"It's more than a story, you know? It's not like your other stories. It's real," I said. My four-year-old daughter and I just finished reading the gospel in her storybook Bible. Every night she usually chooses a favorite fiction for me to read, but this night was different. Instead, she asked to hear the story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
I love how my daughter is drawn to the gospel. I can't imagine what her mind must be thinking as she studies the pictures on each page. There are more than a few pictures that carry a heavy weight to a four-year-old. They do for me too.
I believe she's beginning to understand more of it though, despite the depth of the story. And every time I read it to her, I make sure to emphasize one important truth: The gospel is real.
We all know the gospel is real, but what about our children?
Do they only hear the gospel read to them or spoken about in Sunday morning church? Or do they experience the gospel lived out each day at home?
As Christ-following parents, we are called to share the gospel with our children. God entrusts these precious lives into our hands. We can't assume they will learn without our intentional guidance.
So, what can we do to sow seeds of the gospel in their lives? One way is to utilize everyday opportunities to share it with them.
Did you hear what I just said? Use everyday opportunities.
It's all about capitalizing on everyday moments to lead you into meaningful discussions.
You with me?
Now let me share a few ideas of how the gospel is shared with my children at home. Then, you can begin thinking of your own ideas.
God is holy. (1 Samuel 2:2)
Prayer time at the dinner table is a great time to emphasize this aspect of the gospel. Before praying, take a moment to explain why you are quiet and attentive during prayer. If your child misbehaves, don't take the behavior lightly. Emphasize why it's important to honor God by showing respect in prayer.
We are sinners. (Romans 3:23)
Unfortunately, you'll find many opportunities to teach this part of the gospel to your child. We fail often, and at times, our sin is directed towards our children. In these moments, apologize to your child and say words like, "Please forgive me." If appropriate, allow your child to listen to you pray as you ask God for forgiveness. Then, explain how we are all sinful and in need of forgiveness.
Jesus died for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Teaching your child about sin provides a natural segue to this aspect of the gospel. As you talk about sin, also explain how we have forgiveness through Christ's death. Another way to teach about the significance of Christ's sacrifice is to read the Bible. By hearing the Word, your child will hopefully gain an appreciation of Christ's death by learning how he lived a sinless life and fulfilled the law.
We respond in faith. (Acts 20:21)
Consider teaching your child what faith is. The best way to teach faith is to model it. For example, if you are experiencing financial hardship, share with your child some of your concerns. Then, share how you choose to trust God, even though you don't know how he will provide. Take an extra step by placing verses of God's promises throughout your house. Then, read these verses to your child.
We live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
The best part of the gospel is we have reconciliation with God! Teach this aspect by allowing your child to see you read your Bible and pray during your devotional time. Then, take a minute to explain why you spend time with God each day.
Again, these are just a few of my own ideas. As you pray for opportunities, God will give them to you! Remember, it's all about utilizing everyday moments to lead you into meaningful discussions.
Sandra enjoys pursuing many adventures together with her husband of ten years. Everyday she lives out the blessed life as "Mommy" to her three daughters and also works per diem as a speech-language pathologist. She founded the online ministry, He Gently Leads You, to encourage mothers to spend consistent time in the Word. Her passion is to use the gifts God gave her to impact people for his kingdom. When she's not writing, you can find her in the kitchen baking or out on a long run. Connect with her at www.hegentlyleadsyou.com.