Is My Child Ready for Salvation?
By: Ashley Thrift
When my son was 7, I would ask my husband, “Is he ready, you think? What if he doesn’t quite understand? I don’t want to rush it or make it our decision. I know it has to be his, but what if we overlook God knocking at his heart?”
These are all questions I asked myself for months this past year. How do we as parents know God is speaking to our kids?
As a mom of three, just like any other parent, I want what’s best for my children. All of them. And what could be better or more important than to start a relationship with Jesus? But we have to make sure it is God’s timing for them, and not our own.
What Can We Do to Prepare Our Children?
Proverbs 22:6 says if we “train up a child in the way they should go, they will not turn from it.” Training our children plays a vital role in preparing our children for when God knocks on their hearts.
A great example of this is in 1 Samuel 3 when Samuel hears his named called out, disrupting his sleep. Three times he thought it was Eli, but he was wrong. Eli came to the realization that it was God calling on Samuel, and taught Samuel how to listen and respond back to God.
As parents, we can prepare our kids to hear from God by:
- Introducing who Jesus is at an early age,
- Speaking about Jesus as if He is another member of our family, living within our household,
- Encouraging our children that everywhere they go, Jesus goes with them and before them,
- Teaching them about who Jesus is, what He has done for us and for them,
- Encouraging our children to ask questions,
- Praying consistently for our children, and
- Involving our children in an age appropriate children’s ministry (such as Kidcity).
As parents, we want to do things so right that we are afraid of getting it so wrong. So we often put pressure on ourselves to lead our children to a relationship with Jesus. But we are not responsible for our kids’ salvation — Jesus is. All we have to do is prepare our child’s minds; God changes their hearts!
Is My Child Ready?
Are your children asking more questions than usual? Maybe some that are more in depth? Don’t be afraid to answer their questions and encourage them to continue asking them. If they ask a question you don’t know how to answer, ask other godly parents with kids the same age or older. Or, talk to a Kidcity leader about how to respond to spiritual questions with age-appropriate answers.
If you’ve never shared the story of Jesus with your kids, go over it with them. Help them to understand who Jesus is and what He’s done. Explain that Jesus died to save us from our sins so that one day we can live with Him in heaven forever. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading through the Romans Road (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23and Romans 10:9) in a translation your kids can understand.
Remember, don’t push salvation on your children. Allow them to come to Jesus in their own time. God will change their hearts, our role is to prepare their minds with the knowledge of who Jesus is and what He did for them.
For my son, it was a several month process of questioning if the time was right. He had heard about Jesus as an infant. He grew to know more about Him through Bible lessons, songs, prayer, conversations, and attending KidSpring. And, he began to understand more as he began to ask more in-depth questions. All I could do as his mom was pray for God to guide me with discernment.
A few months later, my husband and I had the privilege of praying with our son when he asked Jesus into his life at age 8. He had heard, he had grown to understand, he believed, and he knew when he was ready — and so did we. We had prepared his mind, but God changed his heart.