The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to two year olds
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14
I finished reading Love Wins last night… I could talk about the stuff I want to argue with but I won't. Too easy... ; ) Love or hate the guy, Rob Bell is an incredible story teller...
At one point Rob tells an incredibly personal story of asking Jesus into his life as a young boy. He is quick to explain that many will doubt the sincerity of this prayer but he still holds it as an important spiritual victory in his life.
I really thought he was going to use this as an opportunity to talk about the shallow, half hearted confessions we manipulate our children into making but he didn’t.
He did however talk about how children growing up today may be confused about where their true motivations lie…
Is it about loving Jesus or pleasing their parents who desperately want to see their kids come to faith? As to this, I totally agree.
I’m happy when I hear 50 elementary aged kids in our church asked Jesus to be there forever friend… but the critic in me cringes… wondering how sincere a 5 year old can be. What sin are they turning away from exactly?
Don’t get me wrong… I’d much rather they have an open heart to Jesus than not… but I’ve seen so many kids fall away over the years… it is tough for me not to jump to the negative. (not saying they shouldn’t go this route in kid's ministry… these guys do a fabulous job… more thinking about my own short comings as a critic here)
I guess I have to say that I cannot feel bad about wanting my boys to grow up to be strong men of God. I know that I can influence them heavily in this… that they will naturally want to please me and will most likely fall in line when they are young. They will repeat back what I tell them and not think to question it for some time.
But I also know that the day will come when they will push back… when they will question and perhaps doubt.
I guess at that point I’m left with wondering if I’ve led a good example… explained the truth in love to them and shown a life following Jesus to be something attractive.
I know that day is coming and it scares the heck out of me. To think of Jackson (2 years) and Asa (10 months) making their own decisions about God… and quite possibly saying “No… that was for my dad and mom… but not for me.” It tears me up inside just to think about it… although I know it is necessary.
I can’t force my kids to love God… I can only point their hearts in the right direction, pray for them, and trust that God’s will to be done.
In the meantime though, I cling to verses like this. Jesus said “let the children come to me.” Not “Wait till they grow up and can choose for themselves…” But let them come to him now!
Usually at night when we pray with Jackson, I ask him what to pray for. A typical night includes thanking God for pigs, cows, pigs, pigs, and then pigs again.
Tonight, Jackson simply asked that we thank God for “Jesus.” That’s one way to melt a father’s heart.
What was your experience as a kid in regards to spiritual things? [how did that play out as you grew older?]
Parents, what's been your biggest challenge and experience in pointing your kids to Jesus?
This was a guest post by my pastor friend Luke. You can read his first guest post 'how jumping on your bed can turn into treasure' here. If you also want a daily dose of hilarity from a guy who can grow a full beard in 6 minutes, follow him on twitter or be his friend on face-book.
Friends of Luke, I understand you're embarrassed with identifying with Luke cause of his current creeper stash but please click here before you leave.
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