There are many who can state ‘I’ve been in church my whole life’.
I am one of those people. Even though my Mother was left alone to raise her eight children, she was committed to making sure we were in church regularly. Can you imagine today, being a single Mom, trying to get 8 children dressed, fed, and ready for church every Sunday morning? No one would have faulted her for taking the easy road and just staying home.
Being in God’s house, building relationships with other believers, and learning who God was, established a firm foundation on which my own personal relationship with God could grow, accompanied by the living examples of those in my life who lived out their faith in God in tangible ways.
“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.” Psalm 71:5-6
God has always been real for me, I have loved Him since I was a child. I have always loved going to church, singing about Him, feeling the emotional connection with others who, more often than not, became more like extended family to me.
Didn’t all those things mean that I was already a Christ-follower by default? Absolutely not. There came a time when I had to own it. I wasn’t a Christian because my Mother was, or my siblings were, or because my Dad was a preacher, or because I hung out with Christian people.
Those were all wonderful, influential things in my life, but to be a true Christ-follower, it had to be mine, my own personal relationship with God my Creator, my confession and repentance of sin, my statement of trust in Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
That moment came when I was in the 4th grade, when it was no longer just what I believed, but it became who I was! Of course, as I continued to grow and mature and learn, I understood more and more what that meant.
My husband and I are committed to raising our children in church as well. We want them to have that foundation of faith, to know that they were thought of, wanted, created, and loved by God Himself, and it is our prayer that when they reach the age of understanding, that they will choose to follow Christ and grow their personal relationship with God.
“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
I will never forget the day, when my oldest daughter, who had just graduated from high school and was beginning life as an adult, made this statement. She said, “I don’t want to just go to church because you guys do. I want to go because I choose to.” That is what you call ‘keeping it real’. She owned it. And I respected her for it.
Want to know more about what being a Christ-follower means? I’ve included a link to a ministry which talks about who God is and how to begin a relationship with Him. This is a ministry which I personally trust to share the truths in God’s Word with kindness and compassion.