Now THAT’s a Good Question!

Help! My child walked the aisle! What do I do now?

Okay, full disclosure – I am the one asking the question this week. If you were at First Baptist of El Dorado yesterday morning, you’ll know my 8 year old son Luke took 3 steps with his mom (they sit on the front row and I was standing literally 3 steps from them) and ‘came forward’ during the invitation to go public with his decision to follow Jesus. No, I didn’t know he was coming. Yes, I was surprised. Six months ago or so he had talked about trusting Jesus. But he really didn’t want to go public with it – so Katie and I left it alone and prayed.

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Then, out of nowhere, he tugged on his mommy’s dress during the invitation and said, “Mom, I gotta go forward!” So, they came forward and the pastor (his daddy) ‘presented’ him – if you will – to the church body.

Hallelujah.

Since then, as you can imagine, I’ve been doing a lot of thinkin’. The question I keep asking myself is, “what now?” My firstborn has ‘walked the aisle.’ He’s ‘prayed the prayer.’ What does a parent do next?

Here’s what I have concluded thus far:

1. Highlight and Celebrate God’s Working in His Life.

When a child – unprompted by anyone – tells his mommy he ‘has’ to go forward during the invitation, something is going on in his soul. I have to believe God is drawing Luke and working in his heart. So many people pray for him. So, yesterday afternoon – starting with letting him choose where we ate lunch – we celebrated God choosing to work in his heart and Luke’s boldness and courage to obey the prompting.

2. Reiterate what ‘Being Saved’ Really Means.

Walking an aisle saves no one. Only Jesus saves. I believe it is so important for all Christians – especially children – to understand this reality. Before Luke went to sleep last night I crawled up on his bed with him and asked him some questions to help him make sure he knew what Jesus did 2,000 years ago – and Luke’s trust in that – is what rescues him. The same will be true when we talk about baptism in the coming days.

3. Get an ‘Outsider’s’ Perspective.

Mom and dad can be either too blind or too careful. Too blind to see their own ‘partiality’ in the salvation experience of their child. Too careful in allowing God to work by not wanting to ‘rush it’ or ‘force’ something. Due to these extremes, I think it wise to get a non family member to talk to the child for their perspective. This is a HUGE reason I am so grateful for the ministry of Mark Sandy. He is GREAT with children – especially when it comes to helping them understand salvation. We’ll be setting up a time for Luke to meet with Mark very soon.

4. It’s Only Just Begun.

Jesus was clear: We are to make disciples, not just converts. As a parent, my mindset cannot be: “Okay, that’s done.” Rather, I should constantly ask: “How can I best equip Luke to know and follow Jesus?” The purpose of all this is not to get Luke to ‘just’ walk an aisle and be baptized. As a parent, I should ultimately desire to see my child long for and follow Jesus.

5. PRAY.

For the Spirit to finish the good work He has started in Luke. For Luke to have a real and genuine understanding of what’s going on. For mom and dad to have wisdom in the days ahead. For a love for Jesus that surpasses any other love.

This is what I’ve concluded having been a parent of a child who walked the aisle less than 24 hours ago.

What would you add to the list? 

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12 thoughts on “Now THAT’s a Good Question!

  1. Libby says:

    Let Luke take the lead…to some extent. Sure, he needs to be baptized. He may want to do it next week, but he may not. Let him work through it, within reason… Let his personality determine the extent of the shouting and carrying on!! He may want a parade. He may want Dad and Mom to “simmer down”! You know Luke best, and your family best. Do what’s best for Luke and your family! Praise the Lord!!

  2. Connie says:

    Recently, an adult (who had been a somewhat rebellious preacher’s kid) said in my presence that “we all know an 8-year-old can’t really understand enough to be saved.” I let that simmer for a few minutes, then I had to speak up. (A huge surprise for you, I’m sure). I said,”I have to challenge you about something you said. An 8-year-old can most certainly understand enough to be saved, and I am living proof of that.” The Holy Spirit tugged at me for weeks before I responded to Him and accepted Jesus as my Savior. I can almost guarantee that the same thing had been happening to Luke, and he could finally resist no longer. Your dad and I are so very happy for Luke and for you and Katie. This is a vivid answer to our prayers.

    • Mom – I can’t believe you actually spoke up and voiced your opinion!!!!! 🙂
      Seriously – thanks for praying for our kids. When you think about it, throw one up for your son, too! He needs ALL the help he can get!
      Love!

  3. Sarah says:

    I thought of 12 y/o Jesus when he questioned his earthly parents about making a fuss when they found him in the Temple. Sometimes we don’t know how to respond to our children/grandchildren’s actions. Some are completely turned off by lots of drama. I like Libby’s and Connie’s replies. Go with the flow, but be there!

  4. Ilene Harral says:

    My parents were not a part of my decision to be baptized. It was between God and me, and I was only 9 years old. Now, 60 years later, I try to go back to that simple faith of a child, where it’s just about Jesus and me.

    He has never failed to be there with me all these years. I am so very grateful to Him! I love to see a child or an adult saved by the Lord.

    You know a child can’t have an adult’s faith, but we can share theirs, thank God! The Bible tells us that.

  5. Tommie says:

    I think you, Katie and Luke are on the right path and are handling his salvation perfectly. I know it is so exciting and it is okay to be excited and scared wanted to get it right. When my fourth child was saved I was eternally greatful due to the fact we would ALL be in heaven together. Now I celebrate that same feeling due to my grandchildren being saved. God is GOOD and he is working in Luke’s life. HE will walk you through it . Praise Him, Praise His Holy Name.

  6. jayne says:

    Just a couple of months ago you prayed for Luke’s salvation during a Wednesday night prayer meeting….
    …..answered prayer……

  7. Ellen says:

    Matt as I read your blog a verse came to me to share Matthew 19:14. The disciples had tried to prevent the children from seeing Jesus probably because they thought he had more important things to do. “14
    But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

    One thing that always struck me was that he said “little children” – this expression had to do more with their age rather than size. Jesus Loves The Little Children was probably one of the first songs you may have been taught as a child but its so relevant as we serve a loving Father. Congratulations to Luke!

    One thing I would add as he has received Christ, he will also receive at least one spiritual gift. I would encourage you and your wife to pray that you will be able to recognize the gift(s) that Luke has been given so that you can help him grow and mature in those areas.

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