Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Discussion Starter: At What Age Did Your Children Become A Christian And How Could You Tell?

Having 5 children who are growing up in a pastor's home where family worship is practiced twice a day with Bible reading, hymn singing, scripture memory, and catechism can make it rather difficult to determine if your child has repented of their sins and placed their faith in Christ alone.    They know all the right words to say and the right actions to practice.  How do you know if they have started repenting of their sins and trusting in Christ alone for their salvation?  I would love feedback!


MommaMindy said...

I have learned a lot about letting the Holy Spirit work in my children's lives. The kids who professed salvation at the youngest ages (4-5) were the ones who struggled the most in their teen years. The kids who made a profession when they were old enough to remember it, have had great peace and confidence in their salvation.

I have learned to not ask questions that can have simple yes/no answers. No kid wants to go to Hell and every kid wants to be in Heaven with their parents. But that isn't salvation. Learn to deal with souls the way Joseph dealt with his brothers. What a beautiful example of the work of the Spirit.

Kids don't always get saved, they just answer questions and parents think they did. I let my kids tell ME when they get saved.

Sometimes you won't know for a few years, sometimes you may never be confident. Don't expect, like I did, for angelic children after salvation. They will still be children fighting the sin nature, like we are as adults. I expected perfect fruit in my children that wasn't growing on my tree! :)

You are doing such a great job, Debbie, it is fun watching your family grow through the internet! Blessings to you!

Pink Slippers said...

I can say 1 in particular went up for an alter call. He said he wanted Jesus to come into his heart, He said he wanted to do things Gods way and not his way. That he wanted to be closer with God and have Him help with changing any foolishness in him. I felt that was a sincere asking Jesus into his heart.

Gretchen and John said...

Have you read Mark Chanski's book Womanly dominion? He speaks briefly on that topic, much to the point of MommaMindy, and also recommends Pastor Martin's series (I think) "Dealing with your Spiritually Awakened Children." :-)

Debbie said...

I appreciate all the comments and hope to continue to receive more. This is a very important matter. I hope that this conversation continues for a while. Your comments are all very thoughtful and helpful.

Mindy- You are right on. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of our children and we must not try and manipulate them to make a decision.

Gretchen-I do not have or have read Mark Chanski's book. It sounds like I book I would benefit from reading.

Pink Slippers- That is wonderful that you have a child who is trusting in Christ alone for his salvation. My question is how are we able to tell if they are truly sincere? Many children have come to faith in Christ as a child, but how do we as moms know if they were really sincere about it? This is a question that I struggle with often because I have a child who I think is a christian, but then some things just don't line up. Is that just childish behavior or are they not really a Christian? I guess I must depend upon the Holy Spirit, pray for them, and just continue to employee the means to teach them about Christ all the time. Thank you all for taking time to answer.

Jennifer said...

2 of my children were saved this year. Nowwith my daughter who is 11, does everything she can to please the Lord. She serves joyfully, loves everybody, just truely is an amazing child. My 8 year old is aslo an amazing child but is still very selfish and childish. I know he is working hard on these areas with God leading the way. I really think its the age,NOT not being a christian. We were born sinners and will make sins all our life, some not willing but we repent and our God is an amazing God, he loves us. All me other children are so small I want them to really understand what being saved is all about. we have the word of God in house everyday all day so we are teaching them through everything.

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

This can be a tough one. I do think each one of the children that were truly saved definitely showed a work of the Holy Spirit in the their hearts. Their behavior, or heart seemed different somehow. more desirous of God and the Word.

We try to be careful not to lead this and let the Holy Spirit lead it. Our six year old seems to be being tugged on by the Holy Spirit and it would be easy to give him a little teaching, pray and consider him saved. We are waiting on the Holy Spirit, still teaching, talking and praying, but not driving it. Make sense?

One of mine, one time when I asked her if 'doesn't she want to please God?' Her answer was an emphatic no for quite some time. She would rather have continued in her sin pleasing herself rather than God. Not really, but that is what came out of her. She was 5 or 6 at the time. Shortly after that she clearly became born again and has the most tender heart toward the Lord!

BTW, thanks for the kind comments on my blog. Have a lovely week.