Sharing Faith with Family

By Bennett Rolan – BSF Editorial Manager

Erin Levine’s heart broke for her husband, Tony.  

Raised in a Jewish home, Tony believed in God and prayed during important events, but exploring Christianity wasn’t a priority. As a successful college football coach, he was busy. He was fulfilled. They were happy. But Erin longed for both of them to share an abiding relationship with Jesus ChristSo she prayed. 

For 10 years, Erin prayed, hoped, and waited. Then in 2012, surrounded by friends at a Christian family camp, Tony Levine publicly proclaimed his faith in Jesus.

BSF Leader Erin Levine shared the gospel with her unbelieving spouse Tony Levine, former college football coach and Houston Chick-fil-A franchise owner.

Erin’s advice to others who want to share the gospel with family is to “Just keep praying. When you keep praying for that person, God will work through that, but He will also work through you. It changes you. For me, there were a lot of times when I would get mad or upset, wondering when Tony would respond to Christ, but praying through it kept me focused and grounded.”

Tony shared, “I think the strongest witness is observing someone. The word that comes to mind is passion. The passion she had for learning and growing her relationship with the Lord was consistent over time. It was a process. Her joy just continued to grow. I wanted that joy, I wanted to know how to get it.”

God Prepares the Soil

As a professional and college football coach for 22 years, Tony’s career moved the Levine family often. In their early years of marriage, Erin’s faith was tepid. But as the Holy Spirit worked, her love of God’s Word grew, along with her commitment to Christ. 

“I always knew God had a plan for Tony, but I began to wonder, ‘When?’ ” she shared. “He was my best friend, and it was so hard that we couldn’t share that. He just didn’t get it.”

From 2003 to 2005, Tony worked as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Just outside the city, Erin found a church with a Messianic Jewish community. She was on a mission to find the people who would lead Tony to Christ.  

“I was trying to change him, but God used that time to change me,” Erin said. “I started understanding how the Jewish faith fit with Christianity. When I started learning all of that, my eyes opened, and that’s when I wanted to know the Lord more.”  

Tony smiles when he recalls those Louisville years.   

“I was at the office thinking about how not to get a punt blocked when a man showed up with a bag of Burger King and sat down to talk to me about Jesus,” Tony said. “They had the messianic meetings at our house, and I kept thinking, ‘When are these people going to get out of our basement?’ ”  

Erin remembers, “He was not sold by any means. I’m glad we can laugh about it now, but a lot of those conversations ended in arguments. Sure, he saw my faith, but he also saw me with an attitude. A lot of those days I felt like I messed it up. In the beginning, everybody wanted to save him. Nobody really wanted to get to know him.”

But God met Erin in her longing and taught her to surrender the burden of Tony’s salvation to Him.

“I felt like it was my job to save him. But when you realize that God does the saving it removes that weight,” she shared. “When you don’t have to do the saving, your faith overflows. It takes a lot of prayer. I know it’s hard. I’m not trying to make it sound easy, it’s a discipline and focus. When you realize you’re only supposed to be faithful, and you allow God to do the saving, you can let that go.” 

As the Levine family moved from Kentucky to North Carolina, then to Texas, Erin’s faith grew, and her love for God’s Word ignited. She joined a BSF class in Texas, where she served as a Children’s Leader and a Group Leader. Tony’s career continued to thrive, and in 2011 he was named the head football coach at the University of Houston. That summer, he accepted Christ.

God Plants the Seed

Along the way, God was quietly working. He honored Erin’s faith and softened Tony’s heart. God placed Christian men in his path, and Tony watched as the believers around him handled adversity with grace and fortitude. 

“The Christian coaches I saw were strong. Because of the nature of this profession, when you get fired from a job it’s very public. I watched these men lose their jobs, and I watched how they responded. When the world would tell them to be discouraged or disappointed, they weren’t. I thought, ‘What do they have that other people don’t? And how can I get it?’ ”

When Tony surrendered his life to Christ, it wasn’t the work of a single moment.

“If you have a rock, and you hit it with a hammer 100 times, it may finally break. But it wasn’t just that 100th hit that broke the rock. It was the build-up of the 99 times before it,” Tony said. “For me, it was a combination of seeing Godly men and, in my case, Godly husbands, coaches, and fathers live through faith over time.”

Tony developed a passion for Christ and the roots of his faith ran deep. The Levines were bound together, strengthened by their faith and unknowingly prepared for difficult years to come.

