The gospel is the good news that Jesus has sacrificed Himself in our place to pay for our sins. It’s the good news that we can have eternal life through His death and resurrection!
Salvation comes to us and our children through receiving the gospel personally. As heavenly-minded moms, there is no greater hope we could have for our children than that they would accept this gift and experience abundant life, both now and eternally.
Sharing the gospel with our children is not mostly our church’s responsibility; it’s our responsibility as parents.
I believe this is an every-day, all-day process, although that does not mean preaching it to them from sun-up to sun-down!
Rather, gospel truth is lived out moment-by-moment and day-by-day. It colors every conversation, conflict and decision. We live with hope! We walk in love! We move in grace and joy!
A few years ago, I completed a Bible study called, The Gospel-Centered Life. This study explained that there are two main components to understanding the magnitude of the gospel: our sinfulness and God’s holiness.
When we grow in understanding either of these two things, the significance and impact of the gospel in our lives will be amplified.
I have thought about this often as a parent.
Before our children can accept God’s grace, they must understand that they need it.
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” … For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:10-12, 23
But, as I’ve observed in my children, they do not naturally recognize their own sinfulness.
In conversation, it often becomes apparent that my oldest child lumps herself in wth the “nice guys.” We’re the nice guys, other people are the “mean guys.” We’re never the mean guys in her eyes.
On one hand, I’m glad that she considers herself as a good guy because I want her to expect that of herself!
However, the problem is, none of us are truly good. And furthermore, the belief in our own goodness is possibly the single greatest barrier to the gospel in society today.
We are not good. We are sinful to the core and our hearts are evil. Even the good we do is for our own selfish gain apart from Christ. We give and serve to gain honor or favor or a “good feeling.” What appears to be good is not. We simply are not good.
So, when my daughter talks about the “mean guys” (her general term for all the “bad people” in the world), I always, always jump in and gently remind her that, we’re all mean guys at our core, even me.
I tell her that we all do bad things. We all need Jesus. No one is good.
This dialogue has nothing to do with shaming her, and everything to do with loving her. You see, love speaks truth in gentleness. Love paves the way for God to move in to her life. Love shares gospel-truth.
But I don’t just leave her hanging there. Pointing out our sinfulness is the perfect platform to say, “And that’s why Jesus had to die for us. We sin, but He has paid the price so we can be forgiven! Isn’t that wonderful?!”
And thus, I share the gospel. I massage it into my children’s lives, day after day.
So, should we encourage our children? YES! Call out the good things you see in them! Affirm God-honoring decisions and actions! That is important! In this way, we become partners with the Holy Spirit in building up our children and guiding them in the way they should go. But let me also challenge you (and me) to encourage from a place a humility, acknowledging our children’s innate brokenness and the bigness of God in their lives.
Will you begin the gentle process of shaping your child’s worldview by helping him understand his need for a Savior?
This is the tilling of the soil, the work of preparing a sweet (but sinful) heart for the gospel.
I’m linking up today at Intentional at Home Thursdays!