Salvation for Kids: Part 1

praying for kids

I have been thinking about this Salvation series for two weeks now. And the more I think about it, the more nervous I get. I have never been shy about posting about Jesus on my personal blog–but the one time I did a real “theology” post it was so nerve-wracking I never did it again! I’m hoping this series comes across more helpful and less theology.

Today I want to talk about three scriptures. Three things Jesus says about kids. Three ideas that show Jesus’ desire to have a relationship with children. Let’s begin…

Matthew 18:2-6
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

We’ve all read this scripture before. We’ve all said it and hoped to emulate it–yes, we want the child-like faith. But do we realize what that verse meant? Especially at the time it was spoken?

Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who was the greatest in the kingdom. Can you imagine how much joy that brought Jesus? I’ll tell you–none! I can picture Jesus rolling his eyes and saying, “Guys! Are you kidding me? All this time with me and you still wanna know how to be the greatest?” Then he shakes his head and motions to one of the little boys hanging around. This little guy skips over to Jesus and Jesus gives him a high-five then tousles his hair. “Here he is. The greatest in the kingdom. If you want to enter heaven you need to be just like him.” To which the disciples are alternately scratching their heads and wistfully remembering their childhood. Jesus shakes them out of their revelry when he says, “By the way, if any of you causes one of my youngest disciples to mess-up it would be better for you to TIE A BOULDER AROUND YOUR NECK AND THROW YOURSELF IN THE OCEAN.”


Jesus doesn’t just look at a kid see a future grown-up. Or an empty-headed little twerp. He sees a significant person–worthy of emulation, protection and relationship. Jesus expected children to have a relationship with Him–and expected others to recognize and help with that relationship.

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

salvation for kids

photo by me. book by Dennis Jones.

This is my favorite passage about Jesus. I love how kids are trying to get to Jesus (or at least their parents are bringing them) and the disciples try to block them. They want the sick, needy and important people to get to Jesus first. But when Jesus sees this he gets TICKED. (He does. Look up the word “indignant” if you don’t believe me.)

Jesus wants the kids near Him—to know Him, to love on them and bless them. These kids weren’t trying to get anything from Jesus, they just wanted to be with him. And Jesus wanted the kids to have open access to Him. He wanted a relationship with them. And He wants a relationship with our kids, too. Oh, I want to LEAD my kids to Jesus and not hinder them!

Matthew 10:40-42
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

This is a strange passage because at first it seems to be about hospitality–taking care of a prophet, or a righteous man, giving water to a child. But at closer look, the part that sticks out is “these little ones who is my disciple”. Jesus is looking at kids and saying they are his disciples. Like CURRENTLY a disciple! (Also seen in Matthew 18:2-6.) Just as a prophet or a righteous man is worthy of hospitality (and of issuing a reward) so is a child! Why? Because they are DISCIPLES of JESUS! This is a given for Jesus–kids ARE disciples and followers of Him!

And if we receive a reward for giving children cold water, how much more will our reward be if we offer LIVING WATER to our children?! I shiver to think about it!

These verses get me excited. I am partnering with Jesus. I am leading my kids to Him because that’s what HE WANTS! Jesus not only desires kids to have relationship with Him, He assumes it. And He expects adults to facilitate it!


bible craft

See the whole series…

Part 1: What Jesus Says About Kids

Part 2: Can Kids Be Saved?

Part 3: On THEIR Level

Part 4: Welcome Home

As a disclaimer, I *did* go to college for Bible and Theology. But I am not an expert. Nor do I get excited arguing theology and apologetics. I’m just a mom. So, if you like to argue, this is not the place. I want Impress Your Kids to be a place where others are encouraged and empowered to raise our kids for God. If you attack my readers (or our topic), I will delete and/or block you. {Sorry, nice people. It had to be said.}


  1. What a great post! I whole heartedly agree! What an honor we are given as parents to take the lead in introducing our children to the wonderful person of Jesus!

    And I absolutely LOVE the picture in the book of Jesus laughing and playing with the children! It makes me smile just thinking about it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love that…Jesus did not leave you thinking “geee” how does Jesus really feel about kids or more importantly their “Salvation.” He wanted to spend time with them and have a relationship. He refers to them as Believes and Disciples in these verses. If kids without any walls or defenses or baggage can not get “born again” the rest of us do not have any hope at all. Salvation is about faith and only faith or better yet child like faith. I pray that our kids, Amanda (she is my wife by the way), never experience the other side…The Bible says to be simple concerning evil. I know that a child can be raised so they “…will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 And that makes me even excited about my kids being teenagers.

  3. Love that I found you and this blog, love it. We try hard to do projects about God in our house also–My girls and I did a study of the names of God and a Valentines Day craft with them. Love that there are other moms like me out there.

    Cha Cha

  4. Thanks for sharing Amanda!

  5. Oh how I love this picture!

    Something has bugged me about this idea that kids need to reach a certain age before they make a “decision” for Christ – and even then, many make the decision and later decide they didn’t have a clue what they were deciding at the time…

    I’ve always loved Jesus and known He loves me. I have LOTS of ups and downs still, but I never went through this “Damascus” experience that many Christians say is the only way to be saved. And I see (and pray for) the same type of path for my daughter, though I know Damascus experiences can be mightily used by God for His glory.

    And so I LOVE this picture of miniature disciples of Jesus – kiddies who are learning and growing and knowing Jesus loves them and wanting to live with Him forever.

  6. I’m excited for the rest of this series. Although I’ve been a believer really my entire life and actually did got to seminary for 2 semesters (however, the second really didn’t count since I spent most of my time staring at the ring on my finger!) I still feel at a loss when it comes to explaining some Biblical things, like salvation, to my kids.
    As a side note, one of my favorite things that my 4 year old says is “I can’t wait to get to Heaven to play with Jesus!” or some variation of that sentiment.

  7. This is a WONDERFUL post! Very inspiring! (And sobering.) 🙂 Looking forward to the next installment!

  8. oh amanda. awesome.
    i’ll be honest at first i was like oh no….is this going to be the romans road kind of thing. but then i was pleasantly surprised as I continued to read to see that you and have a similar heart. i too want to LEAD my children to Jesus. I want to mimick his life so that they can mimick my life. A life of love and kindness and caring for others. I love the way my children love jesus. they teach me new stuff every day. we are all disciples. learning. living. loving.

    thanks girlie! i continue to fall in love with your blog more and more with each visit.

  9. Great post!We are in charge of some precious little souls.


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  2. […] all my thoughts on salvation for kids: intro, part 1, 2 and 3. and don’t worry, this is my last week of pontificating on philosophy and theology. […]

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