It is always nice to feel needed. It’s even better to know that you are not only needed, but required to help with a task. It helps us find a sense of purpose. Having children really can show you how needed you are. There are so many things that our kids need us for. But, there are some things we should stay out of – because we are simply not needed.
This week has been a good week. The Lord has answered a prayer that has been 7 years in the making. This week squirmy was baptized! Now to be clear – Squirmy did not get saved this week. His salvation has nothing to do his baptism. This week though, Squirmy made the personal decision to follow Christ, and that first step of obedience was baptism. Since he was born I have prayed that he would get saved, and that he would choose to follow Christ. Hallelujah! Both those prayers have been answered!
One of the benefits of raising your children in Church is that they get to hear the gospel all the time. One of the problems with raising your kids in church is that so many people are willing to lead your child in a prayer of “salvation” before they even know what is going on. It is for that reason I have always been hesitant to “tell” my children what they should do in following Christ. After all, I can get my children to say a prayer – but I cannot get them saved. Salvation is a choice that only they can make.
The last year or so Squirmy has been struggling with his salvation. Many things would happen, a message at church or a story would touch his tender heart. Tearfully he would ask me, “Daddy how do I get saved?” The best that I could I would share the gospel, over and over again. I would explain that he had to trust in Jesus, to place his faith in Christ for him to be saved. (Learn more about that HERE) After every conversation I was tempted to ask him if he wanted to pray, but I knew that he had prayed many prayers with others before, and he would pray just because I asked him to. Instead, I would say, “Is there anything you would like to do?” His answer was always no.
Over the span of a year or more this happened many times. Sometimes once a month, and sometimes more than once a day. I desired for my son to know that He was saved, but I knew that it was a choice that only he could make, and I continued to pray that the Lord would work on his heart as only the Holy Spirit could.
I think that Squirmy’s salvation story is one of my favorites, and I understand that I might be a bit biased. We were talking one day about Heaven. I took a deep breath and prayed a quick silent prayer that the Lord would help me be clear in explaining the gospel once more. I looked at Squirmy and said, “But, you realize that only those that are saved go to Heaven right?” He quickly snapped back with, “That means me!”
“Oh really?”, I thought. “When did this happen?” I had to find out more, “So you are saved?” With slight confusion in his eyes, and a confidence he never had before, Squirmy answered, “Yes!” Oh, that is not good enough for me! “When did you get saved?” “Dad,” Squirmy rolled his eyes, “don’t you remember that time we talked?” That time we talked… I couldn’t keep track of how many times we talked! What do you mean that time we talked – no I don’t remember! I replied, “No son, I don’t think I do.”
Squirmy then proceed to tell me that one night after we talked, he decided that he wanted to trust Christ as his Saviour. He told me that he prayed, and now he is saved. It was as simple as that!
I remember feeling a little disillusioned. He got saved, and I wasn’t there. I didn’t even know about it! I remember walking into the room to tell my Beautiful Bride. “Squirmy got saved.” She was a little taken back, “tonight?” she asked. “No, I don’t know when… He got saved without me.”
And that is my favorite part – he got saved without me! I was totally and completely unneeded. I had no part in my son’s salvation. I did not lead him in a prayer, I did not hold his hand, I did not do a single thing! I did my job, I shared the gospel and pointed him to Christ. He then, without me, made the decision to trust Christ, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Sunday, Squirmy once again did something without me. He made a decision that I of course encouraged, but in which I did not lead. I simply have had the privilege of watching his Savior work in his heart. I have watched him as he grows in a relationship of which I am not needed. Christ is drawing him towards Himself. Yes, I am privileged to do much of the teaching and training, but when it comes to Squirmy’s relationship with his Savior – that is between them, and I am not needed!
As a parent, it is very tempting to make our kids do what we know is right. To tell them what to do to follow Christ. But, that is not our Job. Our job is to lead them to Christ, to lift Him up, and trust that He will draw them unto himself. What do you think? Do you ever struggle with wanting to make your children do what is right? Did any of your kids get saved without you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below”
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