Is it possible to know for sure if your kids are saved?
We can’t really know for sure if ANYEONE is saved, because only God knows their hearts, BUT there are signs and things to look for, according to the Bible, that can help give you a pretty good idea of whether or not your child is saved!
Here are the 3 main ways you can determine how to tell if your kids are really saved!
How to Tell if Your Kids Are Really Saved
It’s definitely hard to know for sure if ANYONE is saved and even harder to tell in kids and brand new believers. The fruit in a Christian hasn’t had time to ripen, so to speak so it can often times, look the same as an unbeliever in those very early stages. However, here are some things to look for that can help you know what to focus on in your children’s lives (whether salvation or to focus more on sanctification).
As parents, we pray for, hope for, and encourage our kids to come to God and love Him, giving their lives to Him. The Bible is pretty clear about what to look for in a saved person, so we can apply these things from the Bible and get a better idea of where our kids are at spiritually.
Keep in mind that over time, genuine salvation becomes pretty evident whether that person is saved or not. They either fall away, rebel and leave, or stay the course. A really good determining factor is if someone has been through a harsh trial and STILL continues to seek and walk with the Lord.
In a child, that will look a lot different than an adult, but there would be some sort of child-like faith there. It may not be as strong or overtly obvious, so you’ll have to look closer.
Here are some ways to tell if your kids are really saved, according to the Bible…
Look at the heart, not actions
The main thing is to look at their HEARTS and not just focus on the actions, although those can help you know too. Do they respond to sin rightly? Do they show good fruits in their lives? We will look more closely at fruits in a minute.
Likewise, we will also know by their actions when they are NOT saved. Titus 1:6 says, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.”
Now kids are obviously still learning to obey their parents, and disobedience doesn’t always mean they aren’t saved or don’t know the Lord, and a perfectly behaved child doesn’t automatically mean they are saved either, but how do they RESPOND to that sin?
How they respond to sin
One of the biggest ways to tell if ANYONE is saved, and especially kids, is if their sin bothers them? Do they get upset when they sin?
Do they come to YOU (them initiating an apology)? Are they sad when they do something bad.
The Bible says we should mourn our sin and confess it to Him.
This is tough with kids because sometimes we can mistake them feeling “bad” or “sorry” for them really just being upset they got caught. Do they go in their room and come back out upset, and ask for forgiveness? My son does this sometimes and I think it is God convicting Him, however, it’s not consistent and I’m not sure if he’s saved or not, or just elect and set apart for God, to be saved later.
That’s always a possibility too. You could have a child who is elect, but not saved YET. I think this is where my son is.
He steals candy/cookies out of my private drawer and feels no remorse for it. He only gets upset as I punish him and stealing is clearly wrong. Yet, when he’s being especially mean to me, sometimes he will come to me and apologize on his own. Sometimes, it’s just again, because he’s punished. There’s no real consistency there but the PATTERN is his remorse when he is punished, not at the actual act.
Be sure to look at patterns too, but patterns are a lot harder for kids. Kids are not really all that consistent so it’s harder to tell.
Pray and ask God to help you discern between the two and that your child would feel bad for their sin. Not just that they got caught, but even in the times when you aren’t there, that they will recognize when they sin and the Holy Spirit would convict them quickly.
Look at the “good fruits” in their lives
The Bible says we will know believers by their actions, and the “good fruit” they bear. This is the same even with kids, and a great way to look for godly actions from them is by going through the fruits of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
So let’s break these down and see what examples and questions you can ask yourselves, and how these can be displayed in our kids when it comes to wondering if they are saved.
Do they love others? Do they show a genuineness and wanting to think about others before themselves? Are they kind to their siblings? Do they show even a small part of respect to you, as they grow in the Lord? Do they like to talk about God? We often spend our time on the things we love. Do they love going to church? Doing godly activities? Do they have a love the Lord?
Do they pray, sing worship songs, do they talk to God? When they sing songs about God, are they happy and joyful? Or are they always discontent and living with them is a complete nightmare, because they are bitter, angry, and always in a bad mood, constantly seeking to bring down the moods of everyone around them (I’m thinking of my daughter here and I’m praying, this is just a stage!) 😥 We won’t always be joyful in this life, but the pattern of our lives and hearts is that we ARE happy, joyful people.
Do they try and remain peaceful with others? Or do they instigate or start trouble when playing or interacting with other kids their age? Do they constantly fight with their brothers or sisters, or worse, you, or do they live in peace, not stirring or making trouble?
This is a tough one because patience is hard for adults too! But do they respond when you ask them to wait or be patient for something? Or do they throw a temper tantrum, sulk or display a complete lack of patience at even the slightest things? Remember that if we want our kids to be patient, we must work on our own patience as well. 😊
Do they show kindness to others? When they play with friends, meet new people, are they genuinely kind? Do you see they lend a helping hand? Are they friendly with strangers (in safe settings, of course)? When we go to the grocery store, my son is super friendly with the checker and really invests in her day. It’s amazing to see his heart genuinely care! Are your kids little balls of rebellion and fire or are they kind and gentle with others. If they are little, do they take toys away from other kids for no apparent reason? If they are in middle school, do they get along with most of their peers? If they are in high school, do they help others? If someone drops something, for example, do they pick it up without being asked?
Do they enjoy helping others? Do they like to do nice things for their friends, family, or even sharing their toys with others? Do they seek out ways to be good or do good things?
Do they stay strong in their commitments or are they willing to give up quickly? This can be sports, music lessons, after-school activities, or even a new hobby. Do they stick with it? It’s not that they can’t quit something ever, it’s that they will value the things they say they will do. The Bible says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37.
Do they respond with gentleness to others? This can be easy to spot and help teach them if they have younger siblings or are playing with children younger than them. Also, do they respond with gentleness to you when you may be having a tough conversation?
Do they respond with anger in not-so-great situations? Are they able to calm down or help be calmed down, or do they try and hurt others with words or physically? One of my friend’s biggest problems is a constant wanting to attack people who hurt them. Whenever this person gets mad or upset or feels personally hurt or attacked, the first thing they do is rush out and attack back, seeking revenge. But revenge is not a godly characteristic and we must ALL learn self-control. It’s much harder for a child, but there still should be a DESIRE to control themselves. Again, remember, it comes down to the heart.
These are some good gauges to look for and ask yourself when it comes to knowing if your child is really saved or not. The fruits of the spirit are a great guideline for teaching and instructing your children, and evaluating our own lives as well on a consistent basis!!!
Like I mentioned it really is impossible to know the heart of someone and if they are saved or not, but thankfully God gives us His Word and things to look for to help reassure us or know what to work on and instill in our children. Parenting is tough, and the best thing we can do for our kids is to pray with them, pray for them, affirm them, and teach them the ways of God by living it out ourselves. 💖