Teach a Child to Think Like Jesus

When my son David was 4 years old, he asked for a WWJD bracelet. As I purchased one, I explained that the bracelet was to be worn as a reminder to ask himself, What would Jesus do? in every situation. After strapping the bracelet on his wrist, David was extremely good, playing nicely with his brother and sister and doing as he was told for the rest of the day. The next morning, however, I heard my daughter crying. Danya, then 6 years old, explained through tears, “David hit me!”

I looked at David questioningly. “What did we talk about yesterday, son?” I asked. “Did you remember to ask yourself WWJD?”

“It’s OK, Momma,” he said in all innocence. “I’m not wearing my bracelet today.”

Reaching the Heart

At that point, I realized I needed a better plan for teaching my children how to think like Jesus! A bracelet might serve as an outward reminder, but it does not have the power to change your heart. Jesus explained that evil thoughts come from the heart (Matthew 15:19). It is not so much about what Jesus would do, but it is about sharing His heart. Reaching my children’s hearts is the only way I will be able to teach them how to think like Jesus. A transformed heart will lead to changed lives that reflect what Jesus would do.

John A. Younts, author of Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally About God With Your Children, agrees. “Christian thought will lead your children away from the desires and works of the flesh and toward the fruit of the Spirit,” he explains. “It will lead to change in actions, attitudes, and words.” But it will not happen without your help. You must guide your child in learning to think like a Christian, relating every aspect of life to Christ and how he can best serve and glorify Him.

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Rebecca Ingram Powell is a pastor’s wife, a homeschooling mother of three, and a frequent speaker to women’s groups and parenting organizations. She is the author of Baby Boot Camp, and two Bible studies for youth, Wise Up! (for girls) and Dig Deep (for boys). Visit her Web site, www.rebeccapowell.com.