Have you noticed that the most powerful testimonies from people who seem to love Jesus with all their hearts come from people who have been delivered from terrible sins? Years ago an evangelist came to our church and told how he had been a terrible drunkard and God saved him and made him a great soul winner. Another preacher told about being in a motorcycle gang. Another man had been in prison for horrible crimes and was saved while in prison.
People like that have an INTENSITY about their love for Jesus because HE HAS FORGIVEN THEM FOR SO MANY SINS.
Jesus went to the heart of this in Luke 7 when a woman who had been a terrible sinner washed His feet with tears. Jesus told the Pharisee watching this: “To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”
There is a problem here. You want your children to have an intense love for Jesus. But you DON’T want them to experience horrible sins in order to develop that love. The scars of sins last far too long.
In my message, How to Train Children to Refuse Evil and Choose Good, I say that:
1) YOU MUST CULTURE THE PROPER APPETITES.
2) YOU MUST PROTECT CHILDREN FROM DEVELOPING THE WRONG APPETITES.
But another thing you need to do is talk about and let children see the consequences of sin so that sin becomes exceedingly sinful! Take your children with you to minister to people who are suffering from the consequences of sin. Take them to a rescue mission or a homeless shelter. Run a church bus route into a ghetto area with your children.
Also, emphasize to your children the tremendous sacrifice Jesus had to make to pay for all of our sins!
The testimony you want your children to have is this: “I LOVE JESUS BECAUSE, by His grace, HE HAS KEPT ME FROM BEING A DRUNKARD, A DOPE ADDICT OR A REBEL!”