Being a Child of Christians

It is no longer theory, but practice, with my generation, to watch our children either embrace and profess Christ, or not. A friend of mine has written an entire book about his experience with this stage of parenthood.

But I address myself to the grown children today (and not just my own). Here is a passage from Spurgeon’s autobiography (online here) which expresses his regret at putting aside his Lord for part of his youth. Note that he had every advantage, but our Lord deals with each of you separately, and you must come to him separately.

I was privileged with godly parents, watched with jealous eyes, scarcely ever permitted to mingle with questionable associates, warned not to listen to anything profane or licentious, and taught the way of God from my youth up. There came a time when the solemnities of eternity pressed upon me for a decision, and when a mother’s tears and a father’s supplications were offered to Heaven on my behalf. At such a time, had I not been helped by the grace of God, but had I been left alone to do violence to conscience, and to struggle against conviction, I might perhaps have been at this moment dead, buried, and doomed, having through a course of vice brought myself to my grave, or I might have been as earnest a ringleader amongst the ungodly as I now desire to be an eager champion for Christ and His truth.

I do speak of myself with many deep regrets of heart. I hid as it were my face from Him, and I let the years run round–not without twinges of conscience, not without rebukes, when I knew how much I needed a Saviour; not without the warnings which came from others whom I saw happy and rejoicing in Christ, while I had no share in His salvation. Still, I put it off, as others are doing, from day to day, and month to month, and thought that Christ might come in some odd hour, and when I had nothing else to do, I might think of Him whose blood could cleanse me. O my soul, I could fain smite thee now! Truly, I could lay this rod about my own heart to think that weeks and months should have rolled over my head, and I should have hid as it were my face from Christ in willful neglect of my dear Lord whose heart had bled for me.

Even now, some of you are holding out! Perhaps, against all the advice of your parents, you think that you have some secret side-entrance into salvation, unavailable to others? Or did you have a childhood profession that you now know was false? Drop everything now, and come before the Lord. I can assure you gaining him is worth everything that you could possibly lose.

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2 Responses to “Being a Child of Christians”

  1. MullTrain Says:

    Hi Mr. Ritchie…

    First of all, I just wanted to say thank you for the Latin books you sent. They made me very excited.

    I also must say that I relate a lot to Spurgeon here. I actually embraced Christ fairly late in my teens (which was of course not that long ago) after a long time of kind of pretending…I got baptized when I was twelve purely for the purpose of getting my parents to leave me alone about it.

    They probably weren’t fooled, though. I am sure that many earnest prayers were offered up in my behalf as I hid my face and hardened my heart. I had as many opportunities and as much Christian education as it is possible to have, growing up, but it just took a while for me to finally get the point.

    I thank the Lord for godly Christian parents like mine and like you.

  2. Mark Ritchie Says:

    Thanks for your comment. This is a difficult topic for parents, and we want to steer between the pitfalls of early but unwarranted professions of faith on the one hand, and discouragement to approach Christ on the other hand.

    Sometime I would like to write a post directed at parents who don’t see the difficulties. For instance, those who believe that if they do the right things, faith and repentance are all but assured for their children. And all the associated terminology, such as the homeschooling jargon of “building godly character” into your children by means of the curriculum.

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