God Grows Our Faith

Three years after becoming the head football coach at the University of Houston, Tony’s career took a difficult turn. The university announced a coaching staff change and for the first time in 22 years, Tony was left wondering about his future. 

Taking a year away from football, the couple prayed, seeking God’s direction for their lives. During that time, they felt called to open a Chick Fil A and Tony began the interview process. Knowing it could take several years before a location in Houston became available, Tony waited and worked as an assistant coach, turning down several major coaching opportunities.

The Levines’ Chick Fil A opened in Houston in 2018. And as the family celebrated the end of one challenge, three months later, Erin was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Within a three-year period, I was fired for the first time in my coaching career, I made a decision to give up coaching, which was all I had known for 22 years, and then Erin gets cancer,” Tony said. “How do you get through something like that? I was able to trust that the Lord orchestrated all of it.”

Surrounded by familiar doctors and dear friends in Houston, Erin began her treatment. The couple prayed and proclaimed God’s faithfulness through fear and adversity. When the world told them to be discouraged or disappointed, they weren’t. The faith that Tony had questioned years earlier kept him grounded.

Today, Erin is in remission and Tony volunteers as a coach for his sons’ football teams. The couple points to those early years as the days God used to prepare them.

We Pray, We Wait, We Share

For most of us, Erin’s story is familiar. Like the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, we long to plant the seeds of the gospel in the lives of those we love. But waiting for God to prepare the soil is a true test of our faith. We hope, we pray, we share, and we wait. We can’t predict when or how the seed will take root. We are simply called to be faithful.

For Erin, faith meant trusting Jesus with the salvation of the person she loved most.

“I focused on my relationship with Christ,” said Erin. “When I discovered that God was enough to meet my needs, that He would fulfill that longing through His Word, it took the pressure off trying to save Tony. I didn’t have to be perfect or have the perfect family. Jesus was, and is, enough.”

 

Are you looking to share the gospel with your family? Invite them to try BSF with you for 4 weeks! https://www.bsfinternational.org/trybsf/ 

Bennett Rolan

Editorial Manager

Bennett Rolan joined the BSF staff in 2017 after working for several Christian ministries and non-profits. She loves to combine her passion for God’s Word and her journalism background to share stories of God’s Work in and through BSF. As a wife to a busy college football coach and a mom to four young children, BSF studies keep her relationship with the Lord grounded and focused. She loves to learn from fellow believers as God faithfully grows her each day.

 

Submit a Comment

Our BSF staff approves each comment to maintain privacy and security. It may take 24 – 48 hours for your comment to be posted. Be sure to check back for replies from the author or other BSF members!

152 Comments

  1. I needed to hear this story – very much. As a christian of over 40 years (I’m 70 now) I’e seen my family, friends and each person I interact with as my mission field. But after talking to people about Christ whenever they allow it, and praying for so many, so often I still often wonder if my faults mean God won’t give me the privilege of seeing many come to Jesus for forgiveness and healing.
    Satan’s temptations often bombard me at those times – (e.g God is ABLE, but does He really care for the lost as the scripture say He does?).
    I know I’ve been over zealous in the past and have learned from that. My wife and I hold weekly prayer group/bible studies in our home and are blessed with great christian friends and ministers at our local church. I’m not cowardly about sharing the gospel and I’ve been diligent to present it as a beautiful thing. But I sometimes cry at the lack of response from the affluent people around me (including my 3 lovely, law abiding, hard working children who are aged from 35 to 40 now BUT not christian).
    Thank you for reminding me what I know already but seem to forget the importance of. I must keep praying even as my impatience leaves me pained to see results

    Reply
  2. To God be the glory! Great things He has done!
    Thank you for sharing some of those great things in the Levine’s story.
    It is very inspiring & motivating.
    I’ve been in BSF since Jan.1975. ‘Was a Teaching Leader for 20 years.
    And now, at almost 83 years old I’m planning on continuing to serve as a School Program Leader.
    Many of my loved ones are still not saved; but I am trusting God for whom nothing is impossible.

    Reply
  3. Wonderful encouragement. I have been praying for the same thing and God has taken the burden from me just like Erin. My husband thinks he knows the Lord, just like I thought I knew Him for so many years. When my eyes finally opened I was transformed by His grace and no longer struggle about his salvation. I see some changes ever so slightly, but changes they are! To God be the glory for all that He has done and all He is going to do. Amen

    Reply
  4. How encouraging to read Levines’ story. I have prayed for years for my loved ones and am truly grateful to know that Its Gods work to save.

