A guest post from Sheila Walsh:
When our son Christian was five years old a school friend gave him a little booklet called, The Four Spiritual Laws. I was very familiar with this wonderful tool from Campus Crusade for Christ but it was the first time I’d seen this version for children.
I asked Christian if he’d like me to read it to him and he said he would. We sat side by side on his bedroom floor and I read it page by page as we looked at the illustrations. When I finished he said, “Would you read it again mom?”
After the second read through I asked him if he’d like to pray the prayer to accept Christ as his Savior. He said, “Not yet, I’ve got to think about this.”
A couple of days later he told me that he was ready to pray that prayer and ask Christ into his life. It was one of the most precious and holy moments of my life to lead my son into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.
When my husband and I gave him his first very Bible we let him into a little secret, “Christian, this is God’s treasure chest. It’s full of the most amazing promises in the world. If you ever have a question, dig deep and you’ll find the answer in your Bible.”
I watched that become true for him as he grew into a young man. He struggled for a time with a stutter that I knew bothered him. One day when I was changing his sheets I noticed that he’d printed out this scripture and taped it to his ceiling so that when he lay in bed he could read it over and over.
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.””
2 Corinthians 12:9 (HCSB)
I asked him why he’d chosen that scripture and he told me that he’d asked God to remove his stutter but God told him that His grace would be enough for him. It’s beautiful when you watch your child begin to apply the Word of God to their daily lives. That’s my prayer for you and for your family that in changing, uncertain times you’d be able to stand strong on God’s Word that never changes.
When I used to sing at Billy Graham’s crusades, he told me that most people came to faith in Christ by the age eighteen. That figure has changed. A new research study from The Barna Group indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Christ as Savior do so before reaching the age of thirteen. The pre-teen years are a God-given window to reach our children for Christ and to introduce them to the treasure chest that is the Word of God. I have made a passionate commitment to do all I can to help you as parents reach and teach your children. Let me offer a few simple suggestions:
- Make reading the Bible together something your children look forward to. Choose a fun place or make a fort out of blankets and cardboard boxes and let that be the place where you read together.
- Let your children take part in the stories. Christian loved acting out the stories. One of my funniest memories was when he wanted to act out Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
He said, “I’ll be Jesus, mom and you be Hosanna.”
“Who’s Hosanna?” I asked.
“The donkey,” he said.
“How do you know that the donkey’s name is Hosanna?” I asked.
“Think about it mom,” he replied. “My name is Jesus but the people are yelling out Hosanna…so that must be the donkey’s name.”
- Encourage your children to begin to memorize Scripture so that they have it tucked into their hearts. We used little 3×5 cards to copy verses out and post a new one on the refrigerator each week.
As your children get dressed each day remind them that it’s just as important to put on the whole armor of God. When your children have trusted in Christ, their greatest weapon in this world is the Word of God so dive in deep! “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word.” Ephesians 6:17 (HCSB)