How to Win Your Children to Christ
2 Timothy 3:12-15; Deuteronomy 6:1-15
The church often speaks of world evangelism and the importance of sharing the gospel with every man, woman, boy, and girl. Indeed, we have our marching orders from the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to take the gospel to our world. But where shall we begin?
May I make an obvious suggestion? We must begin by winning our own children to Christ and raising them in the faith. World evangelism must begin in the home of every Christian family. If you will receive the following teaching from God’s word I am confident the Holy Spirit will show you exactly how to go about winning your children to Christ and how to train them in the faith.
As you may recall the Apostle Paul trained a young disciple named Timothy. In the book of 2 Timothy Paul makes an important observation about this young man that every parent should take careful note of. Listen to these words:
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:12-15).
Please take careful note that Timothy was exposed to the Holy Scriptures from a child. This is the foundational plan of God for every child as we shall learn from the book of Deuteronomy. It is God’s will that our little ones actually learn the Scriptures from their earliest days. Parents and the tutors they may choose are to be the instruments God uses to make our little ones wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Now may I plead with you for a moment? I ask you: is there anything more important than imparting a thorough knowledge of Christ and His word to the heart and mind of your child? Would you agree with me that if your child could grow up and have all that this world could offer, but lost his soul, it will profit him nothing?
Then why do you make sure he is at the ball game three times a week but only at church once a week? And why would you neglect church and serving the Lord while substituting entertainment, sports, or other activities in the place of the house of God?
And why would you fill your home life with so much activity that the Bible is never opened together and your little ones never learn its commands and your children never come to know the Savior? Timothy’s experience was no accident. His grandmother and his mother saw to it that he gained a thorough knowledge of Scripture. I challenge you to do the same with your children.
I need to take you now to the book of Deuteronomy. This book lays out God’s game plan for maximum influence upon and training of children. Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9 carefully. Here the Lord charges parents with the task of diligently teaching their children His word.
Take care to note the Lord illustrates what he means by the word “diligent.” He says to “talk of them (his word/commands) when you are sitting in your house.” Clearly the Lord intends that his word be at the center of family life.
Then he says to talk of them “when you walk by the way.” In other words, parents were to apply the word of God to everyday life as they moved about their day. Again, the word of God was to be at the center of life decisions and purposely applied outside the more formal home setting.
Then the Lord says that his word was to be taught at the end of the day (when you lie down) with the whole process starting again the next morning!
Such diligence set forth by the Lord aims at keeping His word constantly before a child as he matures. Verses 8 and 9 pictures this in three different ways.
Considering the first, parents were to “bind them (the word/commands) for a sign upon the hand.” Let me give a simple illustration here to help us see the point the Lord is making.
Many people enjoy wearing bracelets for different reasons. Most of the time bracelets have little significance beyond complementing the outfit worn that day. But suppose you placed a bracelet around your wrist associated with something very important. Then every time you looked at the bracelet it would remind you of a special event, or the special person that gave it to you, or an award that recognized a special accomplishment in your life, etc.
Ladies do this very thing with a charm bracelet. At least some of the charms on the bracelet serve as a reminder of important events or loved ones dear to the heart. Of course, it would be very difficult to forget such things when the mind is constantly reminded of them. This illustrates the spirit of the Lord’s instruction here.
The Israelites were never to forget God’s word! Diligent instruction serves to constantly remind the child of God’s word much like wearing a literal bracelet could serve to remind us of something important. Of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with literally binding written scripture to a child’s hand, but figuratively we are certainly to do so with daily instruction.
Next, his word was to be as frontlets between their eyes. Literally, a frontlet was a headband that held something across the forehead. No doubt you have seen individuals in various cultures wearing such a headband and quite often there is some piece of jewelry or other design that is positioned right between the eyes. This illustrates that the Israelites were to always keep the word of God front and center in the thinking of their children.
And finally the Lord instructed them to write his words upon the posts of their houses and on their gates. In this case they literally did so! Now, it is obvious the Lord went to great lengths to give us a good picture of what his plan is concerning children.
Do you recognize he means for their life to revolve around instruction in His word? Can you see what diligence looks like from this passage?
Now, in light of this teaching here are several practical things that will empower and help you win your children to Christ. In one way or the other each of these points are related to the picture of diligence the Lord sets forth in Deuteronomy chapter six.
1. First, clearly confess your faith in Christ to your children. How can you win your children to Christ if they do not know that you love him yourself?
2. Demonstrate a fervent love for Christ before your children. If Christ is not important to you, then how can you hope to win your children to him?
3. Make it your sole priority to win your children to the Lord Jesus Christ. Place their walk with the Lord above everything else. At the end of their childhood when they transition into adulthood they should know the Lord. They may not know how to play ball and other things may not be so important to them, but if they have a manifest love for Christ that is all that matters. Of course, knowing Christ is the very foundation of a truly successful life and the Lord will lead them into an abundant life. But don’t neglect this matter. Be diligent!
4. Recognize that your child must be lead to Christ on purpose. He or she is not seeking the Lord. In fact, a child goes astray from its mother’s womb. All children are sons of Adam and are thus fallen. With purpose you must “bend” your children toward the Lord. How do you do that?
5. Again, from the youngest age they should be taught the word of God diligently. Children can learn the Scriptures if exposed to them. Certainly as noted above the Lord intends for children to be saturated with his word. In this way they will come to know him.
6. It follows we should trust the power of God’s word: remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
7. Trust the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of your child. The Word of God is the “sword” of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Watch for the work of the Spirit and never discourage your child from confessing Christ!
8. Pray boldly for the salvation of your children and expect to see them saved at an early age.
9. Separate your children from the ungodly and clearly teach your children that they must forsake this world. This is a matter of the heart. Ultimately your children must make a choice between serving Christ and loving this world.
10. Do not assume your child is born again especially as they enter the teen years. Neglect of spiritual instruction during the critical ages of 13 to 18 is one of the major reasons many precious souls will never be saved!
11. Love the house of God and build your family life around the church. Serving Christ far outweighs anything in the world. You should train your children accordingly.
12. Apply God’s instruction to be diligent in your home life. Why are you not reading the Bible in your home? Why are there no family devotions? Why is the Lord never in your conversations? Don’t drop the ball here!
13. Get serious about training your children in the Christian faith. Use every tool available to accomplish this goal including a private, Christian school if available.
I conclude by re-emphasizing the importance of prayer. Intercession for your child is essential. Prayer must be coupled to proper instruction and discipline. Take hold of God in prayer and stand in faith for the salvation of each of your children.
As you properly instruct them they must experience the work of the Spirit in their heart. This is the focus of prayer. Pray boldly and definitively for the work of the Spirit in their life. This is the will of God, so ask for the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
And finally, stand firmly against Satan as you pray. Serve notice on Satan that he cannot have your children. Rebuke him openly as you pray in secret. Pray boldly in the name of Jesus and stand against Satan’s effort to frustrate God’s plan for your child. God will hear you. Satan will be defeated, but only if we engage the battle.
Be encouraged. Your faithful labor to train your child in the faith and develop a love for Christ in their heart will not be in vain. The power of the Word and the power of the Spirit are sufficient!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in all your fervent effort to advance His kingdom is my prayer.
Pastor Rusty Revised 031317