Introducing your child to Christ
By Sherise Henry
If you are a parent who is not quite sure as to whether or not your child has a relationship with Christ or you fear they may be too young to have an awareness of God, here is some encouraging news. You can begin speaking of Christ as early as you wish, in fact the sooner the better. A child’s recognition of good and bad begins pretty early and as their minds develop so does their understanding of who Christ is and why he came. In a report released by Children’s Ministry Magazine, “over 50 percent of Christians chose to follow Christ between the ages of 5 and 9.” It further states that many teenagers and adults today say they came to know Jesus as their savior at 3 years old. As children begin to wonder and explore the world around them giving them Jesus as a compass can help shape their thought life and moral code.
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Prayer is always a great starting point when beginning any mission by God. If you feel some insecurities regarding your own biblical knowledge, don’t worry. A CBN article with advice on “How to Share Christ with Your Kids” says the number one rule is to be you. You don’t have to have a seminary degree to talk to your kids. If you need help breaking down the stories of the Bible you can always buy a book of Children’s Bible Stories and read it for yourself first.
Focus on the Family also provides a great list of target benchmarks to achieve with your child’s biblical learning based on age. Larry Fowler gives this advice, lay the groundwork by establishing these truths…
God is strong. He can do anything
God always keeps his promises
God gives us rules that we must obey.
Even if Mommy and Daddy can’t see what you are doing, God sees it
God disciplines us because he loves us.
He goes on to give spiritual markers based on age. From ages 5 to 8 he encourages a focus on wisdom, how to apply God’s knowledge to everyday life. From ages 9 to 11 he suggests focusing on grace. Middle School you can deal with the issue of trust and by high school you can teach your child to look at perspective.
Of course no matter which course of study you choose being a model for your child will go far in planting the seed of being Christ –Like. You also don’t have to limit yourself to a student teacher type learning environment. The CBN article suggests that you look for natural opportunities to share a lesson about Christ and also on occasion become a fellow learner as opposed to that of a teacher and student.
HOW TO MAKE IT FUN
In her Focus on the Family article “Making the Bible Fun” Lynne Thompson gives several great ideas to add to your family Christian learning time.
Dress up as Bible characters
Invite other children over for a Bible story time with treats afterwards
Turn up the music and dance to specially recorded toddler songs
Deliver handmade cards to church shut ins
Whatever method you choose it’s important to never become intimidated with the process. Encouraging yourself in study is the best way to have answers to give to your children. May God bless your efforts.