A Question for Every Parent: Is My Child a Christian?

Child

This question is the title of a great article by Brian Croft posted at The Gospel Coalition’s website.
Here are some important highlights from the article:

As parents, we all wrestle with how to answer this question, and I’ve found there are usually two extremes that need to be avoided. The first is made worse by a lack of discernment shown in many churches when they routinely extend altar calls to 4- or 5-year-olds, ask them to raise their hands if they love Jesus, and then baptize them as converted followers of Christ.

The second is often a reaction against the carelessness of the first. This extreme prevents both parents and also pastors from being willing to affirm a child’s conversion until they are adults, independent of their parent’s authority and care. While reluctance on both counts is somewhat warranted, I believe a middle ground must be approached in order to discern clear biblical evidence that a child, teenager, or young adult has become a new creature in Christ.

He then outlines five evidences to look for in discerning whether or not your child has come to true saving faith:

  1. Growing affection and need for Jesus and the gospel.
  2. Heightened understanding of the truths of Scripture.
  3. Increased kindness and selflessness toward siblings.
  4. Greater awareness of and distaste for sin.
  5. Noticeable desire to obey parents.


Brian Croft presents five questions to consider when looking for the above evidences and evaluating the spiritual condition of a child.

  1. Does my child appear to truly love Jesus, or is he or she just telling me they do because I said so?
  2. Does my child independently seek to know God’s Word?
  3. Does my child demonstrate greater understanding of deep spiritual truths?
  4. Is my child demonstrating spiritual fruit contrary to his personality?
  5. Is there independent remorse for daily sins?


This article is very helpful and informative. You can read the entire article here.

For your pinning pleasures:
True Saving Faith

Photo Credit: David R. Tribble on Wikipedia CC BY-SA

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

4 Responses to “A Question for Every Parent: Is My Child a Christian?”

  1. Sybil August 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    I have been wondering the same thing about my 91 year-old Mom-in-law. we have lived in the same house for 38 years, presuming her to be saved. Now my husband, her only child, has gone to Glory. It is just the two of us now. I keep seeing chances to bloom in the Lord pass by, and a growing apprehension as to whether she is really saved. She can’t tell me EXACTLY when she came to trust Jesus, or the time of her Baptism. She studies her Bible study lesson for the week, but often asks shallow questions like how to say a name, but never anything any deeper…I don’t know how to speak to her because she pushes away conversations about deeper spiritual things as though she just does not know how to talk about it. She speaks harshly about people who do not dress well to attend church. She does not like people of other races or nationalities. I could really use some advice as to how to talk to her about Jesus.

  2. Amanda August 24, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Sybil, what type of Bible study lesson is she reading? Maybe you can encourage her to read more evangelistic or deeper studies. Think about which resources at your disposal would be best to reach her. Does she like to watch Christian movies? There are great Christian films that clearly present the Gospel. Or radio programs, sermons, music, etc. But I wouldn’t bombard her with them. Try different ones and see which ones she is open to.
    Maybe you just have to tell her you’re concerned about her salvation. That can be a difficult thing to do; but show her that you’re not trying to start an argument or anything; show her that you’re genuinely concerned and explain why. You can ask a question like, “If you died today and stood before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into My Heaven,’ what would you say?”

    Also, keep praying and I will pray for her as well that God will work in her heart and give you wisdom in this matter.

  3. Heather B September 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    I know it all starts with me. We are doing everything we can to give our son the foundation he needs to succeed in his faith and who God made him to be. I want so badly for him to long for God and really understand his relationship with the Lord. I have a brand new favorite resource for any parent out there by Dr. Tony Evans called “Raising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith.” He says, “Instructing your children in the Lord means spending time with them so they can see how you live out the gospel. It’s far easier to SHAPE A CHILD than to REPAIR AN ADULT. Raising kids who recognize and retain their identity as children of the King launches healthy adults who have the capacity to stand strong in their faith.” Equipping and guiding our children starts with us, parents! This is the most solid, thorough, inspirational and affirming parent book you’ll ever read! I love it and HIGHLY recommend it for all parents!

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