Both of my kids were baptized this weekend. By their dad. They went down in the water as wretches, and in the arms of both their earthly and their heavenly fathers, they came up saints.
And it had nothing to do with me. Or their sweet dad. Grace unspeakable.
Between their decisions for Christ, which happened separately and individually, and their baptisms, we celebrated their choices with family and friends. And here and there I would hear the statement, "You must be so proud." But that word, proud , just sort of stuck in my throat. Because the truth was, and is, I am not proud. I am acutely aware this had nothing to do with me.
Their decisions to make Jesus Lord were not stamps of approval on our parenting, because let me be really honest: we play out life a little nearer the reality television genre than the Focus on the Family niche, if you can pick up what I'm laying down. No, their decisions were confirmations of the Fatherhood of God. And to say I am eternally grateful for His faithfulness to pursue this connection of body, soul and spirit with our kids is an understatement of epic proportions. I am humbled, but I'm not surprised. It's God's will. The only role we ultimately play is to agree with God concerning our kids. Concerning their salvation, their protection, their destiny and purpose. And they will fail. Just like us. And we will keep believing God for them and with them just as we do through our own struggles and growth.
So I'm not proud of myself for having kids that said yes to Jesus. I'm incredibly humbled that they did. It was their choice. Sure, we can provide the atmospheres for our kids to learn about Jesus, we can expose them to His truths and His person. We can and do set standards, and boundaries for their protection. We do some things a little differently (unpopular) in an effort to protect their time, and what they see, hear and do. And we make mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. Even though we try our best, our best can never be perfect, pure or holy enough to convince our kids to make Jesus LORD of their lives. Only the singular work of the Holy Spirit can create in my kids the revelation of Jesus and the desire to not only know and receive Him, but to believe and follow Him.
What has been set before our kids is life and death, and through the supernatural power of God, they chose life. And it is my visceral prayer that they will continue to chose it every day of their lives, because oh, the choices, they just keep a-coming.
Who in your life needs to not just know Jesus, but to make Him Lord? God is faithful. No matter what you see or experience, believe God. Agree with God. By faith release the power of the Holy Spirit to work in creative ways to reach, soften, reveal. If you need someone to agree with you for the salvation of someone in your life, leave a comment. You don't have to name names, God knows. Together, we will ask by faith in Jesus' name, and together we will receive.
We praise you, Good and Faithful God!