No matter how much you want someone to accept Christ, it is ultimately their decision. We can only share the beautiful and precious gospel of Jesus Christ but we cannot make someone believe. It takes the urging of the Holy Spirit to draw them into that eternal hope; the eternal hope of eternal life in Christ.
My son has recently moved back in to our home after serving in the United States Air Force. I am so proud that he gave up six years of his life to serve our country. But, what I am most proud of is that he surrendered his life to Christ when he was a teenager. But if you know anything about the life in the military, it is not all roses and sunshine; meaning that there are unpleasant things to deal with as well as the pleasant ones. The life in the military is rewarding but it has its ups and downs. No one tells you how much time and energy that you are truly giving up to serve. Your life becomes the military. You are not allowed to quit so easily like any other job. Sometimes you must leave your family behind while you serve your country for a couple years in a foreign, not too nice, country. Sometimes your family or your wife is forced to raise two young children at home alone. And just sometimes, you listen to friends you shouldn’t listen to.
When my son finally got his discharge papers, it was so nice to hear that he was coming home. He lived pretty far away and it wasn’t just a quick car trip to get there either. He lived on the other side of the country and we had to fly there or him here, just to visit. My point is that the military changes you. My once dedicated son was no longer as dedicated to serving Christ like he once was. He didn’t forsake his beliefs, but his life had changed so much that church wasn’t on the forefront of his mind anymore.
It has been a struggle to get him to realize that his service to Christ means more than anything else in this world. But I know that as a parent, I cannot force him to serve Christ. I cannot force him to go to church faithfully. I can only lead by example and pray for him. I would love to force him to get up and go to church with us every Sunday and Wednesday, but I can’t. He will only resent me for doing so. So I ask you, to pray for my son. Pray that God reaches his heart again to serve Christ again like he once did. In the mean time, I will continue to serve Christ the best I can. I will lead by example and hope his heart is touched and changed for the better.
1 Timothy 4:12- Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.