If you are the parent of a young child or you’re in a children's ministry, you know how important these years are in forming a belief system by which they will live. Our precious children are so impressionable and able to take in so much in these formative years. That's why it is so important to introduce them to Jesus and give them an understanding of salvation at an early age. But what is the best way to do this? Especially at such a young age? The following are five practical, child-friendly ways to introduce them to Jesus that will help them develop their own relationship with Him today and in the future.
1. Talk About Him
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise" Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV).
Routine and familiarity provide security for a child. If a child hears his family regularly talking about Jesus and spiritual matters, he will understand that this is normal, this is what they should do. It will become a familiar, safe thing. The opposite is also true - if the subject of God is never really spoken about and all of a sudden parents try to have a serious conversation about Him, the child may seem overwhelmed and, possibly afraid. Having regular, day to day conversations about Jesus will help your child understand the importance of Him in your lives.
2. Pray With Them
"in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" Philippians 4:6 (ESV).
Along with talking about Jesus, praying to Him should also be a regular facet of life for your child. This is the first step in developing a real relationship with Him. Prayer lets your child know that Jesus is approachable, that He cares about what we have to say, and wants to hear it. Establishing a regular prayer time will help develop a habit of prayer and lets them know that God listens to them and cares about them.
3. Read The Bible With Them
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock" Matthew 7:24 (ESV).
We know that God speaks to us through His word, and He can speak to your child as well. The Bible not only gives information about Jesus' life here on Earth, but it gives insights into His character as well. It tells us who He is. Whether it's familiar Bible stories or events in Jesus' life or encouragement from Psalms, your child can gain a greater understanding of who Jesus really is through the Bible. If they cannot read yet, this can provide a great time of bonding with your child as you read to them. If they are old enough to read, you can get them their own children's Bible, which will emphasize the importance of reading it as well.
4. Be Faithful To Church
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV).
When we meet with other believers, we not only worship and learn more about Jesus, we encourage and build each other up in the faith. It's the same for your child. When a child sees other children and adults worshiping and believing as they do, it builds a sense of community and confidence in their faith. They can learn valuable lessons from Sunday School classes or children's church, which will reinforce what you teach them at home. Plus, you are teaching them that Jesus is enough of a priority that we make it a point to regularly attend church to learn about Him.
5. Be An Example
"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us" Titus 2:7-8 (ESV).
Probably the most important thing you can do to introduce your child to Jesus is to be an example of a follower of Jesus. You can talk to them all day, every day, but if your actions don't line up with what you are saying, they won't believe you. It's up to us as more mature believers to demonstrate to them the love, peace, patience, kindness and gentleness that we receive as Christians. Of course, no one is perfect, but even in moments when we fail, apologizing and asking for forgiveness can go a long way also in showing them the character of Jesus in our lives.
Introducing a child to Jesus does not have to be a difficult or daunting task. When we live in the love of Jesus consistently, His words and character will flow from us into their lives. And by taking the practical steps above, we can reinforce who Jesus is and who He can be to your child. Remember, you are not alone in this - your child is precious to Him, too, and He will guide you in the best way to share His love with them
Copyright 2020 Amelia Evans
Amelia Evans is a freelance writer and works as a content manager for various international brands. When Amelia is not researching and writing she loves nothing more than heading out in to the country for some downtime. Amelia is currently writing for Be in Health.
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