    Reply
  5. Wow what a story thank you Levines for sharing your wonderful story

    Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing such an encouraging testimony. Am very encouraged to know that God’s timing is the best, mine is to keep interceding for one.

    Reply
  7. This is very ecouraging as I pray for my family memebers

    Reply
  8. Erin and Tony’s testimony was truly a blessing. I recently wondered if I should try to share the gospel with some of my family members again or to just continue praying for them. Praise God for giving me the answer via this testimony because at the appointed time, He will give the increase. To GOD be the glory.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the encouragement! Still waiting and praying….

      Reply
  9. Thank you for your encouraging testimony. I have been sharing the gospel with a man I care for who has MS. Basically, I make his lunch and serve as a companion. We have been meeting twice a week for three years now and have talked about everything including the gospel. I can relate to your struggles and impatience while sharing with your husband. Your testimony has reminded me to pray, pray pray and leave the results to God.

    Reply
  10. This story is so encouraging, i have been praying for my elder brother who grew up with me in a Christian home but due to unfulfilled expectations, he turned to alcohol and seems to have been going down spiritually. At times i really get discouraged but ive learned from this story to persevere in faith and keep praying for him.

    Reply
  11. When I saw the title of this article i could barely WAIT to read! Thank you for the encouraging words.
    I feel like this subject touches lots of hearts, mine included.

    Reply
  12. Thank you for your story. It was very encouraging. I’ve been praying for my youngest aunt who has been a Buddhist all her life. But I keep praying for her and for her daughters to come to know the Lord. She is 60 years old. I’m trusting that God will bring her to himself.

    Reply
  13. This story was really a blessing in my life today and gave me hope at a time when I realize I need to continue praying fervently for family members and loved ones for their salvation, but I need to remember that God does it in his own time. He is faithful and loving and compassionate and does not want our loved ones to perish. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  14. Thank you for this inspiring story! I have been praying for my son Adam since he was 15 to be saved and have victory (thru Christ) over drug addiction, it’s been a long heartbreaking journey. He excepted Christ and was babtized at Teen Challenge (a Christian treatment program). He does well for awhile then goes back to using. I helped him get to Arizona’s Teen Challenge about 10 years ago and he did well and then fell back. I have been on my knees and cried myself to sleep many times. Sometimes I just want to give up but I can’t. He’s my only son and I love him to my core. He is now 39. I am encouraged but to be honest I’m guarded. I have been let down more times than I can count. As a Christian mom, I cannot stop believing God has a plan and a purpose for him. Please pray for Adam, I would be so very thankful.

    Reply
  15. Loved the Levines’ story!! I too prayed for my husband for years and he now is a big part of our church and we pray together. He still is not sure why I pray for our daughter & family’s salvation, but one day God will turn their hearts to Him and we will be the family God planned. Our son stopped going to church when he married at 30 but when his wife of 7 years left him, he was devastated, turned to Christian counseling and one day fell on his knees to confess his sins and Jesus as his Savior. Several years later he met a beautiful Christian woman raised in the faith whom he married 2 years later and they now have 3 beautiful children all with Biblical names! God is good! Forgot to mention I have been in BSF for 14 years and our son, his wife and her family are BSF devotees too!

    Reply
  16. Love how Father God is always working out his perfect timing. He hears and responds to each prayer. Praise & thanks to our Lord for this beautiful testimony.

    Reply
  17. WOW!! What a powerful testimony of a godly wife consistently displaying a “gentle & quiet spirit” from 1 Peter 3:1-6. I love this & I too Bennett, am forever grateful for the plethora of things I have learned from others.

    Reply
    • Yes. And yet Erin was open to us about impatience and irritation that she often displayed (as do we all) but still overwhelmingly a woman of grace and perseverance. Like Job and countless others, pronounced blameless in God’s sight – but by no means perfect.
      So we’re reminded grace overcomes, regardless of our own faults, failings and weaknesses.
      I must remember that when Satan clobbers me frequently with reminders of my messings up

      Reply
  18. Praise the Lord. I am encouraged to see how God responds to our prayers.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for this story of Erin and her coach husband. I’ve been married for 50 years. Still waiting for God to save my husband. I was so encouraged by Erins story.
    My sister is so sad because her son is gay and has pushed her away. She’s trusting God for his salvation.

    Reply
  20. What an encouraging testimony. Thank you.

