The fall has lots in store for us each year. We officially begin a new school year. At church, we have promotion Sunday as well as a new Bible Study class on Wednesday for each son. At least one sport is back in session for one child and homeschool classes begin again.
Joy fills my heart, a smile runs across my face, and my spirit is at peace. My boys are growing, each son in his own lane, being promoted for the next step and stage of education, recreation, and life. And these things take care of their brains, their bodies, and their hearts.
But I must not abandon their souls. Those sweet, precious souls God has entrusted to my care.
Far above all these wonderful moments, we have one more event that deserves special attention–Spiritual Birthdays. This year is even more dear to us because my youngest son is joining the “Jesus Follower” club.
As a mom, it's been my desire to lead my sons to Jesus. Since infancy, I have been planting seeds in their little hearts with prayers that they would come into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Savior. I have waited for them to tell me they were ready, and my youngest son has voiced his decision to accept salvation. This is an exciting time for my family, as you can imagine. This year, I will have 2 sons seated before my husband and me as we remember and celebrate this awesome, life-changing day.
I wanted to share how I handle spiritual birthdays in my home so you'd be inspired to consider this for your family as well.
I teach my boys to be Christians first. So before they are male or Black or an athlete, they are followers of Christ. I see many people identifying with these things over who they are in Christ and it grieves me so. I remain consistent with our Jesus-first approach, and honor their spiritual birthdays just as much as their physical birthdays. I want them to know that their re-birth means just as much to both their father and me, and the Lord. I aim to focus on their eternal lives, not just natural lives.
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.
So don't be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.'”
John 3:5-7 (NLT)
Jesus surely said a mouthful! What does this mean to us? I love my sons' birth days. I recount the day for them whenever they ask. I enjoyed feeling them leave my body and enter into this world. I enjoyed holding them for the first time in my arms. I enjoyed seeing them for the first time and relishing in every bit of perfection, from the button noses to their little lips, and the counting of ten fingers and ten toes. It was just an awesome and miraculous day.
But, let me tell you friends, all that love, all that joy, all that “perfection” means nothing if I do not lead them to Christ. I have plans to leave this world before my children do. I believe I'll make it to heaven before they do. And since the Spirit gives birth to spiritual life, I have to do my part for them to experience it.
I'd love nothing more than to witness my children entering heaven. That's the real “birthday” for me. For Jesus to grace me and say, “Let's walk; one of your boys is coming Home.” That's the day I want to “meet” them all over again in eternity and relish every bit of perfection I see in them.
Because that day means so much to me, I know another day must happen here. They must come to know Christ. So it is that day we celebrate here on earth so we can celebrate together on another day in heaven.
We normally take our son (but now our sonS…whoo-hoo!) out to dinner. We tell him how proud we are of him. We fellowship and pray together. We are certain to ask him if he has any questions about the Bible or any other tenets of our faith. We ask him about his devotion/quiet time with God. The Lord speaks to him through dreams quite a bit so we talk about that too. He tells us anything he'd like to learn or study.
The goal is to celebrate his decision and help him mature in his faith every year.
Then, we present his gift to him–a card and something we feel will add to his spiritual maturity in some way. This is such a sweet and special time. He actually looks forward to it!
I pray that you'll take some time before the Lord and ask Him how He wants you to honor your children's decision to believe in Him. It may not be a spiritual birthday, but it could be something that bonds you all as a family and keeps them grounded in their faith.
However you come to it, please give this decision some value and celebration in their lives. May it be well with you.