"I don’t want Jesus."

Those were the words Andy said to me last night as I was trying to get him to go to sleep. It was a typical night in which I did not feel like fighting with him, threatening him, and eventually disciplining him to stay in bed and go to sleep. So when he gave me the typical request, “can you lay down for four minutes,” I acquiesced. (Why it’s four minutes, I don’t think we know. He never wants me to lay down for 10 minutes or two minutes, but four minutes).

As we were laying there, he said, “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” Not sure where this came from, but I’m glad he was asking the question. I explained to him that Jesus died on the cross for God’s glory and our salvation. Jesus took on the wrath, or God’s anger at our sin, for us. Only, I was not the detailed. I just wanted to give him the reason in a nutshell in a manner that I hoped a 4 year old could understand. Andy understands sin, even at his young age. What he may not understand is his need for Christ. That will take more than I can do. It will take the Holy Spirit moving in his heart and mind.

I also told Andy that Jesus died there for us to trust in Him for salvation, and that both Mommy and me were going to heaven because of that trust. I followed it up by, “do you want to trust in Jesus for salvation?” That is when I got his answer: “I don’t want Jesus.

I know that many parents would immediately panic, hearing one of their children rejecting the gospel so outright. But I don’t panic. If anything, it is moments like these that are calls for me to trust the Father all the more in His doctrines of election, regeneration and salvation all together. I know that it is reality that the Father may not have chosen my precious son to be among the elect. I hope and pray that this is not the case. I hope and pray that the reason Andy was placed in my family was so that he could be raised as a covenant child, and eventually come to know Christ as his Savior. But I have to accept the fact that he may not become a believer.

When it comes to those we love, we must trust in God’s doctrine of election, knowing that He shows mercy to whom He shows mercy. Remember, that was spoken of patriarch Isaac’s two sons, Jacob and Esau. One was chosen, the other was not. It is His decision, not our decision.

Remember what it says in John 1 about those who will become children of God.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is not my will, or even the will of Andy that will bring him to faith. It is the will of God. Therefore, when it comes to our children, we must trust in the Father’s decision. This does not mean that we don’t have the responsibility to raise our children in the faith. We do. We have been praying for Andy since before he was born and continue to do so.

We also teach him about the things of God, taking him to church, holding family worship times and using the daily events as teaching opportunities about sin and the need for forgiveness. But ultimately, we must trust in the Father’s election, the Son’s accomplishment of his salvation, and the Holy Spirit’s application of that salvation to Andy in His time. Not ours.

Let me encourage those of you who have children, do not give up in these endeavors. No, your child may not be of the elect. But they may be. The truth is, we don’t know until we see the Holy Spirit moving in them. Until that time, we pursue the means that God has given to us to bring our children to Him, prayer and preaching of God’s word. That is why family worship, both privately and publicly is so important. Trust in Him and use His means.