“I’m not sure what happened. It’s almost as if they have completely forgotten how they were raised. It’s as if Sunday School, VBS, and all the Youth Camps have been sucked out of my child.”
This was just part of a conversation I had with a concerned parent this past week. Their 17 year old son has been making some bad choices and now dad and mom are concerned. The choices aren’t horrible. He hasn’t moved out and turned to a life of crime or anything like that. According to mom, he just hasn’t had any interest in Church, “Christian things”, or Jesus for that matter.
Mom’s question: What do we do?
My advice: Re-introduce your child to someone you love.
Here’s what I mean:
My Aunt Margie practically raised my twin brother and I for many years. You’d love her! She was everything a “fun Aunt” should be. We stayed up late, we ate terrible amounts of junk food and she loved to play video games. I love my Aunt deeply! If I were to tell you about my Aunt Margie I would tell you story after story of how much fun we had. After a couple real good stories, you’d get to know her very well. We really get to know people through shared experiences.
If you find yourself in a place where you need / want to re-introduce your child to Christ, you could open up the bible and begin to tell them the doctrine of Christology… or you could start by telling them about YOUR encounters with Christ. How do YOU know him? After all, that’s what matters to most kids.
I went through this exercise the other day and I wrote down 8 things I know about Jesus:
- He’s a storyteller
Luke 15 (The Story of The Prodigal Son)
I’m Irish. There’s nothing that get’s me going like a good story. I love the fact that Jesus loved stories. He used them to teach and to connect with people. He is the Master at creating word-pictures.
2. He’s a teacher
Luke 11 (The Story of Mary and Martha)
This story was a time when two sisters were hanging out with Jesus and one sister was mad that the other wasn’t helping enough. Instead of choosing sides, Jesus taught that the most important thing was to be with HIM.
3. He’s there for me
You don’t know this unless you’ve suffered greatly.
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” – A.W. Tozer
4. He loves sinners
Luke 19 (The Story of Zacchaeus)
The fact that Jesus loves hanging out with “sinners” is awesome! Read the story… enough said!
5. He’s powerful
Mark 4:35 (The Calming of the Sea)
I’ve seen Him heal broken people… physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve seen changed lives! – and it’s life-giving!
6. He’s Strong
It’s amazing how much “lighter” our burden’s are when we choose to follow HIS plan for us. (lighter…not easier)
7. He’s Unpredictable
Matthew 21:12 (The Turning Over of the Tables)
This same Jesus who loves sinners can’t stand to see people mock His father. When it happened He wen’t postal-worker on them!
The greatest complements I’ve received was from my bother-in-law a few years back when he said, “You really can’t be put into a box can you?” NOPE!
8. He’s Forgiving
Luke 23:34 (The Cross)
Above everything else He’s a forgiver. He forgave me of ALL my sins. Everything I did, I do, and ever will do! He paid the price so that I could be free.
When was the last time you were accused of forcing a your opinions on someone when you tried to introduce them to a friend? I’m guessing it’s been a while. If you have a teenager that’s struggling to find their faith and you really want to jump in and tell them what to believe, don’t. Instead try just introducing them to Him. If He’s as cool as you say he is, they’ll probably want to get to know Him too.
So, what are 3-4 things you KNOW about Jesus?