Feelings of inadequacy can stop Christians from sharing the gospel with their children.  We need to learn to distinguish conviction from condemnation and how to be in a place where you can confidently talk to your kids about Jesus.  Your relationship with Jesus is the key – not your eloquent words!

 

I’m A Christian, But I Feel Inadequate To Talk To My Children About Jesus

​If ​you ​grapple ​with ​these ​feelings ​of ​inadequacy, ​feeling ​that ​you ​really ​have ​no ​idea ​of ​how ​to ​impart ​the ​knowledge ​of ​God ​and ​all ​things ​faith ​to ​your ​kids, ​know ​that ​you’re ​not ​alone. ​There ​were ​many ​times ​that ​the ​only ​thing ​I ​could ​do ​was ​pray. ​I ​had ​no ​idea. ​And ​yet ​God ​tells ​us ​that ​he ​sent ​His ​Spirit ​to ​equip ​us ​for ​the ​tasks ​that ​He ​has ​for ​us. 

Hebrews 13:20-21 ​Now ​may ​the ​God ​of ​peace, ​who ​brought ​up ​our ​Lord ​Jesus ​from ​the ​dead, ​that ​great ​shepherd ​of ​the ​sheep, ​through ​the ​blood ​of ​the ​everlasting ​covenant, ​make ​you ​complete ​in ​every ​good ​work, ​to ​do ​his ​will, ​working ​in ​you ​what ​is ​well ​pleasing ​in ​his ​sight, ​through ​Jesus ​Christ, ​to ​whom ​be ​glory ​forever ​and ​ever. ​Amen. 

​So ​the ​question ​is, ​do ​I ​believe ​that ​or ​not? ​​Do ​you ​believe ​that ​or ​not ​that ​God ​has ​made ​you ​complete ​in ​every ​good ​work? ​He ​has ​done ​the ​work ​in ​your ​heart, ​so ​that ​you ​can ​do ​His ​will, ​so ​that ​you ​can ​do ​what ​is ​well ​pleasing ​in ​his ​sight. 

​Parenting  ​is ​just a ​context ​in ​our ​life ​that ​God ​will ​use ​to ​make ​us ​grow ​and ​mature as ​a ​Christian. ​For ​us ​to ​disciple ​our ​children, ​we ​will ​have ​to ​depend ​on ​Him. ​We ​will ​have ​to ​stop ​doing ​some ​things ​and ​start ​doing ​other ​things. ​We ​will ​have ​to ​know ​him ​and ​know ​his ​word. ​

And ​yet, ​when ​we ​get ​distracted ​from ​doing ​those ​things ​or ​when ​we ​are, ​maybe ​haphazard ​in ​our ​obedience, ​or ​when ​our ​growth ​in ​certain ​matters ​goes ​slower ​than ​what ​we’d ​like, ​we ​start ​to ​listen ​to ​the ​lies ​whispered ​in ​our ​ear. ​”You ​are ​not ​a ​good ​enough ​Christian ​to ​disciple ​your ​child.” ​It’s ​a ​lie. ​It’s ​a ​lie ​and ​we ​have ​to ​stop ​believing ​it. ​

Then ​again, ​there ​are ​times ​when ​God ​puts ​a ​finger ​on ​our ​heart ​and ​convicts ​us ​of ​something ​in ​our ​life ​that ​is ​not ​right, ​not ​glorifying ​Him. ​And ​He ​wants ​that ​changed. ​So ​on ​the ​one ​hand, ​we ​need ​to ​recognise ​the ​lies ​of ​the ​evil ​one ​who ​wants ​to ​diminish ​the ​work ​that ​the ​Holy ​Spirit ​has ​done ​in ​your ​life. ​And ​on ​the ​other ​hand, ​we ​need ​to ​respond ​to ​the ​Holy ​Spirit ​when ​He ​prompts ​us ​to ​grow ​up. ​​

The ​difference ​is ​conviction ​versus ​condemnation. ​And ​I’m ​sure ​you’ve ​heard ​it ​before, ​Romans 8:1 ​Therefore, ​there ​is ​now ​no ​condemnation ​for ​those ​who ​are ​in ​Christ ​Jesus. ​The ​Holy ​Spirit ​convicts, ​the ​evil ​one ​condemns. ​And ​when ​we ​have ​these ​feelings ​of ​not ​being ​adequate ​enough ​or ​not ​knowing ​enough, ​not ​being ​faithful ​enough ​to ​teach ​our ​children, ​that ​is ​the ​evil ​one ​condemning. 

