This letter which I wrote to Jonathan Lindvall via his “Bold Christian Living” email discussion list fits into the time period of the latest installment of my story. This one is total crap ~ I was trying so desperately to figure a way to get Angel to accept and embrace the godly, quiverfull lifestyle which we’d chosen for our family ~ I think that my desperation is quite apparent in this rather pathetic letter:
Dear Mr. Lindvall,
Thank you so much for your ministry — you have been a great encouragement to my husband & me. I have a concern that I thought you might be able to address as you come from a godly Christian background. You may have already dealt with this subject and if so, could you please direct us to the appropriate tapes?
My husband & I both come from very ungodly families and grew up amidst drugs, alcohol, violence, perversion, occultism, etc. As a young man, my husband, Warren, was serving time in jail for possession & sale of drugs when he turned his life over to the Lord and experienced deliverance from drugs and alcohol. As for myself, at age 18, I knew that I was a hopeless sinner who deserved Hell — I lived with that miserable conviction for quite some time before the Lord revealed to me His grace & I was saved through faith. When I surrendered my life to Jesus, it was a dramatic conversion experience and I knew beyond all doubt that I was a new creature, a child of God and eternally secure.
Both of us had been Christians for several years when we met at church, and although we had a lot of maturing to do yet, we were determined from the beginning of our marriage to make ours a Christ-centered home. We now have six children and are expecting another in March. My main question is in regard to our oldest daughter, Angel, who is 17. From the time she could talk, she has been taught the scriptures and at age 3 she clearly explained the gospel to me in such a manner that I knew she understood and believed. At age 6, Angel desired to be baptized and after speaking with the pastor — who shared with her the “four spiritual laws”, led her in the “sinner’s prayer” and gave us his assurance that he believed she truly understood and believed — shortly afterwards she was baptized.
We have always homeschooled and sheltered our children — there is no TV, they do not participate in youth activities and only a select few of the local homeschool activities. The few friends that they do have come from families with similar convictions and even then, they are always supervised when they are together. Angel is very obedient, generally respectful and desires to follow God’s plan for her life. However, she has often asked me if I think she really is born-again. She is unsure of whether she is actually a Christian, or if she is just a product of good training. Several times she has repeated the process of repentance and asking the Lord to save her, but she does not have an absolute assurance of her salvation. I have led her back to the scriptures many times to show her that she has done what is required for salvation, but still it is difficult for me to know if she is truly a child of God since I had such a dramatic and life-changing conversion and do not really understand how it could be any other way. So, I guess my question is: How can she be sure of her salvation when she has had no opportunity to commit any “serious” sin or experience any open
Another concern that I have is that my children at times seem to take our secure, godly home for granted and even complain sometimes about those very things that Warren & I longed for as children. They do not seem to appreciate the fact that there is absolutely no concern in our family that Warren & I will ever divorce. They have no concept of how wonderful it is to live in a home where drugs, alcoholism, violence, perversion, etc. are totally unheard of. While I praise God every day for all the blessings of our new life and the better way which He has led us in, it seems the children do not get it at all. Neither Warren, nor I, have felt it wise to go into detail about our unchristian backgrounds with the children in order to convince them of how blessed they really are. Since they have never been exposed to such things, they just don’t seem to “get it.” They see the neighbors attending public school and participating in Girls Scouts or other such activities and this all seems very appealing to them. Perhaps you have some suggestions for what we can do to help them understand just how much gratitude we owe to the Lord. Or is this something that they will only be thankful for in the future, when they are raising their own families?
Since you have received a godly heritage from your parents, I am hoping that you will have some insight for us as to exactly how God works in the hearts of the children of the Redeemed.
May God continue to bless you and your family!
I’ve said it before ~ but it bears repeating: Poor Angel!