Last week I was hanging out with a little boy who wasn’t excited about taking his nap.

“Josh,” I said, “you can either lay down for a nap with your blankie. Or if you want, you can lay down without it. What’ll it be?”

The nonnegotiable? He had to lay down for his nap.

When it comes to the truth of God’s salvation, there’s a “nonnegotiable” that too many times gets left out of the story.

Like you, I’ve heard and explained salvation to kids as a gift from God. But one day it hit me, “Hey, if that’s the only way I explain God’s salvation to kids, I’m not being honest with them. I’m leaving something–a very BIG something–out.”

Why is the whole story a REALLY big deal?

Too often God’s gift of salvation is presented as an option kids can either take or leave.

The problem is they walk away without realizing that by turning away from God’s gift they’re actively embracing a different “choice.”

Everyone serves someone: The question is who you’ll serve. 

Here’s an idea for telling your kids the whole story. 

Watch it here or use the talking points below to do it with your own family.

Option 1 – Watch it

When you explain salvation to kids, don’t forget to tell them the WHOLE story! It matters.

Option 2 – Talking Points for doing it with your family

What you’ll need: a plain box and a wrapped gift and talking points below


Some people say that God loves you so much and he wants to forgive your sins, the wrong things you do, and give you the gift of salvation. All you have to do is believe in Jesus and accept the gift by faith. The problem is there’s more to the story.

The truth is there are really TWO choices [show both a wrapped gift and a plain box side by side].*

THIS is the gift of God’s forgiveness and a forever life WITH him (Ephesians 2:8). This gift was super expensive. It cost Jesus more than everything in his piggy bank, more than his whole allowance. It cost him his life. He died so you could have thi! Even though you and I don’t deserve it, this [point to the gift] is the gift Jesus wants you to have—really bad. 

The gift God wants to give: Forgiveness and forever life with him.

If you don’t take this gift, the only other choice is this.

The only other choice: No forgiveness and forever life AWAY from God.

THIS choice means NO forgiveness and a forever life AWAY from God and all that he is–love and goodness.   

The Nonnegotiable–Don’t leave this part out!

If you say no to God’s gift of salvation, you’re saying you want this one [Pick up the plain box and push away the wrapped box].

If you say yes to God’s forgiveness and gift of salvation and believe in Jesus, you’re saying you don’t want this one. [Pick up the wrapped gift and push the plain box away.]

You can’t take nothing. You gotta pick. There is no in between.

What will you choose?

*I realize that since we’ve all sinned (Romans 6:23), the penalty/payment is forever life AWAY from God. So everyone has the “plain box” option in hand already. Because that adds another level of understanding for kids, I decided to show two side-by-side options.

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