“Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.” – Proverbs 20:11 (NKJV)
An incident occurred when I taught kindergarten that still sticks in my mind. Mother’s Day was approaching and I had the children in a group talking about what they could do to show their mothers that the children loved them. As we were discussing what mothers do for us, one little boy looked at me with eyes flashing and said in a very deliberate chilling voice, “I hate my mother!” I had seen this little boy with his mother outside the classroom door. She would walk him to school and beg him to come inside. On one occasion, she even offered him a candy bar if he would come in. It was not as though he had an abusive mom!
Many teachers I have talked with have said how they have seen evil in children as they hit others, grab things from others, etc. These actions are certainly not the way of our Lord. Yes, children need to repent. We are all born in sin and have a natural desire to satisfy self.
What is necessary for a child to change? As with all of us, salvation comes from belief, repentance, and desire to be saved.
It is usually fairly easy to help children believe in Jesus. After all, how many children believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny?? Unfortunately, many children may have been put on church rolls because they only believed. We easily forget that they must also repent. How can we help them with repentance?
From very early in life, parents, grandparents, and church workers need to teach children right behavior from wrong behavior. If children don’t know that something is wrong, then they don’t know that they have done wrong. When the definitions are clear, children will know that they have acted wrongfully. When they realize their wrongdoing, they can repent by talking to God in prayer and telling Him that they are sorry for the bad behavior. It is not enough to simply say “God forgive me for all my sins.” They need to think of specific things they have done or not done according to what they have been taught.
Once a child believes and repents, the child must really want to be saved. When a child comes to that place, he/she needs to pray and ask God for salvation.
I, personally, was saved before starting first grade because my sister told me about hell. I had a real desire for salvation! I kept praying until it actually happened one Saturday night in our farmhouse bedroom. I really wanted to be saved, and God answered the prayer of a little girl. I told God that I believed that Jesus died on the cross, and that I was really sorry for my sins. I asked Him to save me. He did!! I have never doubted my salvation.
God has allowed me the joy of seeing children saved. There is no feeling to compare with knowing that you have helped in the process!