Heartprints

Value the Decision to Wait

          On the sidelines of my son’s soccer game I had the privilege of getting reacquainted with friend. We worked at a church camp together one summer and have had few opportunities to get together since. The last time we spoke, she and her husband were part of a new church plant and they were excited that he was asked to preach. With this having preceded our current conversation, you can imagine my surprise when she told me that her husband had just been saved. 

          On the sidelines of my son’s soccer game I had the privilege of getting reacquainted with friend. We worked at a church camp together one summer and have had few opportunities to get together since. The last time we spoke, she and her husband were part of a new church plant and they were excited that he was asked to preach. With this having preceded our current conversation, you can imagine my surprise when she told me that her husband had just been saved. 

          It seems that while her husband was in the middle of a sermon he came to the sobering revelation that he himself had never accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

          Having ministered to children and teens most of my life, the notion that an adult was living under the misconception that he was a believer when he was not concerned me.

          I’m sure you’ve witnessed this just as I have-children looking around at invitation time and then raise their hand with their neighbor. Possibly confessing with their mouth and not their heart (Matthew 15:8; Romans 10:9-10).  How can we be more careful so there aren’t generations surprise to discover they have never born again? (John 3:3) What is the best method to present a salvation call to children?  

          It may seem like an odd concept but I began to consider the importance of allowing children the option to wait if they don’t feel ready. Waiting past the impulsive response or the one motivated by human acceptance. Not forcing them to choose “yes” or “no” when they just need more time to allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. 

          I’m not suggesting that you discourage them from accepting Jesus as their Savior. But rather, let them know it is an important decision and the choice to wait and ask more questions is better than making a decision they are not sure of. Let them know that God knows the difference (Matthew 15:8) and it is the true decision that God wants (Romans 10:9-10). Encourage them to continue asking questions and seeking God. 

          Valuing the decision to wait until they are ready takes away the child’s need to seek approval through false acceptance and opened the door to a genuine decision. 

          It has been amazing to see children take ownership of their decision- whether it’s to accept Jesus as their Savior or to wait until they are ready. 

Romans 1:16, John 1:12, John 3:3, John 14:6