Berean Wife’s Testimony

Growing up in the church, you would think I would be quite knowledgeable about the Scriptures and the Lord. However only since having children, have I seriously learned about the Bible. You see although I grew up going to church, I was clueless about the Bible.

I never remember not believing in the Bible or Jesus.  That was always a part of my life.  I was either taken to church or went to church on my own as long as I remember.  Often in elementary school I walked several blocks to the church we attended by myself.  Times were different then and it wasn’t unusual for a first or second grader to walk late in the evening.  I also did the VBS rounds.  I visited my grandparents, both sets, and went to their VBS and even to other local VBS’s near them, sometimes up to three per little town but always Baptist.  VBS was much different then, we had a little worship service with hymns and children’s song and a Bible lesson.  Then there would be crafts, playing and snacks, but never the big production churches have now.

We moved around a good bit and I don’t really remember much specific about each church we attended.  When I was in around the seventh grade I remember the assistant pastor of the large church we attended coming to the house and sharing the gospel with my younger sister and me. He and another gentleman shared the typical gospel outline, such as the FAITH evangelism today. I remember nothing of  what they said. I knew it all.  Knew all the answers.  I had been in church for years yet the info they shared was just your basic gospel tract info.

Nevertheless, I do very clearly remember sitting there with them, my mother and sister. When the time came in the presentation to ask if I wanted to say the prayer there were a lot of thoughts running through my head.

What would they do if I said no?

What would my mother do?

Would I be in big trouble?

Do you think a person who is thinking like this is under the immediate conviction of the gospel at that time? I don’t. Although I prayed the prayer as instructed, rebellion was in my heart. Not that I was rebellious in the sense of rejecting the gospel but in the pressure applied to me to accept. I had no objection to anything that was said and believed it all.  I just disliked the feeling of being pressured in front of so many adults.  I was congratulated on being saved and shortly thereafter followed through with baptism.  (This is one reason you will never find me pressuring a child to profess faith in Christ.)  Essentially this was just pressure to have me say a prayer and add my name to the role.  Funny thing is that I don’t remember either men ever really talking to me about salvation, discipleship, or anything of that nature again.  Pretty much I was left to the Sunday School classes just like before.

As a child of divorce, I found my “family” to be my church family more so than at home. I was involved in every activity, choir, acteens, missions and teaching camp. By the time, I was in high school I was the only member of my family attending church. I was the “good girl” of the family.  No one else attended church very much.  Attending church is what good Christians do, right?

What I mean by a “good girl” is that I rarely was in trouble. Straight A’s, church attending, not “wild” and by all appearances a good Christian. Spurts of studying the Bible, trying to live like a good Christian, and serving in the church encompassed my free time. Yet I knew my heart was black as night, even though I would try to keep painting it white regularly. As long as I was not obviously sinning I was fine, right? All I had been taught was that you make a profession, get baptized and then live life right by following the commands in the Bible.

Sometime near college graduation, I seriously was broken and in despair this Christian thing didn’t seem to be working right.  My white paint was running out and I kept finding black spots.  I cannot tell you how many times I had asked Jesus into my heart, before the official profession and baptism and even afterwards. See if I sinned I needed to make sure I was saved by asking again. The only problem is that I was still convinced I needed Jesus plus my “good works.” You cannot will yourself to do well. The harder I tried to do well and not to sin, the less successful I was. My faith was in Jesus, plus my deeds. I thought I could make Jesus love me by doing what is right. Every time I failed, I would tell myself “You just don’t believe enough, if only you would believe more, you would do better.”  I felt as if Jesus loved me when I was “good” but hated me when I sinned.  Sorta like the flower petals “He loves me, He loves me not.”

When I had my first child, I learned more about love. It was actually possible to love and be loved without doing anything lovable. I loved my baby even when all I got was demands for food and diaper changes. I walked all night at times to sooth a crying baby, at times so tired I could hardly stand. I would die for this child that never gave any love back; only demanded more. That is where I learned the truth of:

Romans 5:8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ESV

Then begin my quest to be the best mother I could be and to raise my child up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson was a regular in my house by radio and book. Now I do understand some serious problems with that ministry’s theology and specifically the focus on self-esteem. However, the Bible teaching and encouragement for my marriage and family was more than I had ever gotten in all my years of attending church. Southern Baptist churches just were not seriously teaching the Bible back then.

As I have added years and children, I have also grown in my understanding of the Bible and in faith. During this time, my husband started teaching Sunday School and reading author’s such as Spurgeon. He soon found that the Southern Baptist literature was as he says “insipid.” He began writing his own Sunday School lessons and stocking the home with Bible study resources. After we got a computer, he soon got a Bible software program so we could quickly look up information and have easy access to multitudes of books. Those resources and listening to sermons on the radio, now the internet, have often been our best sources of Biblical instruction despite solid consistent church attendance.

I can’t tell you what day I knew I was saved, as if a magical switch was flipped.  I seemed to have always believed, albeit often wrongly.  At what point does our faith match up just right with the truth?  I don’t know.  I do know that my faith does not match up perfectly yet with the truth.  It will only match perfectly with the truth when I am in Heaven.

