Making Jesus the Boss of Your Life
In our house, when we talk about God's grace and accepting the gift of salvation, we talk a lot about asking Jesus to become the boss of your life. I once heard a Pastor describe salvation that way and I just loved it. It is easier for kids to understand than to say “surrender your life to Him,” but it means the same thing. If you really truly believe Jesus is God’s Son and that He rose from the dead, then the next step is to choose to live for Him--to make Him the boss of your life.
When I was growing up, teachers and pastors always spoke of asking Jesus into your heart. I find this concept can be confusing for kids because they are so literal in their thinking. Steph's son used to say that Jesus moved from his heart to his tummy and that's why he felt hungry...quite literal.
Also, I don’t love the “in your heart” terminology because it does not appear in the Bible and, ultimately, it is incomplete. Salvation isn’t merely about asking Jesus to come into your heart, it’s about so much more. It is about choosing to trust Him as your Lord and Savior. It’s about believing that He is indeed the Son of God who was raised from the dead and accepting His free gift of forgiveness.
Talking with your kids about accepting God's grace and becoming a follower of Jesus is the most important conversation you will ever have with them.
This can feel intimidating, but remember, God loves them and desires a relationship with them. He will help you! You don’t need to have a perfect formula of words.
To help you with this, we are sharing some easy steps that might make you feel more prepared to talk about this with your kids, as well as some fun ideas for celebrating with them!
The first step is to pray! This is so crucial.
Pray that God will help you talk about Him in a way that is simple, true, and loving.
Pray for His perfect timing.
Surrender your will to Him. As parents, it is not our job to save our kids; only Jesus can do that. It is our responsibility, however, to pray for our kids’ salvation, to share with them about God’s love, and to set a solid example of following Christ.
Ask God to increase your trust in Him as far as your kids are concerned, and trust in His perfect timing.
Ok, so you’ve prayed about it, and now your child has come to you and told you that he or she wants to choose to live for Jesus. What should you do? Here are four simple steps to follow:
1. Before having the child repeat a prayer, make sure the timing is right. Listen and ask questions. Make sure your child isn’t just repeating your words but genuinely wants to make the decision to follow Jesus and is old enough to understand what this means.
2. When the time is right, a great place to start is to share a few Bible verses before you pray together:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9
3. Explain what it means: even though God loves us, our sin separates us from Him. But He wants to forgive us, and He will when we ask Him to. After we have asked Jesus for forgiveness, we can declare that we believe in Him and want to make Him the boss of our life. The Bible tells us if we declare with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved!
4. You can instruct your child to say sorry to Jesus and to tell Him out loud that they believe He is Lord and that He rose from the dead. It’s as simple as that. Or, you can pray the words first and have your child repeat after you. There’s no specific way that it has to be done. Declare with your mouth and you will be saved, it’s just that simple!
Here is a sample prayer you might use:
I know that I have done things that are wrong. I am sorry. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for dying on the cross so that I can be forgiven and rising from the dead so I could live forever with you. I believe in you. I want to follow you everyday and make you the boss of my life.
My second born was the first one in our family to choose to make Jesus the boss of her life. One evening after Brinley had attended a kids ministry program at our church, we picked her up and she was beaming. She said, “I am ready to accept Jesus.” We all jumped in our car and asked Brinley to tell us more.
She said, “Well, we talked about how much Jesus loves me today in class and I want to love Him back and live my life for Him.”
My heart was bursting with joy and I felt tongue-tied. Luckily, my husband stepped in and pulled up three verses on his phone to share with her: John 3:16, 1 John 1:9, and Romans 10:9. We asked her questions to make sure she understood the decision she was making. When we knew she was ready, we led her through a simple prayer like the one written out above.
Then my husband said, “Brinley, today, March 19, is your spiritual birthday!” Brinley was so excited and asked if this meant she got cake and presents! We decided cake wasn’t a bad idea! This day was even better than her birthday, after all. It was her spiritual birthday! It was the day she became part of God’s family. We settled on dollar milkshakes from Del Taco. We also bought her a simple composition notebook with her spiritual birth date written down on the first page. I plan to have her write on March 19th each year about her faith in Jesus. It will be fun to read through it when she’s older and see where she was each year in her faith. We will celebrate each year with a cake or a treat and a retelling of that first time she decided to live her life for Jesus.
My son decided he wasn’t sure if he had ever committed to making Jesus the boss of His life, so he asked my husband and me to have that conversation with him a few days later. Now, we celebrate his spiritual birthday on March 21st.
It may seem like you could never forget it, but it’s so important to write down the day your child makes this decision. Write it down somewhere you keep important information, so that you can celebrate it each year and remind your child that he or she is a son or daughter of the King and gets to spend eternity in Heaven! If it’s already happened and you don’t remember it, don’t worry! Just pick a date that is close to when it probably occurred and celebrate that one each year.