It seems here in Iowa that everyone deals with colds this time of year, and for my kids this has been no exception. Before I was a parent, I just dealt with minor things like colds and didn’t think much of it. Now that I have kids of my own, and with them being so young, it seems that a “minor” sickness to me can really knock them down.
A few nights ago, our three year old boy had a lot of congestion and coughing. I went into his room at bedtime and played my guitar and sang for him (he is the only one in my family who actually appreciates my mediocre musical skills). I played him some of his favorite songs while he laid in bed. After a couple songs, he said, in his nasally and congested voice, “Daddy, play ‘Jesus Loves Me.’” How could I not comply with this wish? When I finished, it brought a smile when he said, “Daddy, sing ‘Jesus Loved Me He Who Died.’” This is the second verse to this famous children’s song. Now while this request made me smile, it also made tears come from my eyes as I sat on his bed and played for him under his night light.
As Christian parents, our greatest desires are for our children’s’ well-being, but at the very top should be our desire that our kids come to know the Lord. As I sang that song to my son, who felt so sick, I could not help but rejoice that not only does he have a desire to sing this praise song, but this simple song reveals profound truth. For many kids, who come to church for the first time, this is the song that they learn first. Here are the words: “Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so. Jesus loves me, He who died. Heavens’ gates are open wide. He will wash away my sin. Let His little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”
Think about the words to this song. How can we not rejoice at the truth communicated? I have been a believer in Christ since I was a very young child, and have rejoiced often at the truth of my salvation. But now that I’m a parent, there is a different level of rejoicing at the truth of this gospel song. Jesus lives! So, there is hope for my children to live too. I have no greater desire than for my children to come to know, love, and serve the Lord. The most humbling thing is to realize that I am not ultimately in control of this outcome. Whenever I think of this, it makes me turn to my Savior and ask Him to just open the eyes of their hearts to receive the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Parents, grandparents, and every Christian, be in prayer for our children. Model the truth of the gospel in your lives and teach it faithfully in your homes. Have your kids in church and make the eternal destiny of your loved ones a top priority in your prayer lives. Do this because it’s really true that Jesus loves us and gave Himself for us to save us from our sins.