I’m praying for my children to have “boring” testimonies. Not only do I pray that God would save them, but would do so at a young age so that all they ever know is following Jesus.
My desire is for my children to grow up in the church. I know that’ll happen. But I also know growing up in church doesn’t automatically equal coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ. I don’t want them to know about going to church, praying, and studying the Bible for its own sake, as if it’s just another chore to mark off the list. I want them to see it as delightful—I want them to see Jesus as beautiful. It’s our duty, and delight, to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV). We know we have the responsibly to disciple them, to share the gospel with them, to continually point them to the forgiveness of sins found in the gospel. And when we fail to do that, or neglect to consistently do that, that’s on us.
But my hope and prayer is that God will save them both at a very young age. When they become adults, Lord willing, I want them to look back and only see walking with Jesus. I pray they’ll never know anything else but walking, even stumbling, with the Lord.
But we also must understand something: there’s nothing boring about conversion. There’s nothing mundane or ho-hum about regeneration. It’s always a miracle when anyone comes to saving faith in Jesus Christ—whether it’s in the heart of a five-year-old or someone who is saved from drugs and alcohol. That is because regeneration is the sole work of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit invades a person’s heart, and takes away the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Only God can do that. It is truly a miracle.
And I pray He does that miracle to my children when they are young.
But there’s a reason why regeneration is a miracle. God isn’t helping us turn over a new leaf or stick to our New Year’s resolutions. He’s not even making sick people feel better. God is raising the spiritually dead to spiritual life. He is breathing life into dead, spiritual souls. He is making a new creation, a new person—a person who previously hated Him now loves Him; a person who used to curse God’s name now blesses His name.
And this is the same thing that happen when He saves children—hopefully my children. Don’t get me wrong, I think my children are wonderful. They are cute, funny, and so sweet. They are also sinners. Just give them one toy between the two of them and watch the fighting and screaming begin. The lesson is clear: age doesn’t matter when it comes to sinning. Though they are adorable, they are adorable sinners—sinners in need of a Savior.
But the bottom line is this: I pray my children repent of their sin and trust in the finished work of Christ early in their lives, to where all they know is following the Lord. I know that a great deal of that responsibility lies on my wife and I as parents. And that’s another prayer—to disciple and share the gospel faithfully.