"its amazed me that all your kids accepted the Lord as his savior so early age, can you help me how you did it , to bring them to understand more and accept Him. thank you"
What a question to ponder! As I thought about this question, I realized that there is not one single answer. There are many ways a parent can influence their child. Our influence on them is so important, though. They really do hang on our every word and weigh our every motive. Sobering thought!
When Joshua was little, we started asking lots of questions to parents around us. If we saw a family with children that loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him, we would pick their brain and pepper them with questions! I am so thankful for their influence on us!! There are many things I learned from others that I wanted implemented in my life and the lives of my children. So, I thought I would the things I've done and why I feel they helped my child to know the Lord. But, before I do I wanted to mention 2 things:
~Ultimately, it is up to each and every person to decide if they will accept Christ. That's the liberty of having a free will. I can point my children in the direction of Christ. But, the decision is up to them. If it's not from the heart, then it doesn't matter in light of eternity.
~Everyone has goals for their children. ...goals for their schooling, activies, character and future. The really neat thing, though, is when "Loving God with all their heart" is our Ultimate Goal, all the other things we want for our children will fall into place. All their learning, activites, character, future...when they are based off a foundation of "Loving God" the results of these will be the best.
I divided what I've learned into 3 areas:
Pray About It- Ever since I found out about the new life growing inside of me, I began praying. I would beg God that my children would understand and see their need of a Savior at an early age. I asked others to pray. Patrick and I prayed together. As my little ones were born, I would continue to pray the same prayer. "Lord, please help my baby understand and see their need of you as a Savior. Help them accept you at an early age." It was always at the top of my prayer list. Always. As they grew they would hear me pray. I wanted them to know my desire for them. As I tucked them in they would hear it. As we prayed for other things, they would hear it. They grew up knowing the urgency of THEIR need of Jesus.
Talk About It – Talk about Jesus! Let your kiddos hear of when you got saved. Do they know your testimony? Tell them the story of Jesus. Let them hear it from you. Also, let them hear it from others. When our Joshua was little he had an amazing nursery worker, which also happened to be an amazing friend. She had such a heart for the little ones she had in the nursery. She was always telling them how much Jesus loved them. She never let a Sunday go by where Joshua didn't hear about his need of a Savior. I give her much of the credit of seeing my little guy saved so young to my dear friend. She didn't squander any of those moments in the nursery. It's great to have a church that also has the same Ultimate Goal in mind that you do! We also surrounded our children that had the same Ultimate Goal for them. They heard the gospel Sunday morning and evening. They heard it Wednesday night and at Sunday School. They heard it from their Abeka Bible teacher. They heard it from my friends and from their family members. They were surrounded by people who cared about where their soul would spend eternity.
Live it- Time is truly a treasure. Live out a way that would make your children see what you have and want it. Do you live out a life with Christ that's appealing? Now, the negative side is that our children see us not just at our best, but also at our worst. They know the true us. But, even that can be a positive....if we are not hypocritical. And I think that is the biggest key. Let's face it. We make mistakes. We don't always live the way we want to. But when your kiddos see you ask forgiveness and get things right, it goes much farther in reaching them. Don't try to hide your failures from from them. Hypocrisy will destroy your witness with your children.
Children have such child like faith, they are so ready to trust! But we have to be careful. We never want to lead our children in a false profession of faith. It has to come from their heart and they need to have an understanding. That happens at different ages for everyone. When our children began expressing their desire to be saved and started asking a lot of questions, we knew they were close. But, we knew they had to decide. Whenever my little ones would ask to get saved, I'd tell them, “Let's talk to Daddy about it when he gets home.” It's not that I was putting them off, it's just that I wanted them to be so serious about it that they chose to remember to ask. Brenna was the one that made me most nervous with this. She asked about praying for months and months before she was serious enough to remember. I prayed so much during that time.
I have to say, that next to the day of my salvation and marrying my sweetheart, seeing my kiddos accept Christ as their personal Savior was the best days of my life. What a peace! It wasn't too long ago that Micah came into Patrick's office and realized that He himself needed to be saved. When I heard that prayer, and knew that I had also heard that prayer from my other 5 children, I knew we would all spend eternity together. What joy! What peace! So thankful for that!! My Ultimate Goal in life was met. Together. Forever. No greater joy!
So, all 6 of mine have been saved. Without a doubt we don't always have it together. It's easy to read a blog and assume someone has it “all together.” We fail. We make mistakes. Some days I raise my voice in a way that's not nice and my children disobey. Some days our attitudes aren't right and we complain and grumble. You know what I mean. But, honestly, in a real sense, my older three have shown an honest desire to serve the Lord with their life and my younger three are learning that as well. As they live, that will be a choice they face everyday. It's a joy to see them have their time with the Lord and make Him a priority. How did that happen? I talked to my girls about their personal relationship with the Lord after they got saved and why they felt that happened. I'll share in my next post their input and some ideas of what we've done as parents.
"I have no greater joy
than to hear that my children walk in truth."
3 John 1:4