Last week we looked at what the Bible says about sharing the gospel with your children. This week, we’ll look at practical steps in evangelizing your children. These are not iron-clad guarantees of faith, but rather suggestions of what to do to encourage a true saving faith. Remember, as you seek to walk faithfully before the Lord and teach your children of His amazing grace, that they still have free will and God will not force His love on anyone. But you can make it easier for them to accept.
Practical Step #1 | Share the Word
Deuteronomy 6 encourages us to share the Word when we are inside our home and outside our home, when it is morning and when it is evening. In other words – share the Word at all times and in all places. Some practical ways to do this:
- Reading a short devotional while the kids are eating breakfast
- Reading a Psalm and a portion of Proverbs every evening after dinner
- Having a family memory challenge – who can memorize a passage quickest and most accurately (be prepared to lose! Kids’ minds are quick).
- With older children, have a sharing time about what you read in your quiet time – and encourage them to share what they read also.
- Having a devotional time or time directly from God’s Word right before bed – after story time so the Word is the last thing on their minds as they drift to sleep.
Practical Step #2 | Be in the Word
It is so much easier to share the Word if you are in the Word yourself. So, whatever it takes, make time for your own devotional life. Don’t hide this part of your life from your children but let them see you partaking of the Word of Life regularly and not just for the purpose of sharing with them. Practical steps to make this a reality:
- Get up before the children and set aside time for Bible and prayer. This post on organizing your quiet time might help.
- Stay up after the children and set aside time for Bible and prayer
- Do your devotions while the children are doing homework or their devotions
- Have a family time for personal devotions right after dinner – and then a sharing time of what you read and learn
Practical Step #3 | Pray
Nothing of eternal significance occurs in this world without prayer. If you want your children to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, then you must diligently pray for that outcome. But don’t stop at praying for their salvation. Pray for their growth, their sensitivity to spiritual things, for other believers who cross their paths, and that their hearts will not be hardened. Practical steps to prayer:
- Use the 20 Ways to Pray for Your Children list – praying for their salvation is first on the list
- Use the 20 Ways to Pray for the Lost list – it expands on just praying for salvation to other areas such as a softening of their heart, other believers in their lives, and true understanding.
- Pray constantly until you are assured of their honest faith – even after a prayer has been prayed.
Practical Step #4 | Never Remind Them of Their Salvation Experience
Last week I shared a bit about my two sons’ experiences with coming to a saving knowledge of Christ. One thing I never did with either of them is reminding them they were saved. The Spirit of God will testify to their spirit if they truly are – and I could just confuse them if they aren’t. Also, while I am extremely grateful that they are both professing Christ, and appear to be walking with Him, the truth is that no-one can know the heart of another. So, I continue to pray that their faith is genuine and growing, even as adults.
Practical Step #5 | Remind Them Frequently of the Faithfulness of God
Your testimony – not only of coming to saving faith, but of growing in faith, and seeing your faith challenged – is key at this point. When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan, they were instructed to set up memorial stones so that “when your children ask” (Joshua 4:6) what these stones mean, they would have a testimony to share of the power and provision of God. In the same way, you should be collecting and talking about ‘memorial stones’ in your life – from your wedding cake topper to the ridiculous sombrero you carried back from a mission trip to Mexico. Discuss what these ‘memorial stones’ mean to you and how they remind you of God’s faithfulness.
Practical step #6 | Never Give Up
Yes, it is true that most believers are saved prior to age 20 – so if your prodigal child is 32, do you stop praying? Sharing? Believing? NO! How about if they’re 46? 54? 69? No, no, NO! It’s hard to keep believing when those we love are not ‘in the fold’ for many, many years. But to do less is unthinkable, for me at least. Keep praying, sharing, loving, and believing for that beloved unbeliever.