Welcome to Songs of Salvation! Each Sunday I will feature a Christian author sharing a "Song of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 NLT
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
Transforming From an Imitator to an Initiator
by Meg Gonzalez
I was raised in a conservative Christian home. My dad was a pastor, and took me to church for the first time five days after I was born. I was fairly sheltered growing up, and I was quite honestly fine with that. My parents were (and are) wonderful people who live by example–taking to heart the call to “decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13 ESV). And throughout my childhood, I followed their example without question.
If they said or if their actions implied something was a sin, it was a sin. Life was as simple as that.
This is how faith begins–as an imitation of our parents’. It’s why Proverbs 22:6 urges parents to “Start children off on the way they should go.” So though I’d given my life to Jesus at age five and was baptized at age seven, my faith was not yet my own. It was still my parents.
That all changed over one lunch with my mother. I was seventeen. Over a basket of chicken tenders and waffle fries, we chatted about the next year when I would move away to college. We were talking about how living on my own in the dorm when she said, “Well, I still don’t think you should have sex before you get married.”
My world rocked.
Think?! What did she mean, think? Before that moment, my parents had always said, “You cannot have sex before you are married.” I was comfortable with “cannot.” It fit into my neat little world of black and white. But my mother understood something that I did not—one day, my faith would have to be my choice.
That single sentence initiated a journey for me. Over the next months and years I pulled my Bible apart researching everything I thought I knew. Instead of just taking what my parents said or implied at face value, I turned to the Bible to learn what it had to say about intimacy, baptism, alcohol, tithing, a woman’s role in the church, and anything else I could think of. Much of what I found confirmed what I’d already learned, but some of it surprised me.
It was on that journey that my faith finally became my own. And that biblical research informs my beliefs today. It also heavily influenced my first novel, Sketchy Tacos. Through my fiction I strive to demonstrate to teens and other readers the depth of God’s love, the importance of digging deeper in Scripture to discover what what you believe, and how much Christ values you–no matter who you are or how much you feel you’re unworthy.
Having grown up around many other Christian kids, I was interested in their stories about when they transitioned from their parents’ faith to their own. And I still am! Feel free to share your story with me at meg [at] megdgonzalez [dot] com.
Now five years married and with a four-month-old daughter of my own, I’m honored with the daunting privilege of demonstrating my faith through words and actions to my child. Whether you’re still imitating a parent or mentor’s faith or you’re now the example by which others live by, remember that the ultimate example is Jesus Christ and you can find what he said and did in the greatest story ever told–the Bible.