Untruths Which Can Unhinge Your Faith Series - Part 1
The conversation began hesitantly as one of the women asked, “How do you minister to a mom whose child has chosen to take his/her own life.” A collective moan arose from the circle of women as each of us wrestled with the weightiness of this topic.
The tragic death of a child is one thing, but when one’s child chooses to take his/her own life and commit suicide? Unfathomable. We quietly leaned in as she shared the mom’s sorrow. The “What ifs?” The “Whys?” We all grappled with what we’d say if we were in the same situation ministering to a mom with a shattered heart. Providentially, two untruths (lies) sifted to the surface and became the focal points of our discussion.
Lie #1 - Suicide is an unpardonable (unforgivable) sin.
This lie about "those who commit suicide are damned to hell forever" has pretty much planted itself as truth in the mind of many Bible believers. The evil one does not want us to know the truth, especially when grappling with life’s tough questions. How slimy of him to plant the lie that suicide is unforgivable.
- It empties the grieving of any hope of a glorious resurrection of the lost loved one.
- It causes us to question God and His goodness if there is no hope of seeing a loved one again because they chose to commit suicide.
- It creates a chasm between God and us in our thoughts and beliefs when we need to be leaning into Him most.
1. Truth exposes the lie.
Scripture states in Matthew 12:3, "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."
To the point, the only sin committed by humanity which will not be forgiven is to reject Christ as Lord and Savior. Henry Morris states, “The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ.”
Yes, I believe suicide breaks the heart of God just like lust and envy and pride and gluttony does. But the act of taking one’s life does not permanently separate us from Him, only rejecting Christ as Lord does.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, He stated one of my favorite, full of hope sayings, “It is finished!” John 19:30 Because of that statement, God forgives my sins and your sins if we call Him Lord even if we choose to commit suicide.
By faith, I believe Christ’s death on the cross paid for all our sins including suicide.
2. Hope replaces the lie.
Renowned pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay lost their son, Matthew, to suicide in 2013. Kay said, “Matthew’s body was buried in brokenness, but will be raised in strength.” That’s hope, my friend. That’s truth found in 1 Corinthians 15:43:
Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength.
By faith, I believe Christ rising from the dead on the third day promises a glorious resurrection for those of us who call Christ Lord, despite our sin, because of the cross.
3. Jesus defeated the lie!
I want to show you a nugget from my morning reading of Christ's death in Matthew 27:52. After Christ gave up His spirit in verse 50, look at the cool events God orchestrated to show He kicked death in the teeth:
- The veil in the temple separating man from God was torn from top to bottom.
- The earth shook and the rocks split.
- The tombs were opened.
Yes, you read that correctly! The graves were opened. You know which ones: The ones of the saints, those who believed but died. Not all of them, but just enough to show God’s power over death!
I bet those raised again were sinners just like you and me with a myriad of physical and emotional issues. I don’t know nor do I claim that one might have committed suicide. All I’m pointing out here is God’s love for all of mankind and His power over death. The day Jesus died, God raised a group of believers to live again, just like Lazarus.
Remember my post about the demon-possessed man? Jesus crossed a sea to rescue one deranged, out of his mind, senseless man. That shows the heart of our Savior. Even those whose minds are sick are precious in His sight, including those who choose to end their life with suicide.
He is the God of hope who does not change nor does He lie Hebrews 6:17-19.
The only unforgivable sin is denying Jesus as Lord. The tragic choice of suicide has not nor will it ever separate us from the love of God. Remember 1 Corinthians 15:43. That is hope you can bank on, my friend. How kind He truly is.
Next week, I’ll uncover the other lie we discussed that day, Lie #2 - God never gives you more than you can handle.
How about you? What has been your thinking on suicide and eternal life? Do you know the only one who can give your life meaning and hope? Oh, friend, Jesus loves you and longs to have a relationship with you. If you don’t know Him personally or if you have questions, we would love to talk with you. Please send us a private Facebook message or feel free to comment here.
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, deep talks, lively laughter, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.
I am so excited to be able to announce to you the launch of By Faith Kids. By Faith Kids came about because of a desire of the By Faith She girls to teach our own children. And, we decided, why not share the love with all of you! Below you will find a free downloadable, five day Bible study, for your children.
In last weeks post, we talked about a command from God in Deuteronomy 11:18-19. It says, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; …Teach them to your children.” I gave practical tips for ways that help me fulfill the first part of this commandment and I hope will helped you too.
Today, let’s talk about how we can impart God’s Word to our children. If we continue reading Deuteronomy 11, into verses 19-20, we see God giving practical advice on how to teach our children. He says, talk about His Words all the time, in every circumstance. When you sit, and when you walk along the road. I’m guessing that could be translated today “When you sit, and when you drive through the carpool line, and to various practices…” It goes on to say, “When you lie down, and when you get up. Write them on the doorframe of your houses and on your gates. So basically, find ways to fit God’s Word into all situations and conversations with your kids. Write them out and post them where you and your kids will see them, learn them, and remember them. Be intentional by word and deed to instruct your children in devotion to God!
If, as we talked about last week, you are reading God’s Word yourself, and spending time in prayer, it will make teaching your children much easier. After all, you can’t teach something you don’t know yourself. When you learn new information in your Bible study, talk to your kids about it. And with the knowledge you are saving up from studying God’s Word on your own, you will be more prepared to naturally insert God’s wisdom in various situations and conversations with your children.
