My church emphasizes the importance of sharing your faith, and my congregation contains many people who are comfortable talking to others about God and salvation. It’s kind of intimidating. I’m a writer, but not really the best speaker or one-on-one counselor. I’ve felt for a long time that I’m quite ill-equipped for evangelizing to people. Maybe it’s just a misconception on my part or some kind of mental block about how people are going to react.
I can talk about my faith with other Christians, but with people who don’t believe as I do? I feel at a loss about how to convince them to share my views of God. How can someone who doesn’t have faith understand putting your trust in a God you can’t see or hear? How can a non-believer understand my love and devotion to my God, the deep emotion that underlies my faith and how foundational it is in my life? I think that’s why I write and blog about faith. In writing, I get a chance to explain it without having to see the other person just not getting it.
So if you thought I was some great faith-sharer just because I write this blog, guess again. I’m still working on it, asking God to grow me in that area.
With my kids, however, I have always felt comfortable talking about faith. In fact, I talked about God and Jesus to them probably before they could even understand anything about them. Then again, they have definitely surprised me with their understanding even at a very young age. When my oldest, Emily, was about 8, she used to tell me that God was talking to her, that she could actually hear His voice. She wouldn’t tell me what He said though. My middle child, son DJ, asked me about Heaven when he was only two years old. As we were riding in the car, I explained Heaven as well as I could, including the fact that it’s where people who believe in Jesus go after they die and that it’s a place where we get to be with God forever. To which he replied, “Well, I believe in Jesus.” His faith only grew from there, and he was baptized at age 6.
Kathryn accepted Jesus at age 4, at Christmastime as we read one of her books, which contained John 3:16. I read that verse to her, then asked if she understood what it meant. She did not, so I explained the concept of salvation in 4 year old terms (asking Jesus to come into your heart). Then she asked if she could do that, and did. She was baptized this past February.
I’m not tooting my own horn. Far from it. I know that salvation comes from God and not from ourselves. We don’t save anyone; God does. We’re just the vessel sometimes, if we’re fortunate. However, on this Mother’s Day weekend, I want to encourage moms. I want you to understand that not everyone is great at evangelism out there in the big world. I’m certainly not! But as moms, we can let our lights shine so that our kids see our own faith. We can teach them about God and faith the same way we teach them about other important things in life. We can let our love for God flow out of us so that they can’t help but see it. To tell my kids about Jesus is one of the greatest honors of my life, and to see them grow in their own faith as they get older gives me great joy.
I owe a great deal of my own faith journey to my mother, who came through a struggle in her beliefs with strong faith and then taught me about how God cares personally for us and wants to know us. We had many, many late night talks about God and Jesus and faith, and she greatly shaped my understanding of what it means to follow Christ. Still does from time to time, in fact. Thank you for that, Mom! (she reads my blog, so I know she will see this)
In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” Because of faith passed down from mother to daughter and daughter to son, Timothy accomplished great things for Christ. And that is a great legacy for any mother to leave to her children!