In the last several months, all three of our children have made professions of faith. I smile at how unexpectedly these events have unfolded. As a result, I’m developing thoughts on salvation and children, but as I’m watching my children, I hesitate to write thoughts which might embarrass or make them uncomfortable later on. As well, I don’t want to speak without considering long what is on my heart.
Last night I realized that I haven’t had the kids write out in their words their testimony. I might do this, and see what we get. While I do not want them to invent a memory, I would desire that they remember what they have done. Talking and writing about their profession is of great value toward this end. The more they remember, the better able they will be to evaluate their own profession in years to come.
If you’re wondering about young children and their capacity for salvation, I commend to you Spurgeon’s book on this topic. Please read it, if you have not done so. It will encourage and challenge you, far more than most child-rearing books in print today.
I believe that salvation is simple enough for a child to understand. I believe that, while it is appropriate to evaluate a child’s understanding of salvation, Scripture makes refusing a child’s testimony to be a very serious thing. Adults seem to require far greater maturity of an adult convert than a child convert. Children are developing mentally and physically, making their spiritual growth look different than an adult convert. Cultivating a desire for spiritual things is important (just because plants naturally grow doesn’t mean than we shouldn’t tend them carefully!) I need to trust the Holy Spirit with the salvation of my children. It is also not a good thing to carry guilt for a long period of time. How a child perceives himself is of importance (more on this later).