¿Le estás transmitiendo correctamente el evangelio a tus hijos?

Are you correctly transmitting the gospel to your children?

People asked me if I thought my children would be believers. I generally responded that the gospel is powerful and attractive. It exclusively meets the needs of fallen humanity. Therefore, I hoped that the Word of God would be the power of God for the salvation of our children. But that expectation was based on the power of the gospel and its ability to satisfy human need, not on a correct formula for producing believing children.

The central focus of parenting is the gospel. You not only need to direct the behavior of your children, but the attitudes of their hearts. You need to show them not only the “what” of their sin and failure, but also the “why.” Your children desperately need to understand not just the external “what” of what they did wrong, but the internal “why” of what they did. You need to help them see that God works from the inside out. The purpose of your parenting, therefore, cannot be to have well-behaved children. Your children need to know why they sin and how to recognize internal changes.

Sometimes parents give their children rules they can follow. Parents believe that if their children are not Christians, they cannot obey God from the heart. For example, the Bible says that we should do good to those who mistreat us. But when children are bullied in the schoolyard, parents tell them to ignore the bully. Worse yet, some parents tell them to hit others if they hit them first.

This unbiblical advice leads children away from the cross. It does not take the grace of God to ignore the oppressor. You do not need supernatural grace to defend your rights. However, doing good to the oppressor, praying for those who mistreat him, and entrusting himself to the righteous Judge requires that a child come face to face with the poverty of his own spirit and his need for the transforming power of the gospel.

The law of God is not easy for the natural man. Its level is very high and cannot be achieved apart from the supernatural grace of God. God's law teaches us our need for grace. When you do not introduce God's standards to your children, you take away the mercy of the gospel.

The assimilation of the gospel

Ultimately, your children must assimilate the message of the gospel. Every child in a Christian home will, at some point, examine the claims of the gospel and determine whether to embrace its truth or not.

Imagine the process this way: the child holds the gospel statements at arm's length and turns them over in his hands to determine whether to embrace them or throw them out. The parent has a wonderful opportunity to help this child investigate all of his questions about faith. The Word of God is robust; The Christian faith can withstand the most thorough and honest scrutiny. Not everyone has the obligation to ask all the questions, but each person has the obligation to ask the questions they have.

Mutuality as a people, under God

I recently had a conversation with my son. He was telling me about the things God was teaching him. He shared new ideas about himself and what it means to know God beyond mere theories.

When I spoke, it seemed to me that I was not just talking to my son, but to a man. I wasn't instructing him. We were sharing the blessedness of knowing God. I experienced a wonderful sense of mutuality with this man (who was once a boy whom I taught and disciplined and for whom I wrestled in prayer). Thanks God!

Excerpted from the book How to Shepherd Your Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

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