How compelling is the gospel to your children, to you?
My concern is that intentionally presenting the gospel is not an everyday consideration for most Christian parents. In contrast, what often is presented each day is how well do children perform or behave. This is easy to do with the rush of busy schedules. However, when life is about behavior then the gospel is absent! The gospel is not about behaving properly.
As this pertains to adults, we have no trouble applying this truth. Someone who has lived a selfish life, has been full of pride, has committed any number of sins, and finally reaches out to the good news of the gospel, is not told to wait until his behavior changes. Those in the church community reach out to him and tell him that accepting the gospel is not about a change in behavior. It is about a changed life. Life flows from trusting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Even if this message is rejected at first, faithful Christians continue to point to the work of Christ and not one’s performance as the hope of salvation. Nothing less than a heart change, not a behavior change, is the goal. Yes, obedience is crucial, but a new heart must be the focus.
But with children the focus can easily switch to performance and behavior. The unintended message is when you perform well enough, you can begin to think about being a Christian. Such an idea would never be urged upon an adult considering becoming a Christian. Yet to countless children in Christian homes, this is exactly the message they receive.
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