I once read (OK, twice read) a real eye-opener of a book that changed the way I believed. Through easy to understand parables, the author beautifully and simply illustrates how it is not enough to believe in Christ. Most folks are able to do that. We need to go on and believe Him. We need to believe what He tells us and the good news of His gospel.
This is something our children desperately need. They are bombarded daily with images, lyrics and scenarios that are discouraging and dehumanizing. They play games where they kill. They listen to songs that paint the world black. They meet people who give a bad name to the human race. The movies they watch would have us believe that wrong is right and right is outdated. They need, more than ever, to believe Christ.
We can teach our children of the Savior and what He did-His mission, His service, His sacrifice. To them, living up to that may seem overwhelming. But, if we teach them His words, they will find encouragement. We must teach them to believe Him.
Here are some great words to help our kids believe.
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Christ stands ready and waiting to forgive all our sins if we repent. His mercy will never run dry. They are never beyond redemption, and they need to believe that. Sometimes kids have an exaggerated sense of their own misdeeds. They can easily believe they are beyond forgiveness. This is a vital lesson for them.
1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
This is a really, really important one. Everyone is tempted. The sin is not in being tempted, but in entertaining that temptation. Teach them that when the thoughts come, they are like actors on a stage. Simply close the curtains and end the show. Teach them to control their thoughts by quickly thinking of the words of their favorite hymn or thinking of the savior's face. Anything worthy that will divert their minds to righteousness. Teach them that there is always a way provided to escape sin. They are stronger than the temptation.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Teach your kids that if we properly repent, the Lord remembers our sins no more. They are blotted out. But that repentance must be complete. The steps are easy. Recognize the sin. Apologize to God. Apologize to anyone who was adversely affected by the sin. Make restitution. Forgive yourself. Move on. Teach them that there is always a way to repent, and that they will always be forgiven. The hard part is forgiving and moving on. Children tend to hold on to their wrongdoing. Teach them to let go once the repentence is complete.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Prayer is a daily requirement to stay close to the Lord. All prayers should begin with thanksgiving, including gratitude for trials and adversities that teach valuable lessons. We all have them, so teaching our children that they are not alone is important. Then, ask the Lord in faith for the righteous desires of your heart and believe that they will be granted. Teach them to pray for peace and comfort.
These are just a few of the marvelous and comforting truths about our Savior. Study the word and share it with your children, encouraging them to read the scriptures and to believe what they read. The world is a tough place to navigate without a lot of faith. Giving our children that faith will help them to be successful, productive and Christ-like people.