MORE Practical Tips for Helping Your Child~
1. Resources -
Find resources for your child that you would like for them to use. Something age appropriate, that will adequately teach them God’s Word. My son is eleven and he loves the teen version of The Story. It is very similar to reading the Bible chronologically, but without chapters and verses. It reads like a storybook. One thing my twelve year old daughter enjoys, is reading through one book of the Bible at a time in her Journaling Bible. As she comes to verses that stick out to her or that she’d like to memorize, she gets out her colored pens and makes beautiful creations with the verse. Every child is different and learns in a variety of ways. Give your child some options on what they will use when they spend their time with The Lord.
2. Prayer -
Encourage your child to spend time in prayer as well. A prayer journal could be a helpful tool. Some children may love journaling their prayers, while others may not enjoy writing. When my daughter was very young she had some hard questions about knowing if God was real. We gave her a journal to write down prayers so she could go back and look at them every night and mark them off once God answered them. This was a huge faith builder for her because she saw proof of God’s answers right there in her journal! A journaling page is included in the Free Printable below. You are welcome to make copies of it!
3. Model It -
If your child is young or new to spending time in the Bible, start out reading them a Bible story before bed. Then model how to pray by praying out loud with them. Talk to them about how important it is to spend time with God, learning His Words to us and talking back to Him by praying. Encourage them to pray on their own when you leave the room.
4. Timing -
Help your child decide on a time to set aside to spend with the Lord. Just like us, they are much more likely to do it if they have a set time and you help them stick to it. Our goal is to send our kids to bed 30 minutes early every night so that they have time to intentionally spend with God. After those 30 minutes are up we go up to tuck them in. Many nights they tell us what they read, ask us questions, we insert knowledge we may have about what they have read…and we pray together. This obviously is harder to make happen some nights, and there have been many nights it hasn’t happened. But, we only have a short time with our children and this is SO important. Really the most important thing we could teach them in our time with them. So even if it doesn’t happen every night, it is definitely a top priority. If you haven’t been teaching your kids God’s Word and praying with them, don’t beat yourself up. It’s never too late. Start today!
By Faith She knows that the calling to be a parent, grandparent, mentor… is not always easy, and we want to help. That’s why we have created By Faith Kids. We hope to chalk it full of resources for you to use for the little ones, or maybe not so little ones, in your life.
Recently, I did a study on The Lord’s Prayer. I learned so much, and I wanted my kids to be able to begin to understand some of the same truths that I was reading about. So, I wrote a study for them on prayer. It’s divided into five days of actual Bible study, and Laura has added fun pages all throughout. Today, By Faith She is including it here as a free downloadable! Click the link below.
Please remember what we talked about above. All children learn so differently! Although this is designed to be a five-day study, one days work may be too much for your child. Don’t stress! Help them break it up into more manageable pieces. Make it work for them! Maybe like me, you have a child who doesn’t enjoy writing. Don’t make them write the answers in, but let them just think about the answers. You’ll know if they are learning when you talk about it at the end of each day. The point here is not to have perfectly completed pages. The point is to
1. teach your child God’s Word and 2. teach your child how to spend time with God!
Once they finish this Bible study, your children should be able to use the last page as a follow-up with any other Bible study. It will help them pray through their day. By Faith She plans to release more resources for kids in the future, and we pray that these resources will benefit your family as you lead them toward Jesus.
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.
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This is a topic that I am very passionate about! My husband and I served in Youth Ministry for fourteen years before he became a Campus Family Pastor. We love everything about kids and students! We love to see them grow and mature in the Lord. We love to help them discover who they are in Christ. We love walking with them through the growing pains of the adolescent years.
But, just the other day as I was scrolling through my news feed, I saw several people post pictures about students, being as they said, “future leaders." This is not the first time I have heard students being referred to as “the future of the church or the future of the school," etc. I know there is nothing but great intentions when these phrases are used, but there is a part of me that becomes so very sad.
The students we teach and minister to are far from the future of the church...they are a huge, intricate part of the church today! We have seen firsthand what impact kids and students are making in the here and now. I don’t know about you, but I want my kids and others that I am around to know that they are just as important to the Kingdom work now as they will be when they are eighty-five years old. I bet if you have ever worked with kids or students, you totally get what I am saying!
This is nothing unusual. We see so many times in Scripture where the Lord chose young people to accomplish great and mighty things! Let’s take a look:
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Our daughter has been a believer for two years now. We have watched her grow so much in her walk with the Lord. Just a couple of months ago we received a call from one of her friends who had questions about salvation. They asked if we could stop by their house, so I asked Macy if she wanted to go with me. She said, “Why wouldn’t I? She would feel more comfortable with me there!” Well, of course, she would!
I watched as my daughter walked her friend through the plan of salvation. She watched as her friend prayed to have Jesus live in her heart. Talk about a mamma's heart about to explode!
NO...she doesn’t have to wait until she is older! She has much more boldness than I could have ever dreamed of having when I was her age and sometimes even now. She loves to pray out loud. She invites her friends to church. She is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I remind her frequently not ever to lose that love and desire she has for the Lord and for people.
Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. Jeremiah 1:7
We must encourage our youth to be all that God has called them to be! They play a huge role in the church, the home, the school and wherever they are doing life. Someone becomes part of a church when they are saved and are obedient in baptism, not when they have money to tithe or can serve on a committee.
We must start taking notice and discipling our youth as they grow in their faith. We must help keep their fire for the Lord alive! I believe that if we sit back and observe, we as adults can learn quite a bit from these “present day leaders."
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!