I mentioned that all three of our children have in the last several months made professions of faith. I recently interviewed them and typed their responses. They have given me permission to post their testimonies.
Here is David’s. My words are in brackets and italics.
[David didn’t know where to start. I suggested he tell me about before he was saved.]
At first I kept on ignoring my mom and dad. I changed the subject when they asked me “Do you want to be saved?”
[Yeah? You changed the subject? Why?]
I changed the subject because I didn’t want to talk about it.
[Why did you not want to talk about salvation? Were you afraid, or not understand, or something else? ]
I didn’t want to get saved until I understood EVERYTHING about salvation. I didn’t understand why people got baptized. I didn’t know if we needed to read the Bible every day.
[I knew that he spent a good deal of time worried because he didn’t understand all the details of salvation. That’s part of his personality. I was surprised that he brought it up, though. I asked if there were other reasons. He couldn’t think of any. I asked about friends. [Last year he had said friends was a reason for putting off salvation. Now, he didn’t seem to think friends had anything to do with it, so I dropped that. Then I asked him what caused him to change his mind about salvation.]
One day while we were all eating lunch, my sister said, “I’ve been afraid to say it, but if David’s not saved then he’s going to go to hell.” Soon after that, I was afraid at night. I thought “What if Jesus appeared any minute. I might go to hell.” So I asked Jesus to save me, but I did not tell my mom.
[I remembered this conversation, but I didn’t think it had any effect on David. He didn’t say anything about it until now.]
One day my mom asked me if I wasn’t saved or just afraid to say it. I said I was just afraid to say it.
[I asked him if he could tell any difference in his thoughts or actions since he became saved.]
I like reading the Bible more now. Before, I only read the Bible at church. Now, I like to read it more often. I like to read the verses around the ones I highlight. I like Psalms and Proverbs a lot.
I have been wanting to talk about the verses about salvation more. I’m not afraid of talking about salvation anymore. I like talking about the Bible more at the table. When I was not saved, I wasn’t listening to my teacher all that well, but when I was saved I listened better.
[This started a conversation. I pointed out that all of his teachers have repeatedly told me that he is a good listener and participates in class. This has been true all of his life. He grinned and acknowledged that they didn’t always know when he wasn’t paying attention. For some reason, this still cracks me up.]
P.s. My teachers cannot tell the difference. [I told him to add something about this– it seemed significant to him.]
[I asked him what verses helped him to understand salvation.]
Romans 6:23 says The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Acts 16:31 says Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
My teacher taught me that God will forgive every sin even before it has happened. He talked about how he got saved. He got saved as a teenager, and he also said that it’s harder to be saved when you are an adult. I don’t understand that yet.
[This was also a new comment. He mentioned his teacher giving his testimony before, but not the other things. These things seemed important to David, even though I’m still not sure he can articulate why they made a difference to him. I think these things all were part of what God used to help him want to be saved.
One time I was asking my mom, “You have to be good to get saved.” She said, “No. You have to believe on the Lord Jesus.”
[“Believe on Jesus” feels a little slippery to me. I think every child in a Christian home believes in Jesus from his earliest memories. I tried to tease this out by asking What does it mean to believe on Jesus?]
Believe on the Lord Jesus means to know that he can save you. He can change your heart to follow him and not Satan or my own way. I wanted Jesus to change my heart.
From David’s responses, I think a large part of his reluctance to get saved was simply that he was putting off something he knew he needed to do. “I can do it later.” God used several things to convince him that he shouldn’t wait. I have also noticed that, because he is now willing to talk about salvation more, his understanding has increased. The exercise of writing down his testimony was helpful for him. I’m praying that he will continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
After we wrote his testimony and sent it to his extended family, I felt a little uneasy. I could see gaps in understanding. I could see how my own imprecise vocabulary wasn’t helpful. Was I leading him astray? Did I push too hard? God used Colossians 2:6 to comfort me:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and build up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
I can trust God. I am still encouraging our children to pursue God, to draw near to him. I can rest in the assurance that he will draw near to them, too.