Sunday, March 2, 2014


On Wednesday while we were eating supper before heading to church, Reed sheepishly told us that he had gone up for prayer at the front of the church the week prior. We casually asked him what he went up to pray about and he said, "That Jesus would save me."

As a Christian momma, there's nothing more important in the world to me than the salvation of my kiddos. So, this announcement made me so happy. But, if I'm totally honest, it scared me a little too. As a girl who grew up in a Christian home, I don't remember when I accepted Jesus. He was kind of always a part of my life. I knew I had asked him into my heart, but I don't remember one single moment. It was almost more gradual as I matured and started to understand more. I remember rededicating myself at a church function in middle school, but it didn't feel like a huge life-changing moment. In fact, I've never had a huge life-changing moment of faith. And sometimes that causes me to worry that I'm not a "good-enough" Christian. I know where my salvation comes from. I know Who I serve. But my testimony is really boring, and I never feel like I'm serving Him enough.

Reed's faith reminds me so much of mine. His Wednesday night announcement didn't seem like a huge deal. It's not the first time he's prayed for Jesus to save him. As early as we started talking about God, he's always been on God's "side." He's asked deep questions, but always been satisfied with my clumsy answers. He sees everything in the world as so black and white. Even Santa. Several years ago, when he was asked if Santa had visited our house, he replied, "I believe in Jesus, not Santa." Oops. I thought I did a better job of not explaining our personal choices in a judgmental way, but clearly I was wrong. And I know exactly his little mentality. Because I remember seeing certain things (not even necessarily sin) as indicators that you couldn't possibly be a Christian, even though I know my parents never taught me that. If I saw beer in a person's fridge, I was so disappointed in them. I do not want that mentality for my kids! And yet I do want to teach them right from wrong and best from good.

I've been SO careful in the way I word things in moral and religious discussions. I want him to recognize sin, yes. But I don't want him to see people as "good" and "bad." I want him to know that we're all bad! We all need Jesus, whether our sin is murder or sexual sin or gossiping or yelling at people.  Mostly, I want it clear that he's not saved just by default because he lives among other Christians. I think so many "Christians" in America bear that label because it's the box that most closely applies. They're not Muslim or Jewish, so they must be Christian. I don't want that for my boys. I want them to come to faith, yes! But, I want it to be their faith, real to them and freely their choice. I want them to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" when they meet Jesus, not, "Depart from me. I never knew you." And if they do choose it (Lord, PLEASE let them choose it!) I don't want them to take it for granted like I often did/do. I want them to really serve God with their lives, not just give him props on Sunday.

I guess all I can do is give my kids' hearts over to the One who created them. And pray they'll give their hearts over to Him.


Deborah Raney said...

I've struggled with everything you named, and especially the part about finding a balance between seeming judgmental, yet making good judgments about right and wrong and helping my kids do the same. SO hard to find that balance. And I grew up with that same "beer in the fridge" judgment, yet my parents never said those things in so many words (except to teach us the dangers of alcohol, or whatever the sin-of-the-week was––which, that teaching was right and needed. But they never condemned people who sinned.)

I hoped not to pass that "attitude" on to my kids, but apparently I did, as you have to your kids. I don't know what the answer is, but I think as God works on our hearts and we realize our own areas of sin, our attitude becomes less and less judgmental because we know it would only be the pot calling the kettle black.

Just as God has worked on my heart and yours to not be judgmental, we can trust God will work on your kids' hearts as they grow and learn too.

Tobi said...

What I didn't get to, Mom, that I should have, was what a BLESSING it was to grow up in a Christian home. Not just because having godly parents meant having good, quality parents. But because your moral "education" saved me from SO much pain and heartache. So, even though there are a few disadvantages to being part of a "so functional we're dysfunctional" family, the good FAR outweighs the not-even-that-bad. It would be cool to have a redeemed junkie/inmate with STDs testimony, but I wouldn't ever trade it for my boring "my almost-perfect parents gave me an almost-perfect childhood and I've almost always loved Jesus" story. Thanks for the solid upbringing, Mom and Dad! I just pray our kids have the same experience I was blessed to have!

Deborah Raney said...

LOL! You just expressed EXACTLY how I feel about MY growing-up-in-a-Christian-home experience. Yep, sometimes being SOOO happy and SOOO blessed has its downside (who'da thunk it?) but like you said, I wouldn't trade it for the best bad-girl testimony ever. ;)

Love you,

Anonymous said... glad you didn't have that "redeemed junkie/inmate with STDs testimony" because that wouldn't be you, and I like you just the way you are.

Very good article, and like your mama said, it's definitely a journey, and as our kids mature and grow in their knowledge and faith, they will become more aware that every single one of us is a sinner and their attitudes will become less judgmental of others. It's like the saying that reminds us not to judge others:
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…” – Luke 6:37