I have a nine year old. It’s been an emotional week as we’ve watched the smiling faces of other nine year olds, lost in a horrific murder, roll across our screens.
What can we do to protect our children?
What can we give them to prepare for such a world?
We need to give our children the Gospel.
We don’t need to wait until they’re older before we discuss sin, judgment, and hell. We don’t need to wait until they can understand complex doctrinal arguments. We certainly should not wait just because we don’t want them to have to think about death.
Children need the foundational hope and security that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can give them. Jesus came to defeat sin, sickness, and death, and we are wrong to hide that fact from them.
In my community, where the life expectancy for men has ranged between 44 and 47 years old in recent years, sharing the Gospel with children and young people is imperitive. Every time a young man dies in a car accident, a drug overdose, or a suicide, I grieve that we have not shared the Gospel more.
Worldwide, as we see news about kidnappings of school children in Nigeria and children dying in the warzone of Ukraine, we see the urgent need children have to know the Gospel.
Here in America, we’re tempted to hide the ugly side of life from children. We want to make them happy, provide a sparkly childhood of themed birthday parties and making memories, and shield them from the evil and rot at the core of our world.
However, that simply teaches our children to find their hope in the things that can’t protect them when the shooter enters the classroom. We are encouraging them to find shallow, temporary happiness instead of allowing them to discover lasting depths of joy.
So many headlines proclaimed, “Where was God?” If we had been teaching children the Gospel, both adults and children would be able to confidently say, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” They would know that this life is not all there is. They would know that “for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
They would know, “in all these things, we are more than conquerors through [Jesus] who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nore rulers, nor things present nor things to come…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is that hope that I want present in the classroom of death. It is that joy that I hope accompanies my child on the deathbed. It is that love that I pray will carry my child into eternal life.
How are you sharing the Gospel of Jesus with the children in your life? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them.”
For resources to help you share the Gospel with the children in your life, please visit http://www.sarahdixonyoung.com/summerbibleclub