Do the Heart Work and Focus on what is True

I ​think ​three ​things make ​us feel ​inadequate as ​a ​Christian:

  1. We ​compare ​ourselves ​with ​someone ​else, ​and ​comparison ​is ​a ​thief. ​When ​we ​compare ​ourselves ​with ​someone ​else, ​we ​never ​see ​the ​whole ​picture. ​We ​compare ​only ​this ​snapshot ​of ​our ​life. ​We ​used ​to ​have ​a ​book ​that ​was ​a ​collection ​of ​photographs ​taken ​at ​the ​same ​time ​all ​around ​the ​world. ​And ​the ​diversity ​of ​people’s ​experiences ​was ​incredible ​to ​see. ​Now ​the ​power ​of ​that ​book ​was that it ​was ​a ​glimpse ​into ​different ​people’s ​lives ​at ​the ​same ​moment, ​and ​no ​one ​was ​the ​same. ​So ​when ​we ​compare, ​we’re ​simply ​not ​seeing ​the ​truth, ​and ​we’re ​not ​seeing ​what ​God ​has ​done ​in ​our ​life. ​We’re ​not ​seeing ​where ​God ​has ​put ​us. ​We’re ​not ​seeing where ​God ​wants ​to ​take ​us. ​We’re ​just ​right ​here ​looking ​at ​someone ​else, ​and ​we’re ​not ​looking ​at ​Jesus. ​So ​we ​need ​to ​guard ​our ​hearts ​against ​going ​there. 
  2. The ​second ​thing ​is ​that ​we ​focus ​on ​our ​sin. ​When ​we ​focus ​on ​our ​sin ​or ​on ​our propensity ​to ​do ​the ​wrong ​thing, ​we ​are ​focusing ​on ​ourselves, ​not ​on ​Jesus. ​We ​are ​to ​keep ​our ​eyes ​on ​Jesus. ​He ​promises ​that ​he ​loves ​us. ​He ​has ​forgiven ​us, and ​He ​is ​with ​us. ​Though ​we ​need ​to ​deal ​with ​the ​things ​that ​we ​do ​that ​don’t ​bring ​glory ​to ​Him, ​those ​things ​are ​not ​our ​identity. ​Jesus ​is ​our ​identity. ​Jesus ​has ​given ​us ​a ​new ​heart. ​We ​are ​a ​new ​being. And ​though ​our ​flesh ​fails ​us, ​Jesus ​is ​there ​for ​forgiveness. ​And ​when ​we ​live ​in ​condemnation, ​in ​constant ​condemnation, ​we ​are ​ignoring ​the ​life ​that ​he ​has ​given ​us ​when ​he ​rose ​from ​the ​dead. 
  3. And ​the ​third ​thing ​is, ​we ​lie ​to ​ourselves. ​We ​say ​that ​we ​know ​we ​don’t ​have ​to ​be ​perfect, ​and ​yet ​in ​our ​heart ​of ​hearts, ​we ​still ​strive ​to ​be ​perfect. ​​We ​say ​that ​God ​gives ​us ​strength, ​and ​yet ​we ​step ​out ​in ​our ​own ​strength. ​We ​say ​that ​we ​believe ​in ​prayer, ​but ​we ​don’t ​pray. When ​there’s ​this ​gap ​between ​what ​we ​believe ​and ​what ​we ​live – that ​is ​exhausting. ​We ​need ​to ​be ​honest ​and ​real ​in ​our ​walk ​with ​Jesus. ​That’s ​the ​whole ​point ​of ​having ​a ​relationship ​with ​Jesus, ​is ​his ​love, ​mercy, ​and ​grace. ​We ​don’t ​have ​to ​pretend. ​We ​don’t ​have ​to ​lie ​to ​ourselves ​and ​lie ​to ​other ​people. ​I ​guess ​pretending ​is ​lying ​to ​other ​people. ​​So ​we ​need ​to ​be ​honest ​about ​the ​things ​that ​we ​find ​hard. ​We ​need ​to ​be ​honest ​about ​the ​things ​that ​we ​are ​depending ​on ​God’s ​strength ​for. ​And ​as ​we ​are ​honest, ​there ​comes ​growth. ​As ​we ​are honest, ​we ​have ​connection ​with ​other ​people ​because other ​people ​can ​see ​that ​our ​words ​match ​what ​we ​live. ​And ​look, ​our ​children ​can ​see ​our ​honesty ​or ​our ​pretense ​as ​well. 

