When you teach your son about salvation, do you tremble under the weight of the significance of this message? Do you shudder to think about who you would be without Christ? I am painfully aware of how wretched I am without my Savior. So that you do not forget who you would be without Christ, establish a habit of rehearsing to yourself, and your son, how the gospel has transformed your life. Remind yourself frequently of how God saved you, and like the apostle Paul, don’t ever tire of talking about the miraculous life Jesus gives to those who receive Him as Savior.
In Romans 6:17, Paul explains how salvation frees us from sin’s bondage to live as a “slave of righteousness” for God. Because Paul knew the freedom of new life in Christ, he must have felt exhilarated when he penned the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” To the Christians in Ephesus Paul wrote a similar message: “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-7).
By remembering the amazing way in which Jesus purchased you for God with His precious blood, you will train your mind to recall the reason you are alive–to be a slave of righteousness to God (Revelation 5:9; Romans 6:18). This will also help you teach your son to view himself as a servant of God as well.
The incredible truth that God makes us alive in Christ simply because of His rich mercy, great love, amazing grace, and tremendous kindness makes me want to shout, “Hallelujah!” I pray you never take for granted the miracle of salvation. May you always be amazed at the supernatural event that occurs when one is raised from dead in their sins to be made alive in Christ.
In gratitude for your salvation, will you determine to joyfully spend your life for Christ? If you do not live in abandon to the Lord’s will, whose influence will show your son how to live in that way? In the book, Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper makes this powerful statement:
Who confronts [young people] with urgency and tears? Who pleads with them, not to waste their lives? Who takes them by the collar…and loves them enough to show them a life so radical and so real and so costly and so Christ-saturated that they feel the emptiness and triviality of their CD collection and their pointless conversations…Who will waken what lies latent in their souls, untapped–a longing not to waste their lives?
Your son–as well as his generation–longs to see what genuine Christianity looks like. They are aching for someone to lay down all the trivial cares of life and show them, by example, how to live completely sold out for Christ. Your son can come to understand the infinite importance of surrendering his future to the Lord if he sees you living with total abandon for Christ. And your son will learn to joyfully expect the Lord to direct his future as well.
In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George penned the cry of my heart: “I am in fear of missing what God has for me in this life. I don’t want to be robbed of even one of God’s riches by not taking time to let Him invade my life…” And I am equally concerned that my sons not miss any opportunities to serve the Lord in their lives.
When Christ “invades your life,” what spills over is a passion for Him and for His kingdom purposes. Your son will not be able to ignore your message if it flows from a genuine longing to honor the Lord in all you do.
To let Christ invade your life, you may need to do a little housecleaning. To determine whether you are serious about living in a manner that will inspire your son to live for Christ ask yourself these questions:
- Am I willing to forfeit relationships that do not honor the Lord?
- Am I willing to refuse to be entertained by anything that is contrary to God’s commands?
- Am I willing to forsake all activities or opportunities that would draw me away from wholehearted obedience to Christ?
Your willingness to lay aside anything that besets your passionate pursuit of Christ and to His leading will not only set an example for your son to follow, but create an appetite in him to do the same.
To make a lasting impression on your son, you must be set on fire by the single most glorious purpose of life–to know Christ and joyfully exhibit His greatness in all areas of life!
Don’t Lose Your Focus
Life is filled with distractions. Football practice, homework, and social events are not in and of themselves bad things. But if they become your focal points, you will undoubtedly direct your attention (and your son’s attention) to whatever pursuit has priority at the moment. Remember that each activity is an avenue for you, and your son, to let your light shine to people who are lost and in need of a Savior. Learn to pray throughout your day, and you will be ever mindful of making sure you conduct yourself in a way that brings glory to God.