Here’s the story of my husband’s experience with coming to faith in Jesus.  He was 7 years old and sitting on the back seat of a church, next to an elderly man.  My husband’s parents were busy serving and singing, so there Jon sat with this old man, as he listened.  It was near the end of the service when an old hymn was playing, I think it was “Just as I Am.”  Something in the lyrics or maybe something the pastor had said before the song, or perhaps something in the atmosphere struck, and struck this little boy hard.

He realized that he needed Jesus.  It was like he knew that he needed a Savior, and when the pastor asked for anyone to come, Jon went.  In fact, he ran.  He said he ran down to the front and fell on his knees and wept, as Jesus welcomed him and received him…and has now kept him for decades since.

I’m telling you this story to encourage you parents to give your kids space and time to run.  The best way to do this is by:

  • Living as an example of one that loves Jesus.  Not perfectly, but humbly and simply loving Him and loving others.

  • Attending church (virtually or at home or in person) faithfully, not out of a have-to, but because you want to be there with others – no matter how flawed you all may be – to worship Him.

  • Playing music to fill the air of your home with lyrics that speak to the soul and lift up His name.

  • Allowing quiet time to reflect, as a family, away from the madness…in the still of nature or the quiet of reading.

  • Showing them unconditional love with boundaries too, leading them and pointing them to His love.

  • Giving them plenty of hugs, affirmation, instruction, and time…demonstrating the love of their Father.

  • Asking forgiveness and offering it freely, when wrongs have been done and tears have been shed.


Some say coming to faith in Jesus as a child doesn’t stick.  But it stuck with my husband.  He remembers that Sunday morning clearly and distinctly, and if you ask him about it, he might tear up – because it was that amazing and tender and holy – when Jesus became real. 

My husband has the most amazing faith and peace of anyone I know.  And I believe it all started with the grace and the space to run.

Give that gift to your kids this season, and ask Jesus to sing and woo them to his feet, where he will kindly lift them to his lap and hold them forever.



Grace to Run
by Marcy Lytle

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