions” is healthy only in the respect that kids must indeed make a personal, voluntary choice to trust in Jesus. It’s not something Mom and Dad can do for them. But as parents, our role is vested with the very authority of heaven to teach, guide, train, and instruct our children with love. We teach them to use the potty, brush their teeth, and drive a car. Why in the world would we segregate their faith from the rest of their life and ignore it?
Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with your kids about the gospel. Don’t pressure them to make decisions they aren’t ready to make of their own free will, but don’t fail to give them the best possible chance to embrace the good news of Jesus. Sharing Christ – and thereby eternal life – with our kids is the greatest act of a loving parent.