    Reply
  21. Thank you for this sharing. I too have a burden for my 3 brothers who are pre-believers. I’ve shared my testimonies, the gospel and invited them to my church evangelistic events but their hearts are still not ready to accept Christ. I do feel disappointed at times but God continually reminds me through His word and now Erin’s sharing that salvation is not my work so I shall not boast. It is the gift from the Lord and at this timing. I shall not give up in sowing into their lives, to make time for them, pray for them and to be a good testimony for God. And also to be opened to allow God to change me in the process.

    Reply
  22. It is a very encouraging story! I have the same longings for my husband and two sons. However, God is taking time to prepare the soil, and I just need to stay faithful to Him.

    Reply
  23. Beautiful story with loads of
    background on the family as God worked on and through the hearts of the family members to bring the family members to Christ.
    Thanks for sharing,God does the saving, we just pray and believe.
    We have to sow good seeds.

    Reply
  24. God’s answers are usually Yes, No, or Wait. He changes our goals as we pray for His work. When our will aligns with His will we see His had at work. Waiting can be hard but also exciting, full of expectation, and joyful, knowing that God is at work for our good and His glory. Praise Him for His perfect timing!

    Reply
  25. God says His ways are not our ways neighter His thoughts our thoughts. The waiting period is the most difficult as that is time He prepares us for what lies ahead. But in the end He makes all things beautiful to His Glory. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  26. My total dependence on God will make me live by faith and trust God in all areas of my life and also enable me have the eye to see from far and wide and share the treasures of the truth with confidence.
    The end result is always victory to the Glory of God, Amen.

    Reply
  27. I met a wonderful man. He was Catholic and I was going to a Baptist church. I accepted Christ when I was 30. I invited him to a Christmas play. He was crying and totally amazed as he watched the performance. Then he started to go to church with me. He enjoyed all of it. Then he went to a Tres Dias retreat.

    He accepted Christ on that retreat. We got married. I had 10 years with him. He died at the age of 52.

    Reply
  28. My story is so very similar. From the time I was a little girl I believed there was a God and believed in Jesus and knew He died for me and rose from the dead. I didn’t however understand who the Holy Spirit was nor did I know or understand His love and grace. When through attending BSF and beginning to study God’s Word for the first time I began to understand more I became passionate about my husband coming to faith. I became, as I called myself, the “resident holy spirit”. This I would not recommend. As with Erin’s story, most of my conversations about faith with my husband ended in an argument and me going away discouraged. It was when God’s Word began to work in my heart and I realized how much the Lord wanted to do in my life that I let go. Over the next 9 years I too prayed and concentrated on my Bible study and what the Lord was teaching me about myself and the changes I needed to make. It was then that my husband started to take notice. He saw those changes and the joy that I was beginning to have and it drew him. The Lord also orchestrated conversations with several men he highly respected who had or were attending BSF. Through those very positive conversations and the many prayers of family and friends, my husband decided to check BSF out. A couple years later he realized he believed Jesus was God’s Son and that He had died for him. He was then baptized and also became a leader in BSF. He remains a leader to this day–15 years later!! Praise God!! I need to add that at 4 our daughter, who had asked Jesus into her heart, started praying that her daddy would come to know Jesus. Every night for 9 years we would pray this. I know God became so personal to her through this prayer process and trusting Jesus. She had decided in her heart she would wait until her daddy accepted Jesus to get baptized. Then they could do it together. . . and they did!!

    Reply
    • Lori- this is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. God is so faithful!

      Reply
  29. A very encouraging article. Matthew 7:7-8 (continue to “ask, seek, knock”). Thank you.

    Reply
  30. This blog was very encouraging to me! I have been praying diligently for my loved one for 10 years I know that God will one day save her but as the time of Christ return draws near I have been anxious about her salvation. Your blog encouraged me to keep on keeping on…..Gods timing!

    Reply
  31. This article so encouraged me because I have been praying for family members for quite a long time now. So much tragedy has happened in our family and they are all not speaking to one another. It makes it so difficult when I see them separately. Please pray for the Lord to bring His saving grace and mercy to each of them and the forgiveness that is needed to reconcile with one another. I will continue to keep praying and trusting the Lord to save them.

    Reply
  32. I very much enjoyed reading about the Levines. Thank you.

    Reply
  33. When I was saved I had this burning desire to witness to the Jewish people. They are not an easy group to work with but God is faithful and much pray helps. Right now I an other Jewish believer are sharing the scriptures with an older Jewish woman on zoom.Enlist your prayers that she would accept Jesus or Yeshua as her Messiah! To God be the Glory!

