Stephen and Geraldine* wanted to share their testimony. They wrote us the following email as an encouragement to other families who are going through, or have gone through similar circumstances:
Our family has been so richly blessed by The Lamb. We have been through the book several times with our children and have been excited to see how well they have grasped the gospel at a very early age. My wife and I have also been challenged to reconsider how well we grasped the gospel ourselves and how we can better teach it to others.
However, last year the rubber really met the road when we were faced with the tragic loss of our unborn child 19 weeks into the pregnancy. At that time our children were five, three, two and one years old.
At first I wondered how I could explain to such young children what had happened to the little baby about whom they had been so excited. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that our kids already had a great understanding of what death is and why it happens. They also understood what Heaven is and why we need a perfect Saviour in order to go there. So that night, when we sat down to tell the kids what had happened, I grabbed our well-worn copy of The Lamb. As I flipped through the pages of the book, the vivid colors and pictures brought to life in a very memorable way exactly what we needed our children and ourselves to understand.
We started with “Grandpa” Adam and “Grandma” Eve and discussed how they had begun perfectly sinless and free from death. Then we flipped to the pages about the fall of man and were glad to hear our children explain to us how our first parents had disobeyed with the result that death had come into the world.
As we thumbed from page to page, the children grabbed on to each truth as they recognized the paintings and recalled the related teaching. As we went along, we were able to remind our children how every one of us carries the sentence of death from the moment that God begins making us in our mothers. We explained again how every person is a sinner deserving of death, including babies who have yet to be born (Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5). As we showed them the familiar pictures, our children were able to give the correct answers to simple questions about how a person has to be perfect to live in Heaven with God, how only a sinless Saviour could pay the penalty for our sins and how we can live with God in his perfect home if we only TRUST him. This word trust has become such a key word for our family after studying The Lamb together. We can’t forget the illustration of trust into which we sometimes insert our children’s names as we read together. Our kids got it! They really understood clearly the gospel message.
Now I had only one passage of Scripture to add to their understanding—how a baby who can’t understand and trust the gospel could receive the same salvation we do when we trust. 2 Samuel 12 tells how King David himself had a newborn baby who died. We explained that David understood that his little baby, who was too young to understand his need for a saviour, had gone to be with God. In verse 23 (NIV), David said, “Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David knew exactly where that baby was and he knew that he would one day join him there.1
Understanding the truth didn’t erase our pain, but as we and our children experienced our grief together, my wife and I were struck with how gracious God is to welcome our little unborn son into his perfect home.
Our son’s death became for us an unexpected opportunity to share the hope of the gospel with others who were involved including nurses, doctors, family and friends. We shared copies of The Lamb with some families and explained how this book had been used by God in our family. Our lives have been forever changed by what we have learned.
We hope that many more parents will discover the great joy of teaching their children life’s most important lesson just as we have enjoyed doing with the memorable illustrations and clear teaching of The Lamb.
1Note: GoodSeed recognizes that not everyone will agree with the above understanding of 2 Samuel 12:23. However, we can all draw comfort from being assured that God is both just and loving. We can be confident that whatever he does is both right and good.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)
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