What Shall We Say About …Salvation

By Nancy Johnston


As a momma with four young children, every day, my life is wrapped up in their lives: making them meals, taking them to school, giving baths, doing laundry, helping with homework and reading bedtime stories. As hard as it is to juggle life and keep a balance as a mom, it’s also one of my greatest joys. I (Nancy Johnston) want my kids to grow to do well in life, and, more than anything, I want them to have a relationship with God, to know Jesus and walk with Him.

But how am I supposed to do that? I sometimes get overwhelmed at times just thinking about it. What do I say to my kids about “salvation”? What do I say when they ask me what it means to “be saved”? Or will they even know to ask me? Do I initiate questions about salvation with them, or am I supposed to let them ask me? How do I explain salvation in a way they will truly understand it? How do I know if they really know what they are doing when they repeat a “salvation prayer”?

Whew! As a young mom, I’ve had hundreds of questions spinning in my head about what I should/shouldn’t be doing when it comes to my children’s salvation. The last thing I want is to “mess it up” for them. In my own story, I grew up in a Christian home, prayed “the prayer” when I was five years old and, for many years, doubted my salvation. Did I really know what I was doing at the age of five? Did my prayer really mean anything?

I long for nothing more than to teach my four little kiddos what it means to have a REAL relationship with God, and – if you’re reading this blog – I bet you feel the exact same way.

Over the past year, I have searched for clarity and wisdom to all my questions. I’ve asked God to show me what to say to my children about salvation, and then He showed me and flooded my heart with peace.

As I was going through the book of Philippians, chapter 2 verses 12-13 hit me like never before:  “Therefore my beloved…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” I know I’ve read these verses many times before – but for the first time He spoke directly through His Word to me. “Work out your own salvation.” The Greek verb translated “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion.” It was a lightbulb moment for me. The prayer my parents led me to pray did mean something! It was the start of an ongoing “working out” of surrender and submission to God.

That simple prayer was the start of my journey. The start of God working in me to both “will and do” for His glory. Romans 10:9-10 says: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

I no longer needed to worry about my children’s salvation. “For it is God who works in you” (Phil. 2:12-13). I could let go of my need to control and rest my heart in that powerful truth. Instead of being fearful about doing it all wrong or worrying about whether or not they really understood, I started praying Scripture over them and asking God to work in them. And as I prayed my heart continued to change. What used to feel like a helpless act of prayer now feels like the greatest gift. It’s actually so empowering to allow the Spirit to lead them to a true understanding and growing relationship with Christ.

So what shall we say to our children about salvation?

We shall say that God is on their side, fighting for them. He loves them and is working in them both to “will” (want a relationship with Him) and to “do” (put action to their knowledge of Christ). Salvation is a gift! It’s His personal gift to them.

And what a gift it has been as a mom to let go, pray and watch the power of His Spirit at work in my children.

© 2020 Nancy Johnston, Family Disciple Me

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