by Ruth Baer
When my granddaughter Hannah was about 7 years old, she made an observation about me as we all sat down to dinner. “Grandma, I’ve never seen you sin.” What would you say if your child or grandchild said that to you? Would you be proud or happy that she noticed? Or would you be surprised and a little taken aback?
It’s been said that what children learn is caught more than taught. What that means is they really understand what you are teaching them by the example you are giving them. So, it’s important as we teach them about Jesus, our Savior, that they actually see that He is our Savior!
As we live out our lives as moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, do our children see that we are sorry for our sins, do they see us practicing repentance, taking responsibility for our actions, and living in such a way that they know our God has forgiven us? When we offend someone, or don’t keep our word – no matter the reason, do we ask for forgiveness? It’s very important that we do what we say they should do with regard to our relationship with Christ. If we want Jesus to be their Redeemer, He must be ours.
The Lord was gracious in giving me a response to Hannah when she made that observation. I told her that my thoughts are not always good thoughts, that Jesus said if we hate in our hearts, then we have murdered and broken his commandments. And although she had not yet observed me sinning, I surely did and had to ask Jesus to forgive me every day. I also explained that if I didn’t do something I knew should do, that was sin as well, and I would need to repent of it and ask Jesus for forgiveness. I assured her that Jesus always forgives, because that’s why He came to die – so that God the Father would forgive our sins.
It turned out to be a family conversation around dinner that night, and Hannah knew that her Grandma was not perfect. In fact, she learned that no one is. We all must rely on the grace and gospel of Christ to make us righteous and holy.
So how do you answer that question? Do you know that you are utterly depraved and in need of a Savior who can forgive every sin? Do you know the Redeemer who graciously extends forgiveness because of His sacrifice and love for you? Most importantly, do your children know that you know the Redeemer – really know Him. Not just the facts about Him, but know Him intimately.
May our children and grandchildren and generations yet to come know how great a Savior we have, not only by our teaching, but by our example of living!