Sep 21, 2021

7 Tips for Parents Who Want to Raise Their Kids to Love Jesus

We know parents are the greatest influence in their child's life.  So, if you want to influence the next generation, it should start by influencing their parents who will, in return, influence their children.

Every parent, who is a believer, wants to see their child grow up to love and follow Jesus.  

But that doesn't happen by accident. It takes intentional training and instruction mixed in with a whole lot of unconditional love.  

Let's look at 7 tips you can pass along to parents who want to raise their children to love Jesus.

Be an example of what it means to love Jesus.  I believe that loving Jesus is more caught than taught.  First and foremost, as parents, we must live out a faith that is rooted and grounded in a love for Christ.  Growing up, it became clear to me that my parents loved Jesus.  I watched as they spent time in prayer.  I watched as they shared their faith with people who were away from God.  I watched as they served others. 

And it made a deep impression in my life.  As a teenager, trying to decide what direction I would go with my life, it reinforced for me that following Jesus was the best thing I could do with my life.

Read the Bible and pray with your children.  Bedtime is a great opportunity to do this.  With younger children, a devotional book that includes pictures along with the scriptures is great.  The older children get, the more you can read straight to them from God's Word.  Which leads me to my next point.

Teach your children how to walk with Jesus for themselves.  As kids get into their upper elementary years, you should help them transition into walking with Jesus for themselves.  This doesn't mean you don't read God's Word with them and pray with them.  But it does mean that they should gradually transition into having their own time of prayer and Bible reading.   

Work through the hard questions.  Be proactive in addressing the hard questions like...

Why does God allow tragedies like hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, etc. to happen?

Why would God sentence people to spend eternity in hell?  Isn't that too harsh?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why is Jesus the only way to heaven?

These are the types of questions you need to talk about and walk through with your child as they get older.  The goal is to help them discover the right answers before they go off to college or the workforce and hear the wrong answers.  I talk in detail about this in my new book "Fertile Soil...See Kids Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime." It's available for pre-order at this link

Pray for them.  I believe that one reason my two brothers and I love Jesus and are actively involved in serving Him is because my parents pray daily for us.  Every morning they sit down and spend time praying for us.  Pray, pray, pray for your children.  Intercede for them.  Pray a hedge of protection around them.  Prayer makes the difference. 

Walk the talk. You are the primary spiritual example for your children.  Practice what you preach.  Kids can see through hypocrisy.

Hypocritical parents lead to skeptical children. 
Remember this - loving Jesus is caught more than it is taught.  The way you live your life is your greatest testimony.  You can teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are.

Be involved in who they choose as friends.  Friends play a major role in how a child turns out.  Help your child choose friends who love Jesus and will be a good example for them.  Many times, the right kind of friends will be a determining factor if they follow Jesus or not.

The Bible is very clear about this.  Look what Proverbs 13:20 says. 

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.

Time slips by so quickly.  Before you know it, that little boy or girl that you put in a car seat, will be grown up and will be driving the car.

As children's ministry leaders, we should be pouring into parents.  Help equip parents in these matters.  Pray with them as they seek to raise their children to love Jesus for a lifetime. 

Your turn.  What else do you teach and implement to equip parents?  Share your ideas and insight in the comment section below.

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