I am now a wife, mom of five, home school mom, and homemaker who still strives to do what is right.

 

Not because I have to – because I want to.

I’m undeserving of love – but am loved anyway.

I deserve Hell – but have been given a hope in Heaven.

Saved not by works – but Grace.

 

 

 

 


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10 thoughts on “Berean Wife’s Testimony

  1. “Insipid” 🙂

    We teach Sunday School, too, so we know how useless some of the SBC literature can be. We don’t use it.

    Great testimony.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Ma,

    Thank you.

    Thankfully our church now, though SBC, doesn’t use the Sunday School materials or other teaching materials from Lifeway.

    Berean Wife

  2. I love the way you’ll stand to defend Gods word.I enjoyed the topic on Divorce and remarriage and False converstions. It’s wonderful to see you’ll learn of God’s Truth by meditating on His Word rather than believing pastors in churches and depending on commentaries. Yes we are called to TEST ALL things and that means DO NOT BELIEVE everything you hear from your pulpits BLINDLY.
    We are called to live Godly lives by the power given to us by the Spirit.Sin must not have dominion over us.We are saved FROM sin and not IN sin.If we sin,we must confess that sin in order to be forgiven and be restored in our relationship with Him.(Psalm 51). God is faithful to HIS Word and His Promises not our sin and unbelief. keep up the good fight of Faith and God bless.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Rahul,

    Thank you for your kind words. It is hard to stand firm when there are so many conflicting opinions, traditions and false teachers. But we must examine God’s Word, throwing out all things contrary to His Word. But I’ve found that the more we seek the truth, the more the Lord will reveal it to us through the Holy Spirit.

    Berean Wife

  3. Dear Berean Wife,

    I too am a Christian, and may I please venture to point out some things?

    Quoting you:

    “Not because I have to – because I want to.
    I’m undeserving of love – but am loved anyway.
    I deserve Hell – but have been given a hope in Heaven.
    Saved not by works – but Grace.”

    This my dear woman, is not so. But before you react, give me an opportunity… remember to be Berean.

    Let me address a few points here. My first objection:

    “I’m undeserving of love – but am loved anyway.”

    This should read: “I am deserving of love, because he died for me”

    “I deserve Hell – but have been given a hope in Heaven.”

    This should read: “I do not deserve Hell, and therefore I have been given a hope in Heaven.”

    I can say more, much more, but that won’t do here. I also have a Website where I expound on the truth of the gospel, but I wasn’t willing to just put it out when I know that people will only disagree with me, and be unable to appreciate it, as you in probability will not agree also. But upon request I am willing to explain and point out the Scriptures and share more. That would be my privilege.

    But let me point out what the atonement was really about, if possible, by quoting something else:

    “If I have in any way violated a copyright or not given appropriate credit to an author please forgive me. It was done innocently and in ignorance. Contact me if there is a problem and I will be glad to remove or edit it as desired.”

    I turn this into an allegory. See the “copyright” as God’s Law. See the “author” as God. Now see your own words.

    This is what Jesus died for. This is why he died. For the innocent, the ignorant, and not for those who deliberately sin. Therefore by the justice of God you are forgiven.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mr. Paulson,

    I am afraid you are seriously deceived. None of us deserve Love or Heaven but thankfully the Lord had mercy on us and loved us anyway. Your website can’t be very Biblically accurate if you fear folks disagreeing with you, those that know any of the Bible would disagree.

    This is what Jesus died for. This is why he died. For the innocent, the ignorant, and not for those who deliberately sin. Therefore by the justice of God you are forgiven.

    It is sad that I read this out loud to my children and they all agreed that that was not Biblically accurate. It is a shame when others try to teach a false gospel yet even children can recognize the truth.

    No one is innocent and ignorant and we all deliberately sin. Thus your “gospel” offers no hope to anyone.

    Romans 3:23-24 (ESV)
    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
    ,

    Romans 5:6-10 (ESV)
    6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
    7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
    8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
    10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life
    .

    Christ died for the ungodly not the innocent and ignorant !!!!! It would not be Grace if we deserved it. Grace is the unmerited favor from God through the price Christ paid on Calvary.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
    9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    Justice does not grant forgiveness! Mercy and Grace are the source for forgiveness. Justice demands that one is given what they deserve. No one is just if they do not punish. God is just. He punished and laid the punishment of our sins on Christ who willingly laid down His life for us.

    Romans 9:15-18 (ESV)
    15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
    16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
    17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
    18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    God gives mercy to whomever He chooses yet that mercy is not dependent on anything man has done or will do.

    You are teaching a false gospel so do not bother to respond with your website because I will not post it to lead others astray.

    Berean Wife

  4. Hello Berean Wife. I agree with your assessment of Paulson’s comments, but in what spirit do you write to him? We don’t know him and via this medium, we really don’t undertand each other. Wouldn’t it be better to offer insight and assist him with his wrong view?

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mr. Ed,

    There was more info given than just what was left on the blog for others to see. I have read some of his material and he seriously distorts the Scripture. I could not begin to clear up his distortions in this type format nor would I want to do so publicly for the risk of letting him lead others astray. Thus I discouraged him from leaving any more info.

    Berean Wife

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