As life passes quickly and children grow older, they formulate their opinion about you. In fact, they formulate their opinion about everything they see and experience in this life. They know facts about you, your house, the leaky faucet, the squeaky floors, and that’s all a normal part of life. As they build their knowledge about the family—what do they know about you? Do they know about your job? Do they know you like baseball? Sure, but the question is, do they know you’re a Christian?
More than Religion
Have you ever shared your testimony of conversion with your children? Sure, your children know that you’re religious, that’s evident as you attend church on a weekly basis. But, it’s extremely vital for your children to know about your salvation. It’s critically important for your children to grow up in your home hearing about how you came to faith in Christ.
In Acts 1:8, we find these words, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Before the early disciples went to the ends of the earth—the people in their own home had to know what had happened as they were witnesses in their own home too. To be a witness is to share openly what you have seen and heard. A witness tells of his experience. So, Christians are called to share openly about how they were brought to a place of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
You may have someone ask you, “When did you become religious?” To the outside world looking in—it’s just religion. However, a witness makes it clear that it’s far more than just religion. Do your children know that when your family gets up on Sunday morning and travels across town to attend church that it’s far more than religion? Have they heard the first hand story of the witness about how you were brought to a place of recognizing your sin and guilt before God? Have they heard about how you called out to God for salvation? Have they heard about your deep faith in the God who saves sinners and how you are one in a long line of redemption stories throughout history?
Your Story is Really About God
Stories are powerful tools that can be used to communicate truth. Jesus often taught with stories and his disciples grew as they heard him communicate truth. However, your testimony is more than a powerful story. If all you do is share your story with others, you will fail to be a true witness of the gospel. Your story is not about you—it’s about God.
When Paul stood before Agrippa he told his story. However, he traced the story from his pre-conversion status as a Pharisee to his post-conversion status as a prisoner of Jesus. The entire story was intended to point to the saving power of God in his life. It was not to glorify Paul, but rather, to glorify God.
In Deuteronomy 6, we find the repeating of the Law and Moses points the people to share the story of God’s saving power with their children. In fact, when they ask about why it is that they worship God and serve God in the way they do, the people of Israel were to communicate the following to their children:
When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us’ (Deuteronomy 6:20–25).
When your children ask you why you go to church, why you read the Bible in the evenings in your home, and why you go to church on Wednesday—you can explain to them that you were once in bondage to sin and led astray by the devil, but God saved you (Eph. 2:1-10). You can explain how the god of this world had blinded you (2 Cor. 4:4), but it was through the message of hope—the good news of Jesus that you came to understand your sin and your need for a Savior (Rom. 1:16). You can explain how God brought you to a place of repentance and how you turned to God by faith—believing that Jesus had paid your sin debt on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) and demonstrated his ability to forgive sinners by his resurrection from the dead on the third day (John 14:19).
While your story is indeed powerful—it’s not really about you. It’s about how a sovereign God rescued you. Remember, when we talk about being saved it’s not the story of us saving ourselves. We were helpless. We were dead in our trespasses and sin and couldn’t save ourselves (Eph. 2:1-3). Therefore, our story is about God’s story of redemption.
Do your children see you as religious or do they view you as a Christian? There is a massive difference—in fact an eternal difference. Tell your story, but most importantly, tell the story of God’s saving love.