Make no mistake, we are sending our kids out into a hostile world and we need to prepare them for that. We can’t be content with a thin layer of religiosity, kids who don’t cuss, don’t have sex and know how to vote. We need to teach them that Jesus is worth living and dying for, and though the world may take everything from them for him, that he’s worth it.J. D. Greear’s Sermon 8/1/2021. Listen here.
This quote from my pastor has been wrestling with my mind, heart, and soul ever since I heard him say it—and, I mean in a positive way. His statement really pushed me to think strategically as a Christian parent. As you will see, I am naturally oriented to be a tactician.
I remember driving home with my wife after this sermon and brainstorming ways we could teach our children this biblical truth. We asked the question, “How can we prepare our children to go into a hostile world and be willing to give their lives for Christ?”
Here are 4 strategies we came up with to teach our children how to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ in a hostile world.
1) Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to grip their hearts. We need to remember that we are merely instruments in God’s hands when it comes to raising children. He is ultimately the potter who shapes their lives for his glory. As Christian parents, we must be diligent in praying for our children no matter their age. We ought to plead with God on a daily basis that they would not only be imitators of Christ, but would also be willing to give their lives for the truth of the gospel. Nevertheless, only God can root their faith that deeply in their souls, but we need to pray that God would be faithful to mature them as his followers.
2) Discuss with them Scripture passages that highlight what a life devoted to Christ looks like. Study the various passages of Scripture that talk about this issue together. Talk with them about the portrait of a disciple in Matthew 5:3-16 or the cost of discipleship from Luke 14:25-35. Read with them the martyrdom of Philip (Acts 7:1-60) or the sufferings of Saul (2 Cor. 11:16-33) to show them biblical examples of faithful followers who gave it all for Christ. Yet, do not forget to show them Christ and his sufferings. Relay to them that Jesus taught his followers that if the world persecuted him, they will also persecute us (John 15:20). Therefore, our children must know that Jesus is worthy to die for because his work on the cross is the only way we can gain eternal life.
3) Read with them biographies of believers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. Some of the greatest heroes of the faith endured great suffering and even death for their devotion to Christ. Have your child read and discuss with you biographies like Adoniram Judson, Jim Elliot, William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Elizabeth Elliot, and Lottie Moon. These stories will help your children see the cost of following Jesus, but also indicate that this type of devotion to Christ is normal for his disciples. Moreover, these biographies teach us that God uses the suffering and martyrdom of his saints to bring salvation to those who are lost. Missionary biographies could help strengthen your child’s devotion to Jesus.
4) Be the primary source for shaping their worldview. You, as the parent, need to be discerning with how you go about this last tactic. You know your child and their maturity level better than anyone, but we need to tell our children about the various worldly ideologies while they are under our supervision. A Christian parent should think about strategically introducing various unbiblical views circulating in culture and correcting them with the Bible’s teachings. Personally, I want my children to know what ideologies are being pushed on them by culture so that I can better prepare them to combat these sinful views with Scripture. By teaching them to my children in a controlled environment, they are not thrown off guard or buy into these worldly heresies without being both informed and able to think critically.
I will not say these strategies are a full proof method for creating devoted Christ followers. However, I do believe the Lord can use these efforts to transform our children into faithful followers willing to give all to him in a hostile world. Christian parents, we need to teach our children to love others like Christ, but we also need to make them understand what it looks like to be totally devoted to Jesus in a fallen world.
What other strategies would you offer to Christian parents for raising devoted Christ followers? Please leave a comment below to share with others, and Don’t forget to subscribe for the latest content to be delivered directly to your inbox.
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2 thoughts on “4 Strategies to Teach Your Children to Be Totally Devoted to Jesus”
I love this blog. In my prayers I always pray to help me to become the person He wants me to be. I also always pray for wisdom and guidance in raising my girls and help me keep them on the right path. This blog has given me more tools for that. So…….maybe my prayer is being answered and I need to pay attention and listen. I do also think as a parent you need to also be guided by your child’s maturity level in what you teach them. Children have wild imaginations. Another strategy would be to get your child involved in church. I do not mean just attending church every Sunday, but to actually be involved. My girls have jobs they are responsible for at church. They collect the offerings at church and they have the job of running the computer screens at church during the singing. During church service they go with the children’s group for their separate church service. My girls are in charge of when there is a visiting family with kids to try and encourage/invite the kids to come to the children’s service. Sometimes kids from a visiting family are too shy or scared to go off from their parents to the children’s service. Also, when there are church functions we try to attend or be involved in most of them and my girls ALWAYS want to attend and be involved. They love helping at the church. I want church and church functions to be a positive experience. I know as they get older into their teens (they are 11 now) there is the chance they will get bored or wake up on Sunday morning and say “do we have to go to church”. I am hoping it will not turn into a task that they “have” to do. I am hoping that by being involved it will just become part of their life and they will mature and grow to know that it is a important part of their life. For now they love going to church and being involved. I pray as they get older that attitude will remain and they will grow with the church.
I would also suggest a Daily Devotional book for kids. Get one that fits their age. They are really good because it will bring up topics that your child can relate to, like school and friends. Thanks Jeremy for this blog. Aunt Rene’
Thank you for reading and this comment. You are absolutely right. The church also has a part to play in the development of our children. I think the church as “family” will become more important for our children and their devotion to Jesus in a hostile world. Great thought, Aunt Rene.