Some of the best conversations that I've ever had with my boys are in the kitchen. Last night, I was elbow deep in raw chicken and eggs making Shake N Bake chicken when Cam came in to talk to me. I'm not sure how we got there, but the conversation soon steered to taking the Lord's name in vain. The offhanded, "Oh.My.God." I explained it like this.
Say you have friend...Someone who says they love you, but everytime they get they need to really express their shock or excitement, they exclaim, "OH.MY.CAM!" Sometimes, if, they're really mad, they add a curse word at the end. "Cam DARNIT!" What kind of friend would you think they were? Cam stared at me for a while, and said, "Not a very good friend." I asked him what he would say. He said, "I'd tell them to stop it. That I didn't like it." Then, why don't we do that with others? Cam and I looked at each other for a while thinking.
Some conversations are hard, especially when it comes to loved ones. "Mama, do you think __________ is a Christian?" I paused before answering this one. There's been a lot of talk and questions about salvation in our house. While I don't want to discourage the boys in their faith, I also want to allow enough room for the Holy Spirit to convict and grow their walk with Christ.
I told Cam that when we really love someone, we want to spend time with them. We call them, visit them, and make an effort in a relationship. Just going to church or calling yourself a "Christian" isn't enough. If someone claims to have a relationship with you, but never calls, never talks to you, and never reads letters that you write, you'd been to wonder if you had any kind of relationship at all. Likewise, what if this person came to visit your home, but never talked to you? Sure, they visit with your family, and talk like they know you, but if they never come and speak directly to YOU, there's really no relationship. This is how people can get confused with their relationship with Jesus. Going to church, hearing sermons, and saying the right things are meaningless if it's not personal to you.
John 14:15 tells us, "If you love Me, keep my commands." What is the first sign of loving Jesus? Obedience.
James 1:22 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
Luke 6:46 reminds us about obedience to Christ is a sign that we know God, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord, and do not do what I tell you?"
I told Cam, it's not up to us to know the hearts of others. But I also reminded him that the Bible tells us that we will be able to recognize other believers by their Spiritual fruits. Matthew 7:16-20
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
I cherish these conversations. It has always been my prayer that my boys would grow up to be strong spiritual leaders. Sometimes, we have to answer tough questions to help our kids grow spiritually. Sometimes, it's hard answering the questions, especially the conclusion our kids reach is hard. "Mom, I don't think ________ knows Jesus." I encouraged Cam to pray for that family member, and to talk to them about Jesus the next time he saw them. I also felt convicted about my boldness. Children aren't intimidated by political correctness. They haven't learned about not "offending" others by witnessing. Maybe that's why some people are more receptive to hearing about the Lord from children? I pray these questions continue to come, and that the Lord continues to help me guide my boys to the cross.