Having a person ask you if they’re ready to be a Christian is like having someone ask you if they’re really in love. Because, if you were really in love, would you have to ask? It’s hard to hear that, though, and of course, the Bible must be our authority in asking if one is ready.
Since she was five years old, my daughter has been telling me she wants to be a Christian. At first she said she wanted to do it because “I want to drink the juice at the Lord’s Supper.” Then she wanted to do it because “I like going to church.” Then her reason was, “because you and Daddy are Christians.”
All of these are wonderful to here, but of course, they’re not a reason to become a Christian. My husband and I have struggled with how to tell her that it’s not time. My husband and I have talked to other Christians about how to gently and effectively lead her to work out her own salvation with fear and trembling. We are young parents, she’s our first child, so this has been an eye-opener for us. It’s been a joyful and interesting journey thus far.
One day a Christian friend recommended the workbook, “Am I Ready?” by Mark Roberts. It can be found here. I recommend this workbook to any parent whose children desire to become Christians. It really has them study the Bible for themselves to see what the Word of God says about making this commitment to the Lord. It takes a lot of pressure off the parent and the child.
Here is a short excerpt of the author’s description of the book:
This book helps a child and his/her parents assess readiness via five lessons. The lessons focus on the responsibilities of being a Christian and what the plan of salvation means, but even more, they focus on an understanding of personal sin and sinfulness. Perhaps best of all, they give the parent a ready answer to a child that early in life asks to be baptized. That answer is “Great! I am so glad you want to be baptized!” We are glad — the desire to be a Christian is marvelous! Then the parent says “This is a big step and you need to know what you’re doing. We’ll study in this book and when you’ve completed all five lessons you’ll know if you are ready.” Then the parent lets the child go to work. If the child’s desire is a result of temporary emotions, wanting to get attention, then after a lesson or two the child will stop doing the book. The parent doesn’t have to say anything, or do anything. The parent doesn’t “get after” the child to continue. The parent says nothing and the problem of an unready child wanting baptism just took care of itself. When the child returns to the subject the parent returns to the workbook.
Some children, of course, will complete the book with a zeal and determination that indicates their readiness to be Christians. Either way, a bad situation is made into a good situation by studying God’s Word!