“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
In hopes that the Lord will use me in some small way to help another Christian parent, I am writing this piece.
I am going to tell you the story of my oldest son. For the sake of his privacy, I will not use his name. It’s a sad story, but I don’t know how this story will end. The Lord certainly can do whatever He wills in my son’s life, but ultimately it will be up to him how he answers Jesus.
I was born again when my son was three years old. He loved coming to church with me and he talked about Jesus a lot. He was very artistic, even at this young age. He drew so many pictures of Jesus – Jesus on the Cross; Jesus with children, and Jesus hugging him.
I kept all of the artwork of my children from the time they could draw stick figures! I know, silly, right? But it is fun to take the huge envelopes down, now that they are grown, and look through them.
We attended a wonderful Baptist church when my son was in his early teens. He loved our pastor, who is now in heaven. I noticed that my son was reading his Bible every day. He would speak openly with me about how much he loved the Lord.
One Sunday, when the pastor explained salvation (as he always did) and asked if there was anyone who had felt the Lord drawing him/her to repent and trust Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, my son stood up and went forward. He prayed with Pastor Dana, and was so thrilled. He told the pastor that day that he wanted to be baptized. He said that he knew that Jesus wanted him to be baptized. The next week my son was baptized.
He began to buy books by the great theologians. He had quite a library of these books. He told me that he had gone through the Bible, and he intended to read through it again and again. I really had never seen a person more on fire for the Lord.
Do you remember “Meet you at the Pole?” It was a day where Christian children would gather around their school’s flagpole and pray for their school before school opened. My son did this in high school. When he got home, he told me that he was the only one there, but that it didn’t matter. I told him that Jesus was so proud of him, and so was I.
He had a favorite Sunday school teacher. She loved him dearly, and would buy him books to help him with his study of the Word. She was amazed by him as well.
When my son was 17 years old, he told me that he thought that the Lord may be calling him to preach. I assured him that I would pray that he would know clearly the Lord’s will in his life.
My son entered a secular college in our area. He is exceptionally bright and chose as his major, physics. He came home during the first week of school, and seemed so upset. He told me that he wanted to write a rebuttal to an article which was published in the school paper. The article mocked Jesus and also Christians. He wrote a rebuttal but never sent it in.
I was noticing a change in him. It wasn’t blatant, but I knew that something had changed – something was troubling him. When I would ask him if he was okay, he would say that he was fine. I knew this was not true.
He began to question the Bible. He would ask questions about the Old Testament and why God had to have people killed. I would respond to him that God is sovereign and that He has his reasons for doing everything He does. That did not seem to help in my son’s confusion.
During the rest of his college years, he stopped reading his Bible, and did not want to discuss God with me at all. After college, he got a great job in his field. It was there that he met his future wife who is an atheist.
My son moved to the other side of the country and married his girlfriend. She made it clear to me during visits that she detested anyone to talk about Jesus to her, and that she knew that He was a fable. She clearly placed the line in the sand.
One day, I received a friend request on Facebook from a young man whom I did not know. I wrote to him and asked how he knew me. He responded that he was a good friend of my son’s in the physics department during college. He told me that he had something to tell me — that it was eating at him for years.
I accepted him as a friend on Facebook. He proceeded to tell me that when my son first came to the college, everyone knew he was a very strong believer in Jesus. He told me that he watched as my son fell away from his faith, and that he felt that he contributed to this happening in my son’s life. He said that he and some other classmates teased my son unmercifully about being a Christian. He also told me that most of the professors were anti-Christian, and would make Christian students feel stupid in front of the whole class. But it was his part in this whole thing that was troubling this fellow. He asked my forgiveness.
I told him that I totally forgave him. I also told him that it was my son’s decision to walk away from the Lord, and that we knew that those in the world would persecute us harshly. This began a back and forth dialogue, in which he told me that he himself was now searching for the truth.
This friend of my son’s has not written to me for a few years, but he has remained a Facebook friend. I pray that if he looks at my page, that seeds are being sown in his heart by the Holy Spirit.
Early this year, my son, his wife and my new granddaughter came to visit us. I cannot fly because of health issues. I had learned through the years to stay away from hot topics that would set off fights. I always prayed before one of these visits, that God would help me to be a good witness for Him, but also that He would give me wisdom. It was no secret that hubby and I loved Jesus and lived for Him. We do pray over meals and my son and his wife tolerate that.
Things were going well. We were enjoying our precious granddaughter. But one evening my son came up the stairs and said this to me:
“Out of all the crazy books that you have in this house, I do believe I’ve found one that tops them all.”
It caught me off guard. I had prayed that I would be mellow and not fall into one of these pits which were so obviously set up by the devil. But I became fiery in my response to him. I basically told him that no matter how old he was, that he was under our roof, and he should not speak to us in such a rude and thoughtless manner. I was very angry.
We began to exchange words and finally my husband said “Enough!” But then, my son’s wife said that perhaps it would be better for their daughter to not be exposed to such fighting in a dysfunctional atmosphere – that just maybe they would not bring her again.
Things settled down and the rest of the visit was enjoyable. I knew in my heart that my son had started that argument, and that it was being used against me. I knew that Satan had set me up. I hoped and prayed that this event would not be used against me.
My son had not spoken of another visit, and I was beginning to be anxious about this. I finally had the courage to send him an email, asking when they would bring the baby out again. He wrote back that they had not planned on coming out because they just didn’t know how the baby would act at this age on the plane. He added that we were welcome to come out there, but that he knew that driving out there would probably be too much for us.
So, there it was. What I dreaded was coming to pass.
My younger son had fallen away after his older brother. I had always thought that he just followed suit because he looked up to him. I found something in his old bedroom that literally made me ill.
My younger son had written an essay for placement in his college journalism class. There was a note attached by his professor, raving over the essay. The essay was about his faith in Jesus as a young man, and how his older brother showed him through a book by Tolstoy “My Confession” that it was time to break away from the beliefs of his parents, and search for truth by himself.
The main reason that I wrote this piece was to expose the secular colleges as a vehicle of Satan to snatch our children away from the Lord. I understand that even Christian colleges have this problem, because many are filled with liberal minded professors. But I can’t believe that it is as bad as the secular colleges.
I do pray everyday that my sons were truly saved, and that they are prodigals, who will one day open their eyes and realize that they are in a pigpen, and are miserable. I pray that they will once again look up, and get on their knees and ask forgiveness from the Lord.
“ And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:17-20).