PARENTS: Will Your Children Walk Away From Jesus?
Will your child walk with Christ when they grow up and leave the house and make a life of their own? Maybe. Maybe not. None of us can be certain. There are all kinds of things you can do to increase the chances they will follow Christ on their own. But here I want to talk about something thousands of Christian couples are doing to increase the chances that their children will walk away from Jesus when they grow up.
What is it? They are assuming the gospel. Let me explain.
New Testament scholar and author D.A. Carson once said it only takes three generations for a church to lose the gospel completely. One generation believes and teaches it. The next generation assumes it. And the third generation loses it completely.
Think about that in the context of parenting. If you assume the gospel, your kids could very well walk away from it completely.
What does assuming the gospel look like in a family? It happens when parents bring their kids to church but never have conversations about Jesus Monday through Saturday. It happens when parents hope their kids will learn all they need to know about faith and the Bible from the Youth Minister and the preacher. We assume the gospel when we passively hope our kids catch it rather than proactively teaching it to them ourselves.
Parents who assume the gospel don’t teach God’s word to their children. But they are teaching something. The lack of communicating God's word implicitly teaches children where our priorities lie. And you can be sure they pick up on it. Our kids know what we value most because those things get the attention and conversation time. We teach with our actions. If we never talk about Jesus and never read the Bible at home what should our children conclude about our priorities?
In a home where parents assume the gospel, faith in Christ is not the most important reality of life. Rather it is seen as just one among a number of “good” things our families value. Church is for Sundays just like school is for weekdays and the lake is for weekends. Jesus is nice and respectable but in the end we live for ourselves. The Bible is foreign to kids in families where the gospel is assumed because they only hear it when they are at church. It’s no wonder they don’t read it as they grow older. It’s no surprise when the ways of God do not compel them as strongly as the ways of the world.
Parents, this may be hard to hear but hardly anything could be more important. We cannot leave the eternal salvation of our kids to chance. If we want them to follow the Lord when they are older we must proactively teach them the gospel and the word of God now. This is no guarantee of course. But what we can be sure of is this: if we assume the gospel the chances of our kids walking away from God when they are older go way up.
I love to talk with parents about how to teach the Bible to their kids. If you have been assuming the gospel but would like to begin teaching your kids God’s word I would love to talk more… and to give some free books to help you along the way! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!