hands

Will Your Kids Follow Your Faith?

hands

The picture that accompanies this post made me cry when I saw it. It’s a picture of three hands: mine, my daughter Rebecca’s, and my granddaughter Tarah’s.

I objected when the wedding photographer suggested it because my hand was black and blue and swollen from multiple stabs at inserting an I.V. (pun intended) by a nurse who needed some practice and thought I’d do as a guinea pig. I was on the way to the wedding when I took a detour to a Las Vegas hospital with a kidney stone and a few other painful maladies.

I wasn’t at all certain I was going to be able to continue the journey, but my daughter and granddaughter refused to allow a little pain (easy for them to say) to keep me from being there. This picture alone was worth the trip.nurse

When I saw the picture, I immediately thought of II Timothy 1:5

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice; and I am persuaded is in you also.

Most of you know my salvation story, so I won’t reiterate it now. I’ll put a link to my personal testimony at the bottom of the page (don’t want you to click out now!). I had a dramatic conversion to Christ at the age of fourteen.

When I married and started having children, I began to worry whether or not my kids would continue in the faith when they were grown. Church kids, especially preacher’s kids, sometimes end up wanting nothing to do with the God of their fathers or mothers.

They took a few detours, but, thankfully, all of my children and grandchildren hold to their grandmother’s faith.

But that faith doesn’t always look exactly like mine.

Each of my four children is different. One of them sings on the church worship team. One of them sings in bars. They both love God and are influential in drawing people to Christ, as are their other two siblings.

Sometimes, as Christian parents, we want our children to fit into our mold, and if they don’t, we try to whittle away the edges to make them fit. No wonder so many Christian youths bleed out and give up on Christianity. It’s easy to concentrate on the external and not the hearts of our children.

I’ll have to admit my children do and say some things that I won’t do or say. Does that mean they don’t have Christ in their hearts? I don’t think so. Often we’re more concerned about how our children make us look than we are about how they look to God.

Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

This scripture is talking about the Pharisees. The Pharisees did everything for the attention of men. They had rules for everything, and if you didn’t follow their rules to the “T,” they didn’t consider you acceptable to God. What they didn’t realize was God was paying more attention to their hearts than He was to whether or not they obeyed the jot and tittle of the law.

A couple of my kids have signs on their walls that say, “I love Jesus but I cuss a little.” I might cross out the “a little “and write in “a lot.” Now I have to say that I think most of the acceptable language of the day is crass, and when I hear it, I want to wash somebody’s mouth out with soap.

But I know my children love God. I think we’d be surprisedmouth how God compares cussing a little and gossiping a little.

Not an excuse though, kids!

I have to tell you a short story. I mentioned that I was born again at fourteen. I quit swearing rather easily, but the church I went to considered slang words like “gee” and “heck” to be substitutes for other words and just as bad as the originals.

One day the church was having a testimony service. I know nobody does that anymore, so I’ll fill you in. The congregation would usually sing a song then someone would give a testimony, praising God for something He’d done recently. Another song. Another testimony.

These were long services!

Well, I was so full of love for God I couldn’t stay in my seat. I stood and told everyone how much I loved Jesus and how thankful I was He’d saved me. I was so excited I said, “Oh, gee, I just love Jesus so much.”

As soon as I sat down, the piano player started the congregation singing a psalm: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord.” I knew exactly who the song was meant for, and I was extremely embarrassed.

Now, what do you think Jesus thought about that? My heart was overflowing with love for Him. I don’t think He cared much about my word choices.

Let’s go back to the scripture in II Timothy for a minute.

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice; and I am persuaded is in you also.

Unfeigned means sincere; not put on. The point is, you may have made mistakes raising your children. Haven’t we all! But if you have sincere faith in God, your children are likely to walk in faith too. But remember, it may not look exactly like it does on you.

Let Jesus be their Savior. You can’t be.

Let God be their judge. You shouldn’t be.

Just love them, and love God. Allow them to grow into what God wants them to be. He’s better able to mold them into His image than you are to mold them into yours.

When I pray for my children and my grandchildren, I often pray that God would give them clarity.

That He’d help them to see through all the cultural influences that would draw them away from Christ.

That they’ll be able to live in a world that calls good evil and evil good and discern the difference.

That they won’t become like the Pharisees and concern themselves with outer appearances more than inner honesty.

I am so thankful for the children God has given me. They’re a blessing to their mother’s heart, and I believe they’re a blessing to God’s also.

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The following are a few posts you might enjoy. If you’ve read them before, you might want to give them another read.

But please comment and subscribe first!

 

My Personal Testimony

Ch. 3: From a Kid’s Eye View

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