I cannot begin to describe how blessed Mary and I am in our kids. No matter how bad we (read “I”) screw things up with them, they still love us without reservation. I seriously don’t deserve them. I’m quick-tempered, I’m loud, I’m insecure, but even with all my faults, somehow my kids have seen enough of Jesus in me to come to love Him themselves. Most recently, my baby.
Last night, Madi prayed for Jesus to come into her heart and be Lord of her life — at five years old, in fact, just like her mother, sister, and brother. And just like them, she’s the one that started the conversation. But while this is wonderful in itself, what touches me so much about this is that her “conversion” can’t really be called a conversion at all!
See, she’s loved Jesus her whole life. She sings and talks about Him. She worries about making Him sad, and wants to make Him happy again when she does. She is perhaps the sweetest, purest soul I’ve ever met. And last night, when we were talking with my oldest about why it’s a sin (read “against God’s Will”) to lie, Madi started to have a come-apart, because — and I have no idea how the conversation led to this — she thought that she wasn’t a Christian because she hasn’t been “bafftized” yet!
I’ll admit, I didn’t know whether to cry at her pain or laugh at the ridiculousness of her confusion. But then it occurred to me that this is how far too many people view salvation.
Ever since receiving Christ as Lord (some 20 years after I “thought” that I had received Him as Savior), I’ve seen salvation as a relationship, and as in any relationship, you don’t do the things you do in order to “keep” the relationship, but because you HAVE the relationship. Form IS important, but it is secondary. So I had no doubt that even as young as she is, Madi is just as saved as I am, and that baptism could wait until she was old enough to understand its place and meaning.
That is, until she had her come-apart 🙂
So we had a family discussion last night, which involved a children’s book about salvation, and everybody prayed right along with Madi (complete with our spiteful, quick-tempered, TENDER-hearted boy boohooing just as hard as Madi was and our bossy, whiny oldest girl grinning from ear to ear hehe). Madi continued to cry, even after we promised to make sure form was taken care of and that she would be “bafftized” as soon as possible (though she was scared of the water being too deep) because she wanted to make sure she WAS a Christian, even after all our assurances.
Beyond all the form, this is what salvation really looks like — wanting the reality of that relationship so bad that it breaks your heart to think that something might be standing in the way.