March 4, 2011

Faith Like a Child

For several months now my 6 year old son has been asking about being baptized. When we've talked to him about this, we've explained that this is a step you take after you've trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior - once you've decided to follow Him. Each time we've had this conversation, his response has been the same: "I've done that!" While I am completely a believer in child-like faith - Christ wouldn't have talked about it and esteemed it if it wasn't a reality - I've wanted to be very sure that my children grasped the weight of this decision. And while I still see great wisdom in this approach, I've come to believe that there comes a time as a parent when you simply have to trust. You have to trust the Lord. But you also have to trust your child. This past Wednesday night we crossed this threshold!

We came home that night from First Wednesday at The Brook, the kids got ready for bed, and then the questions began. "Dad? When can I get baptized?" As I was about to start into my normal dose of cautious "Questions as an Answer to the Questions" routine, I stopped myself. I pulled out Nathan's Bible and told him to come and sit down with me. Our conversation lasted about 10 minutes. This is a synopsis of the questions that I asked him and the responses he gave me:
  • Do you believe you're a sinner? [YES]
  • Do you understand there is NOTHING you can DO to be perfect? That you can't un-do the sin in your life? [YES]
  • Who is Jesus Christ? [The Son of God]
  • Why do you think Jesus died on the Cross? [To pay for my sins.]
  • Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for YOUR sins? [YES]
  • Do you believe that He rose from the grave and conquered sin and death - that you can have eternal life forever, but also have the strength and courage to live for Him now? [YES]
At this point we read John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10, and John 14:6 together. I asked Nathan very pointedly, "Are you ready to follow Jesus? Do you want Him to be Lord of your life?" "Yes! I'm ready!" "Are you ready to be baptized and tell the rest of the world that you belong to Jesus?" "Yes!" And this is where it got GOOD! Libby had come into the room and witnessed all of this taking place. She began jumping up and down, shouting "WOO-HOO! Way to go Nathan!" Libby climbed up on the bed with us and I prayed for Nathan. I prayed out loud, "Lord, please don't just make Nathan and Libby good people. Make their lives EXTRAORDINARY for Your Kingdom and for Your Name! Give them courage to live for You. And Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on their lives, that they would always find the comfort, strength, and conviction to walk with you. And may we always lives this example in front of them, Lord. Amen."

We spent the next 5 minutes running around the house screaming and dancing. Libby asked, "Daddy, are we going to have a party for Nathan?" I told her we would absolutely be having a party! And then I told Nathan that there was already a party going on in Heaven - that his Papa was standing up, cheering and applauding! He liked the sound of that.

I share all of this with you so that you know, there is no textbook way to lead your child to Christ. It's a journey of faith, wisdom, and trust. Every child is different. Their journey that leads them to that point is unique. And their walk with Him from that moment on will be their very own as well. You want it that way. You want their faith to be THEIR faith! Show them what it looks like. Live it out in front of them. Speak the name of Jesus in your home. Pray over your kids. And know...that God is good.

Would love to hear your stories of your kids taking this step!

1 comment:

delana.haney said...

God is working through you right now my friend! My 12 year old and I had a similiar conversation on the way to a vball tourney (that's always a nice time to talk)and I didn't know how to phrase things...I love your words here...I told her basically the same things..your words are just better phrased! God Bless you and yours and WAY TO GO NATHAN!