Let’s rethink this matter of getting your children saved. Perhaps one of the problems with this perspective is that it looks for a major spiritual event of salvation and misses the spiritual process of nurturing your children. It is your task to faithfully teach them the ways of God. It is the Holy Spirit’s task to work through the Word of God to change their hearts…
You must always hold out to your children both their need of Christ’s invasive redemptive work and their obligation to repent of their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are not rites of initiation to Christianity. Repentance and faith are the way to relate to God. Repentance and faith are not acts performed one time to become a Christian. They are attitudes of heart toward myself and sin. Faith is not just the way to get saved, it is the lifeline of Christian living.
Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, 52-53.
Thanks for the good reminder from Tedd Tripp. His material is second to none and highly recommended. I especially appreciate the way his entire approach to Christian child-rearing (discipleship) is infused with the redemptive principles of the gospel of grace, as your article illustrates.
Who could forget Tedd’s illustration of stapling fruit from elsewhere onto a dead fruit tree vs. a tree that naturally produces its own healthy fruit. Such natural healthy fruit can only come when a person is changed from the inside out. Stapled-on fruit is what we get when we insist on changed behavior apart from a changed heart. Behaviorists may get some desired external results. But God is out to change lives for etenity and to fill His house with sons and daughters like Jesus, who always loves the Father and loves to do His will — from the heart.