What's the right age to teach your kids the gospel?
As parents who love God and want our kids to know Him, it’s really easy to get anxious about our kids coming to know Christ at a young age.
The issue is not whether there’s a magic age where you introduce your kids to Christ, because there isn’t. We want to make sure that we have the right presuppositions, the right theology in our thinking.
Salvation isn’t the work of a parent. It’s not a work of the grandparent. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s supposed to be done on his timetable, and if we jump the gun on that we can actually do some damage.
Here’s the thing: when our kids are young they love us, they want to obey us, they want to please us. And if you go a child who’s five to seven years old and explain the Gospel to them and ask them “Would you like to accept Jesus Christ in your life?” most of them are going to say, “Well, yeah.”
Because, once again, it sounds great and they love us. But you see, we have to be careful that we don’t assume that now they’re safe, they’re saved, they’re in the kingdom, they’re going to be fine. Often children are really buying in or accepting the faith of their parents, not really accepting faith in Christ.
The better thing is this: trust the Holy Spirit to move on his timetable and create an atmosphere of grace in your home. Emulate the love of Jesus Christ in your home. Live in obedience to His word. And then give your kids a lot of exposure to the truth.
As they go to church and Sunday school, vacation Bible School camps, and in your home, have the Bible there. You talk about the Bible. You pray with them each night. But you don’t have to push them to accept Christ.
Then when it’s time the Holy Spirit will open their eyes and they will make their decision. It might not be when you’re there or when a relative is there. It might be at camp, or vacation Bible School, or even out when they’re teenagers.
We can’t let our egos get involved in this thing. It’s not about if we had the privilege of leading them to Christ. Because really, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. We just want to make sure that we’re not an obstacle to that.
Sometimes Christians view being a “light to the world” like the high beams of a car on a deer at night. First we blind them, then we run them down.
But we don’t want to do that with our kids. You just create a wonderful, gracious atmosphere in your home. You represent Jesus Christ in the way you love that kid.
And you watch: the Holy Spirit will make his move on his timetable, and it’ll be solid deep down inside.