Imagine you're standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to check out. Suddenly your child or grandchild turns to talk to the person behind you. Out of the mouths of babes comes an innocent question to a complete stranger. "Do you know Jesus?" A streak runs up the nerves of your back.
Have you ever been in that situation? Maybe your child didn't ask the stranger about Jesus. Maybe they commented on their clothes, told them their hair was too short or something else that was just an innocent observation. It's casual conversation to a child and they don't realize they might be stepping on someone's toes.
The truth is, usually the stranger in line thinks your child is cute or funny. Even if your child just commented on how funny their shoes look! Usually it's not a big deal. Life moves on and your child gave a stranger a smile. It's the same way when your child brings up Jesus. Only God knows, but your child might be making a difference in someone's life!
I recently wrote a novel for middle grade and young adult readers titled Noah Drake And The Dragon Killer. In the story, a young boy named Nathan Drake consistently opens his mouth to say silly things. He also frequently praises God, it's just one of his personality quirks.
In the story Nathan runs into a bad guy named Frankie Slaughter. Frankie is helping his grandpa with some poaching around Lake Champlain. Nathan realizes that Frankie is bad and assumes he doesn't know Jesus. Otherwise he'd be good, right? That's they way my kids seem to think, and so does Nathan in this story.
In the end, Nathan's casual observations get Frankie Slaughter thinking. When Frankie sees Nathan, he starts asking him questions about Jesus. It's an uncomfortable relationship, but both Frankie and Nathan are polite to each other and happy to help the other out.
This is something I see in my children. I know my kids are curious about the salvation of others. I know they want to help people with any circumstance. My kids would be ecstatic to help someone in their relationship with Jesus, and that's the way Nathan is in the story.
Is it bad to let your kids ask someone about Jesus? Why not let them try and see what happens. You’re the parent and you can help if someone gets upset. You can also help if something good happens!
Make it a new years resolution: resolve to stretch your comfort zone and let your kids share Jesus. That sounds simple enough, but when you're standing next to a stranger and your innocent child looks at them and bluntly asks, "Do you know Jesus," it can be a bit uncomfortable for those of us that are introverts.
We parents have built up misconceptions in this life we live. Sometimes we're uncomfortable asking a total stranger if they know Jesus. Our kids may not have that handicap. They haven't yet built up any walls. When a thought crosses their mind, they usually open their mouth and share it. They'll innocently tell a complete stranger all about their savior, without fear of any retaliation. It's just joy and information bubbling up from deep within them. In a moment like that, we parents should let that message bubble up.
I realize it may not go well. That complete stranger may get offended and rudely retaliate to our children. At that point, step in and protect your child. But one of the things parents must do is let their children learn. If our children don't learn how to witness now, they may never learn. Plus, their innocent observations and questioning could change a person's life, and eternal life, forever.
Ben Russell is author of "Noah Drake And The Dragon Killer". He writes Juvenile/Middle Grade Fiction Adventures. He's not a scientist or a doctor of history; he's just a guy that's interested in those subjects. He's very interested in creation. His inner child gets excited about dinosaurs and the idea that they're not millions of years old. He despises the theory of evolution, believing it's a stumbling block to the Christian faith. Ben is a family man. He and his lovely wife have four happy kids and they make their home among the roaming hills of the Missouri Ozarks.