By Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
Do your children really love Jesus?
Notice what I did not ask. I did NOT ask:
1. Do your children attend worship services?
2. Do your children go to Bible study?
3. Do your children act kindly toward others?
4. Do your children go on youth retreats?
5. Do your children like to sing the new devo songs?
6. Do your children use good language?
7. Do your children hang out with nice kids?
8. Do your children participate in service projects?
9. Do your children make good media choices?
10. Do your children limit worldly influences?

What I asked was: “Do your children really love Jesus?” Friends, you can have children that do all of the things above, check off every “box,” dot every “i” and cross every “t”—and yet, they will still walk away from Jesus. There’s a massive difference in a child converted to “the church” versus a child who is converted to Christ and wants to spend the rest of his/her life following after Him.
In traveling all across the United States, one of the things I’ve observed missing from many of our youth groups is a true love for Jesus Christ. If our children truly loved Jesus then we wouldn’t have to continually discuss things like modesty, fornication, worldliness, pornography, lying, etc. John 14:23-24 records, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.’” Maybe the reason we have to keep discussing modesty and fornication is because our children are not really converted to Christ in the first place.
Parents, take a few minutes and really talk to your children about their hopes and dreams. Listen to their answers about what they are really passionate about. If during that discussion you discover they don’t love Jesus first and foremost, then you should strongly consider spending a few months reminding your children of their sin and what their life was like before contacting His cleansing blood. Spend some time studying hell and why we refer to Jesus as our Savior. Spend some time discussing heaven and how Jesus makes it possible.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Set aside the topical books and spend some time with your children getting to know Jesus. Help them to fall in love with Him and His way.