    Reply
    • Nancy, praying with you! So thankful for your heart to share

      Reply
  34. sharing makes a big difference for others and encourages them

    Reply
  35. This past summer my Dad of 83 years old accepted Jesus, he had to be in the hospital thinking this was it for him that he would no longer live. My family have been praying for Dad for years, so when he was in the hospital bed my cousin told me over the phone you need to share the gospel with him before its to late, I have accepted that it would take someone else to introduce him to Jesus, so the the Holy Spirit led me to share about the thief on the cross who ask Jesus to remember him in paradise, my Dad fell asleep as i was talking to him about the thief and Jesus telling him he would be their with him. We dont know how much people listen when we think they are not listening, the next morning my mom went to visit her husband who ask his wife to help lead him to ask Jesus into his heart. Today my Dad is doing well and getting to know His new friend and savior.

    Reply
    • Michael, thank you so much for sharing this! “We don’t know how much people listen when we think they are not listening …” – This is so encouraging!

      Reply
  36. I too have had trouble trying to plant the seeds of The Gospel & Jesus with my Extended Family members. I pray for them everyday & try to model my Christianity to them. I don’t see a change in them but I will keep Praying for them.
    Mary

    Reply
  37. The comment…”everyone wanted to save him . No one wanted to get to know him” really hit me. Caring about a person enough to get to know him speaks volumes, it involves listening and time and compassion and is key even in family relationships.

    Reply
    • Yes, I agree. Get to know the person, then we’re able to hear and see God’s leading. Thank you.

      Reply
  38. Praying for all of my friends…for increased true faith, trust and hope in our God who promises to never leave nor forsake us. What He promises, He follows through on! May we all be in the Word and prayer everyday, that we’d grow closer and closer to Him. Amen!

    Reply
  39. Thank you for sharing your testimony Erin. I am encouraged to continue waiting on God for the salvation of my entire family. I love the reminder that it is God who saves, not me and that it is not about me being perfect or having a perfect family, it is Jesus! Praying for your total healing. God bless

    Reply
  40. I too have several relatives that I have been praying for to receive salvation.Like Erin I too get frustrated and to be honest I sometimes get upset. Last week’s lesson in BSF reminded me that God expects me to keep praying for my relatives and their salvation no matter how frustrated I get. This article reminds me that God is in control.

    Reply
  41. Loved this beautiful story about faith! Faith in the waiting snd letting God deal with our loved ones’ salvation! His good and perfect timing!

    Reply
    • AMEN 🙏! I will keep Praying for my Family’s Salvation & wait patiently for God to do it!

      Reply
  42. The story of the Levine family is very encouraging as I wait for my husband of 62 years !!! to say “I believe”. He is now 89 years old and says he cannot believe in things he cannot see. Please pray that he will open his eyes and see the “light” and be saved before he departs this wonderful world. I realize that God is the one who saves and I definitely cannot perform such a miracle! His health is declining since having been diagnosed with a rather rare palsy and he has great difficulty walking and maintaining his balance. As each new year arrives, I continue to be saddened that we have missed out on the spiritual side of our marriage. In the meantime, I am patiently waiting and hoping….Being in BSF since it was started years ago has been such a great blessing and support system for me. GRATEFUL beyond words…

    Reply
    • God in own time will save him. Let’s trust him. It is God who saves

      Reply
    • Joanne, I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. I have been married 34 years and you have been married twice as long. When you mentioned not having the spiritual relationship together with the Lord, that resignated with me. How much I longed for that. The Lord knows our hearts and our sorrow. He loves them even more fully than we can.
      I will hope and pray with you.

      Reply
  43. What a story in how the Lord works in our lives. We just have to give it to Him and let Him work through other people. I enjoyed you sharing how God works in our lives.

    Reply
  44. I had to learn what Erin learned! I had to give up my idea of who I was and what Gods plan for me was! I knew God and was a faithful church attends and even taught SS but I kept God in a department or protected space in my heart and life. At the pinnacle of a successful career in business my husband declared he wanted a divorce.
    My parents were divorced when there was still a stigma and shame in it! I-there is the operative word -vowed never to divorce! I was so proud of 11successful years! I was Mrs Ric. I was friends with all of his friends. I loved his parents -they were mine too!
    He moved out and in the course of 2 years of calling out to God, wise counsel prayers with another spiritual mother I came to know that I am a child of the King first and foremost! I am beloved and cherished by Him! This was greater live and I could live securely with His live alone.
    I relinquished my demands on my husband and my marriage! Whatever happened I knew I would be alright.
    God caused him to change his mind and pick me over his new fiancé.
    It was really difficult for 3 years! Really awful until God brought my husband to a place of surrender and peace! He said -you were so happy without me? How Why?
    We had a new relationship! We worshipped and served God together!
    God grew us both and made our soul soft and productive!

