Have you ever heard, or even said yourself, that kids need to figure out their faith for themselves? That as kids get older, they can figure out what they want to believe and what spiritual practices they want to adopt into adulthood? That church can be an option, but you don’t want to force your beliefs down their throat? That letting your kids fend for themselves spiritually is the most loving thing you can do?
What if I told you that the Bible actually teaches the complete opposite of that. In Matthew 19:13-14 the author recounts how parents bring their infants to Jesus in the midst of His teaching on marriage and divorce. It says, “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.” Jesus wants to bless children and to invite them into the kingdom of heaven, and bringing your children into a space where they can experience the good news of Jesus is the most loving thing you can do.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” While this isn’t a promise, the author of Proverbs is noting a pattern that is seen socially: when kids are brought up to know the way of Jesus, they are more likely to be a disciple who makes disciples later in life.
Jesus values kids and He values their faith – more than you ever could or ever will. So do the loving thing, and bring your kids to church.