Your child’s greatest need is the one you are powerless to meet. The sooner you come to grips with this reality the better. Sometimes parents think of salvation from sin as God throwing a life preserver to people who are drowning, but that is inadequate. Instead, we should picture ourselves and our children as already dead on the bottom of the ocean, six miles below the surface, beyond rescue by any means other than God. Salvation, as a child or an adult, is nothing short of a divine rescue mission to raise to life those who are already dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). Therefore, every conversion to Christ, and every life that is lived to the glory of God, is made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. He alone has the power.
Remember, God alone saves
Too many Christian parents think of themselves as imperfect but pretty good parents who are doing their best to raise pretty good kids. (If that was your manner of thinking when you picked up this book, I hope I have shattered that notion!) The real truth is this: “Good” kids being raised in “good Christian homes” need the saving grace of God just as much as the rage-filled teenager who’s responsible for a school shooting. Your child needs the intervention of the Spirit by means of the gospel just as much as the naughtiest child in your neighborhood. Stop living in a dream world. Keep this reality in mind.
Don’t forget that salvation is brought about not by the will of man, but by the will of God. Nor is it inherited from one’s parents, as the Gospel of John teaches:
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12–13).
Though man’s will is necessarily involved in the act of believing in Christ, it is God’s initiative at work. So be careful not to try to manipulate your kids into heaven. To be saved, we and our children must be born again. But we cannot do this for ourselves, or for them; each of us—as an individual—must be “born of God.”
[Excerpted from Raising Kids in a ‘You Can Do It! World.