Heart-focused Parenting Action Step

So ​I ​do ​actually ​have ​a ​heart-focused ​parenting ​action ​step ​for ​you ​today, ​and ​that ​is ​simply ​to ​be ​honest ​about ​your ​relationship ​with ​Jesus ​and ​your ​desire ​to ​grow ​closer ​to Him. ​Ask Him ​to ​speak ​to ​you ​and ​help ​you ​grow ​in ​your ​faith ​and ​obedience. And ask Him ​how ​you ​can ​teach ​your ​children ​to ​know, ​love ​and ​obey ​Him. ​He ​is ​faithful. ​He ​will ​answer ​you ​and ​He ​will ​help ​you.

​So ​we ​don’t ​have ​to ​pretend ​to ​have ​it ​all ​together ​to ​teach ​our ​children ​about ​Jesus. ​Neither ​do ​we ​have ​to ​give ​that ​job ​to ​somebody ​else ​because ​we ​are ​not ​good ​enough. Be ​real ​in ​your ​relationship ​with ​Jesus. ​Grow ​in ​your ​relationship ​with ​Jesus. ​Live ​day ​to ​day ​with ​Jesus. ​Let ​your ​children ​see ​that, ​and ​you ​will ​have ​something real ​to ​share ​with ​them. ​

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But I don’t feel Qualified

We don’t have to be ashamed of our weaknesses. It is when our weaknesses make us depend on Jesus, that Jesus is glorified (Jesus is seen by others.)

This is so important when we talk about Jesus in our family with our kids. We don’t want infer that we’ve got it together – because we don’t, and we are only glorifying ourselves if we try and say that.

Instead, we need to talk honestly with our kids, talk about our weaknesses, and how Jesus has met us, and helped us, and changed us.

I found having children who are watching my every move made me a very honest Christian. There is no hiding my weaknesses from my kids, but I can choose to let them see me depending on Jesus, or fudging along trying to do it on my own.

God will be seen and known when I let my kids see how I interact with God on a daily basis.

What is your expectation?

A common thought is that we as parents only have 18 years to put into our kids. That is simply not true.

As I was thinking about some of the ways I have encouraged my adult kids in recent times I asked myself – where did that idea come from? Where did the idea come from that we only had 18 years to teach our kids and influence them?

It came from a mindset that was based on our authority.

It’s come from the idea that if I’m the authority they HAVE to listen to me for 18 years.

Look, even if that were true – believe me, they check out way before they turn 18.

The truth is – I’m still learning from my folks – and I’m 60! They still encourage me to focus on Jesus and God’s word as I go through struggles and hard things.

My kids are between 24 and 31 – and we still talk, they still listen.

Focusing on the age of our kids to define our influence is wrong thinking.

The only thing that sets you up to have any influence in your teenager’s life and beyond is to:

  • Walk the walk – be honest, be true, be genuine, be authentic
  • Be interested in them as a person
  • Have the habit of spending time together – them in your world, and you in theirs
  • Have a family culture of talking about Jesus

If you have these things happening in your family, you have way more than 18 years to influence your child.

If you don’t have these things – you don’t even have 18 years!

What voice are you listening to?

When you feel inadequate and doubt your ability to teach your children about Jesus – what are those feelings based on?

Is the evil one condemning you – you are just not good enough.
or
Is the Holy Spirit convicting you to dig into God’s word so that you can share His truths?

With condemnation, we feel hopeless.
h conviction, we have hope in the power of the cross.

The Holy Spirit can teach you, guide you, give you wisdom – you just have to ask.

Don’t let the lies of the evil one distract you from the calling to make disciples.

Take Little Moments as Big Opportunities

Yes, we all live busy lives – but we make time for the things that are important to us. We make time for sport, we make time for movies and TV shows, we make time for friends, but do we make time for connecting with Jesus?

Every family will do this differently – but here are 5 different ways you can prioritise God, and time in the Bible with your kids through a busy week.

Time will never become less busy, or less rushed. There is always things to do.

If the Bible and a relationship with God is important, then you’ll make changes so Bible time happens in your regular family life and talking about Jesus becomes normal.

Message me if you have any questions on how you can do this.

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