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Train Your Children To Be Evangelists

Train Your Children To Be Evangelists

 

It’s an amazing story recorded in the Bible:

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:1-3)


I would guess they came in the night, these marauding raiders from Aram to the north.  The little Israelite girl awoke to the sound of screaming and chaos in her village. Did she witness her parents’ abduction…or worse? Or was she simply yanked out of her bed by a terrifying stranger and dragged away into the dark night?

In any case, she ended up a slave girl, serving the wife of the highest ranking Aramean military commander, Naaman- the man who order the raid on her village. When Namaan was infected with humanly-incurable leprosy, it would have been easy for this little girl to secretly rejoice in his suffering and to pray it gets far worse as payback for what he had done to her and her family.  But instead, she pleaded with her mistress to send Naaman to the prophet in Israel (Elisha) who could heal him. She wanted to save Naaman from suffering and death.

Where does love like that come from?  The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:19: “We love because he [God] first loved us.”  This little girl had parents who had taught her that the God of Israel was a God of love.  He had rescued her ancestors from slavery in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land.  He had provided for them, despite their sins. Above all, he was the God who had promised to send them a Savior from sin and death.  Her parents had taught her to love others, even as she was loved by God.  Even the tragic events she had experienced could not shake her confidence in God’s love, or her conviction that her purpose was to love and serve others, and direct them to her loving God in their time of need.

Parents, teaching your children about Jesus and his great love for them produces love for others in them.  The powerful love of Jesus, displayed at the cross where he dies for sinners like us and our children and all people, works in them the desire to help others, and to help them in the best way possible- by directing them to Jesus.

Remember that this girl was a loving evangelist for her God at a young age. Teach your children to be evangelists while they are still children.  Direct them to specific acts and behaviors that demonstrate Jesus’ love to others, starting with things we do to serve each other at home, to helpful things done for neighbors, to what they can do for grandpa and grandma.  Encourage them to reach out to people who may be lonely or hurting.  Tell them how to include Jesus in those conversations or correspondence.

I recently witnessed a teenage boy, through his tears, share with his dying grandfather what Jesus had done for him, and how he wanted his grandfather to be in heaven with him.  Kids are evangelists too.  Keep teaching your children about Jesus’ love, keeping modeling that love for them and guiding them in how to share it, and trust the power of God’s Word to build their faith and build in them the desire to share it.