By Pastor Trey Sullins
I am often asked, “How do I know if my child is ready to accept Christ?”
Parents often wonder at what age a child truly understands that they are a sinner and need to invite Jesus into their lives and be saved. The Bible does not give a specific age. If you have children, you know that children develop individually and understand things at different ages and stages. There is not one age where a child automatically understands that they are sinners, in need of God’s forgiveness.
Children can go through several steps of salvation.
• The first step could be that they know asking Jesus in their hearts is a good thing and it would make their parents happy. However, they do not fully understand that they are sinners. You can ask some children and they will tell you they have not sinned. You can’t become a Christian until you have sinned.
• Another step could be that they know Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. They know that they may have sinned and want to please the pastor or their parents. There could be many different reasons that the child may make the decision to ask Jesus in their heart, but the child must understand that they have sinned and have done things that are wrong. Once they understand that, they can then begin to understand that sin is what separates them from God and the only way to have a relationship with God is to accept the forgiveness that Jesus gave us when He died on the cross.
• Children will often times ask Jesus in to their hearts a number of times. This should not concern you; this child is searching and trying to understand as they grow.
Are you supposed to wait until the child fully understands the whole process and the details of being a Christian? The answer is no. Do you fully understand the Bible as a whole and your relationship with God? Probably not. As a parent, the task given to you, through God’s Word, is that you are to lead your child to an understanding that we are all sinners and need to ask Jesus to forgive our sins and come into our lives and be our “boss”.