MARCH 1997 – The smartest thing I ever did in my life was to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ. I remember making that decision when I was about nine years of age. I renewed it when I was about 18. The decision to follow Christ has made all the difference in my life.
Recently I celebrated my 59th birthday. As I look back, I see how good God has been to me. Not only that, but I see a glimmer of the goodness of God. I can’t understand his total love for His children because I don’t have that ability.
But I do understand a small bit of it.
I shudder to think what my life would be like had I not decided to follow Christ. I won’t go into all the details, but let me just say it would be vastly different.
Of course, the best thing I had going for me was that I was born into a home headed by a Christian mother and father. How fortunate I was! And they, when growing up, had that same advantage. I confess with the writer of Proverbs:
“For I too was a son to my father. … [H]e taught me, and he said to me, ‘Take hold of my words with all your heart …’” (Proverbs 4:3–4).
I did hold on to the words of my parents, which were a reflection of God’s words. I have never regretted it.
Several years ago, I preached a funeral sermon. At the gravesite, I was approached by a person I did not know and was asked if my grandfather was John Wildmon. When I said yes, the stranger said my grandfather was one of the finest persons he ever knew. Imagine that! A grandfather I never met made a decision years before I was born that affected my life dramatically. That’s the way life works.
My Grandfather Wildmon died before I was born. I hardly knew my Grandmother Wildmon, as she died when I was relatively young, and we hardly ever visited with her because of the distance involved.
My mother lost her mother when she was seven and her father when she was 12. My mother devoted her life to her family – children and grandchildren. I was grown before I realized why she put so much emphasis on family. It was simply because she never had one.
Our society is becoming increasingly more pagan. Children today will not be able to avoid facing that pagan society. Each one will make decisions as to what he wants to do with his life, how he will live and react to the hedonistic culture around him.
I am convinced that the finest gift parents can give to their children is to raise them in a Christian home. Every other gift comes in a distant second – not even close.
I hope your children and grandchildren have that advantage.
Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. Thirty-one of his best columns are now available in a recently published collection titled Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight and are now being published weekly on The Stand in celebration of AFA’s 40 years of ministry.
Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.