You see that little boy in the picture, jumping happily without a care… He needs Jesus! For many believers, this is a given, but the realisation that my son needs Jesus to be good, and not just me to raise him right, came as a little shock to me. I knew it, but I didn’t KNOW it. And I know many unbelievers will be offended by such writing, to say that an ‘innocent’ three year old needs salvation.
I can tell you that at the age of one, Jason already knew the difference between right and wrong. And he often chose to do what was wrong. And while doing so, he would look at me to see if I would react or if he would get away with naughtiness. Unfortunately for me, I reacted a lot, and he has continued to push my buttons, to get some sort of reaction from me.
I hear he is so much better behaved when I am not around, and when he is not seeking my attention, because I am busy doing other things when he wants my attention. At school, he knows how to behave with the other children, and wouldn’t do half the things he does at home in mischief. Still he is not a perfect kid, not that there is.
I have heard it said before, and expressed this opinion a few times myself, that “there is no wicked child, only a child raised by wicked parents/guardians”. This saying puts the onus of a child’s behaviour on their parents’ behaviour and training. And while it has much weight, it isn’t actually true.
Children are born in sin. They are born with a conscience that knows right from wrong, even without parental guidance. Parental guidance, however, trains them to be able to discern between right and wrong better and to choose right, and learn the consequences of doing wrong. Especially growing up in a society that likes to confuse right and wrong, or teaches that “everyone is right in their own way”. Parents who are grounded in the truth can clear the path ahead for their child, so that they will know the truth, regardless of popular opinion and practice.
So, while I ought to take responsibility for my role of a parent in Jason’s life, I can’t take responsibility for his salvation. I can’t deny that he needs Jesus to be good, the same as me. As much as I need to teach him good manners and the difference between right and wrong, I also need to teach him about sin, God’s salvation and His gracious empowerment to live right. The sooner I train him in this knowledge, the better and greater the likelihood that he will walk uprightly (Prov 22.6).
Unfortunately, being a good parent does not guarantee that your children will grow up following your example of righteousness. The Bible chapter I read this morning (1 Samuel 8) was about Samuel and his sons, Joel and Abiah. Though Samuel knew and walked with God (and I reckon he would have passed on this wisdom to his sons, who he appointed as Judges), they did not. They did wickedly, and because of them, the Israelites demanded to be ruled over by a king. So, I know that even if I was a perfect mother to my child, who is a perfect boy, we would both still need Jesus, and that’s the truth!
So, Jason needs Jesus. Not because he is a bad boy. Simply because he is human, as I am. And if you are human too, you need Jesus.
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