"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Believe and you will be saved. Believe. That's it. Could it possibly be that simple? Could the fate of my child's soul be in something that easy? One step. Believe. And yet it is so much more. How can we teach belief without brainwash? How can we teach belief without coercion?
The truth is, we cannot. Because it's not just about belief. It's relationship. It's love. It's intimacy. It's friendship. It's knowledge. It's sharing thoughts and feelings and experiences. It's questioning. Belief is the result of teaching all these other things. Belief is not one simple thing. It is the solidifying of all these other things in the bedrock of your heart.
I cannot teach my kids to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. But I can teach them about who He is. I can show them his love and mercy and grace. I can model what it means to run to him in times of joy and sorrow. I can read to them about the truths of his character and prompt them to reach out to Him with question and longings.
No, I cannot teach them to believe. He does that himself. I can only teach them that Jesus is here and waiting for them with open arms. He is good and right and perfect. And because He is who He is, He will take care of the belief himself. I suppose this is where I must lay them in the hands of the One who loves them more than I do - and know that if He is worth believing in, he is also worth trusting.
Lord, I know I will not always say the right things or explain truths the right way or model the right behavior, but somehow please help me teach my children who you are. I pray that their hearts will be protected from the lies thrown at them about who you are and what it means to love and follow you. I pray that you would protect them from legalism and also from mysticism. Help them see the truth through the veil of our culture and the ways of this world. Please give me the words to say to answer questions they may have, and point us all to the scriptures that speak the truth of who you are. Unveil their eyes so they may see the depths of your love and your plans for this world you have created. Help them understand the mysteries of you, and not be confused or led astray by them. I pray they would know your character and your love for them. I trust that you want their hearts in your hand more than I do, and I pray that you would pursue them, love them and care for them their whole lives. Let their eyes see the truth and their hearts be compelled to believe. We lay our children in your loving and capable hands, Lord. Thank you for trusting them to us. Help us be accurate representatives of you in their lives, and help us love them with the love you pour through us. Let our words, actions and relationships point them to you.
In Jesus Name, Amen