Leading Your Child to Salvation

Talking with your kids about salvation

When my son was young, I felt intimidated to talk with him about his salvation. I was uncertain what Scripture to use, what verbiage to use, and certainly I didn’t want to push him into a faith decision he was not ready for. I think that fear is common among many of us, whether we were raised in a church or didn’t come to Jesus until later in life–we don’t want to mess the message up. Also, nothing makes you more insecure about your own knowledge of the Scriptures than a hard question from your kids.

Here are some truths about your child’s salvation:

  • If God’s Spirit is prompting your child, He will continue to do so until your child comes to a moment where she is ready to genuinely pray for herself.
  • Continue the conversation once it begins; a child may be merely inquisitive at first, but over time may grow to a level of understanding and readiness.

The Key Concepts:

Everyone Has Sinned.

Helping your child understand what sin is will then help them understand why they need a Savior and help them see that they, as well as every other person they know, are sinners.

… For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:22-23 (ESV)

The conversation: Ask your child what sin is. If he struggles with this, ask him to give you some examples of sin. Ask your child if they have ever sinned. Next, ask if they think God is sad when they sin. Expand the discussion to include if sin should be punished, and if so, why? Depending on the age of your child, you might want to share some of your own sins as examples, and how God might have felt about that. The point is to make sure your child has a clear understanding of what sin is, that they are sinners, and that God does not like sin.

Sin has a high price.

Help your child to understand that sin causes separation from God, and there is no amount of money, good works, or actions that can pay the price for our sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

The conversation: Ask your child to explain what it might be like to be in Heaven with God. Does being with God in Heaven sound exciting to them? What if they could not be with God in Heaven? What would keep them from being with God? Expand the conversation by explaining that God is good and sin separates us from Him, but He loves us and wants to be with us.

God demonstrated His love for us.

Once your child understands that we are all sinners and that our sin keeps us from being with Him through eternity, bring in the good news—God demonstrated His love for us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus washed away all our sins and created a bridge to God.

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

The conversation: Ask your child to think about your favorite shirt being all dirty, stained, and gross. How do they feel about wearing their favorite shirt now? Then consider if it was washed and clean, stains removed and smelling fresh. How would they feel about wearing the clean shirt? Explain to your child that their sin makes them like the dirty shirt. But if they believe that Jesus died on the cross to wash away their sin, they can be clean like the clean shirt. Tell them that Jesus died to offer salvation for our sins.

Jesus is the perfect gift.

What gift did God give to us? A gift is given to someone because they love you, and the gift can be accepted or refused. Make sure your child knows to accept the gift of salvation from Jesus.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:16-17

The conversation: Ask your child to describe the best gift they have ever received. Do they remember who gave it to them? Do they love that person, and was the gift given to them because that person loved them? How would the gift giver feel if the gift was refused? Expand the discussion by talking about accepting that special gift. Remind your child that God is offering the most valuable gift they could every receive: salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They need to make the decision to accept this gift.

The Prayer

Your child might pray on their own or with a Sunday school teacher or grandparent, or they may come to you, but either way, let them take the lead. When that moment comes, there is nothing more special than praying a simple prayer together. (The following is an example; there are no specific words you have to use. The heart of faith is what matters.)

Dear Jesus,

I know I have sinned. I am sorry for all the bad things I have done. I know you died on the cross to forgive me of my sins. I want to accept your gift. Please take away my sins and forgive me. I give my life to be a follower of Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Celebrate

As you wipe the tears from your eyes, remember to celebrate your child’s decision. Hugs, kisses, and calls to the grandparents to join the celebration are in store. Consider gifting your child a special Bible or plaque with a family verse and the date on it.

Additional Resources:

  1. 1001 Ways to Introduce Your Child to the Bible by Kathie Reimer
  2. Kids Bible Dictionary (The Most Important People, Places, and Things for A to Z by Jean Fisher
You can read more about sharing the salvation message with your child here on Parenting Pathway:

Special Needs Children Can Understand God and Salvation

Author

  • Christine Clark

    Christine Clark is the Ministry Leader for Family Ministries at Stonebriar Community Church. She has a passion for supporting parents and helping them gain confidence and tools to be spiritual leaders in their homes. She is blessed to be the mom of a one son and the wife of her college sweetheart for 25 years. She and her husband are finding their way as empty nesters, and enjoying the new found freedom that comes with this stage of life. She is also an avid sports fan who loves all things NASCAR and football, especially in the fall in Texas.

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