Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to our guest contributor, Kitty Foth-Regner, who came to Christ later in life. She is a retired copywriter, published author and 60-hour-a-month nursing-home volunteer at the facility where her believing mother lived and died.
One of the questions I’ve heard most often over my years as a nursing-home volunteer is this: How can I help my beloved unbelieving child to at least consider Christ?
I’ve given this question a great deal of thought: What might someone have said to capture my attention for Christ, and my heart, years earlier — especially so that my mom and I could have had some time together in the Lord before she died?
Alas, I don’t have a clue. I can’t imagine anything that anyone could have said that would not have simply infuriated me.
Still, my mother got through to me in the end, because through it all, she quietly and subtly continued to witness for Jesus Christ:
- She never made a secret of her commitment to Him, or of the fact that her unwavering confidence in her heavenly destiny rested solely in Him.
- Nor did she ever hide her biblical moral standards.
- She didn’t even comment when I extolled the virtues of being a feminist workaholic and, by implication, blasted the stay-at-home motherhood that had been her life.
Instead, she simply loved me with what came awfully close to the sacrificial, selfless agape love of God (see 1 Corinthians 13).
As a result, when she died, I lost my only earthly source of unconditional and sacrificial love. Which is why it became imperative for me to search so diligently for the truth about eternity. And as God said through the prophet Jeremiah, “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
But is simply loving your prodigal always the solution?
I think so — love, together with ceaseless prayer. I know quite a few believers who came to Christ late in life, and in nearly every case it was the combination of prayer, love and heartbreak that brought them into the kingdom of God.
So if there’s a prodigal in your life, that’s my recommendation: pray without ceasing, make no secret of your beliefs, and love your prodigal into the kingdom of God.
Don’t worry if you don’t see fast results. As the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3, there’s one who plants, and another who waters, but it’s God who gives the increase – and this can all take a while! Just relax and remember that His timing is perfect.
In fact, don’t be concerned if you don’t see results in your lifetime. My mother did not, after all … but if she doesn’t yet know what impact she had on me, she will one happy day.
Dear heavenly Father, We are so grateful that You have invited us all to spend eternity with You, asking us simply to repent and trust in Jesus to have paid our sin penalty, in full, on the cross.
Now we ask You to please do whatever it takes to bring our beloved unbelievers into Your kingdom. Cause even the most intellectual of them to seek truth relentlessly, and the most emotionally driven to seek rest for their souls; in every case, You are the only answer to our deepest needs.
But You know all of this, Lord. You know the best way to reach every individual. And You love our prodigals more than we can even imagine. Help us to trust that You are already moving heaven and earth to bring each of them into Your fold. Thank You, Lord God. It’s in Jesus’ precious name that we pray. Amen.
Kitty Foth-Regner was a feminist atheist for the first half of her adult life—until her Christian mother stood on the cusp of eternity, sending her off on a personal quest for truth. Her memoir Heaven Without Her (Thomas Nelson, 2008) is an enthusiastically endorsed account of that quest.
A retired copywriter, Kitty is a 60-hour-a-month nursing-home volunteer at the facility where her mother lived and died. She recently released The Song of Sadie Sparrow (FaithHappenings, 2017)—a novel celebrating three women, representing three different generations and worldviews, who meet in a nursing home and impact each other’s lives, perhaps for all eternity.