    Reply
    • Carol, this redemptive story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing! God is so good, His ways our not our ways but He is always faithful

      Reply
    • What a Beautiful Testimony, Carol! Thanks So Much!

      Reply
    • Praise be to God for this amazing testimony of a restored marriage. I eagerly await mine but while am waiting, Rejoicing on how sweet and faithful God is to me.

      Reply
  45. I’m very interested in the connection to the Messianic congregation that Erin had. I too am connected to a Messianic community, and would love to hear from her how she sees the Torah play out in her faith walk. Does Erin advocate keeping the Holy Days commanded in Leviticus 23? Does she advocate keeping The Sabbath, on the 7th day of the week (Saturday) like the Hebrew scripture command? I would love to hear how she intertwines some of the differences between the Hebrew roots of our faith, and the typical western Christian faith walk.
    Shalom in Yeshua

    Reply
  46. Praise the Lord, God be all the Glory and Honor. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  47. Great story about Erin and Tony Levine. Still praying for my husband!

    Reply
  48. Thanks so much for a very encouraging story. Great job Bennett.

    Reply
  49. Praise God for this story.
    I am encouraged to let God handle what I have been failing at all this while.
    Timing is everything.

    Reply
  50. Praise the Lord! God works wonders in His people. This is so encouraging, praying without ceasing.

    Reply
  51. I’m like many the story came just in time for me to make my day in the Holy Spirit.
    God knows what he is time…..he’s a right on time God!!!!

    Reply
  52. This was just what I needed! Being in BSF, doing the study questions this morning before work, I had some frustration, wondering if I wasn’t seeing or hearing what God wanted me to see.
    Praying for my son to turn to God and welcome Him into his life, when will it ever happen? Erin’s story helped so much with that.
    I know that God is there for me and for my family. We all are a work in progress.
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Judy, so thankful! Praying for your son also. God is so faithful!

      Reply
  53. I love, love, love this! What an encouragement for those of us who have been praying for loved family members for years…and are still waiting for God’s work and answer. Lord, I will be faithful as I wait. Amen

    Reply
  54. Praise the Lord. I am going thru an issue with my Brother. Your message let me no of hope and God is in control. Faith, prayer and love from me, God will handle the rest in his own time/way.

    Reply
  55. This blog was so encouraging to me. I have been praying for my husband for years. So many of the things Erin talked about such as moving from thinking it was her job to “save” her husband; attitudes and then releasing all of that to the Lord, I have experienced too.
    What truly brought tears to my eyes was the statement, “faith meant trusting Jesus with the salvation of the person she loved the most.” I must always remember that God loves our loved ones more than even we do and is working for our good and His purpose.
    Thank you for sharing Erin’s story.

    Reply
  56. This is very encouraging .Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  57. What a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness. When we truly surrender God transforms us in the waiting.

    Reply
    • Yadira, I love this – “God transforms us in the waiting” – He is so faithful to grow His people!

      Reply
  58. Thank you for sharing your experience reaching out to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I followed a path of self reliance for many years where I only sought our Lord on Sunday morning. I am so appreciative of how BSF has opened my eyes to the wonderful love God gives us. Of how He is the Sustainer of all of life, and how He is my past, present, and future. I am still His work in progress. Praise be to our Lord !

    Reply
  59. Thank you Bennett for your encouragement in my journey to trust Jesus in preparing my son’s soil in his heart who is already really struggling with eating disorder, depression for over twenty years and is refusing treatment, God is not letting him go. Last month he had a nightmare about hell. I am finally ready to surrender him completely in the care of Jesus.

    Reply
  60. What a great testimony! Thank you, Bennet, for sharing.

    I can relate to Erin as I’ve been praying for my husband’s salvation over many years. I realize, however, that I may be doing more wishing than praying.

    It’s a great encouragement to be reminded that it is God who prepares the soil, and mine is to be faithful in sowing, including living out my faith. And praying.

    May Erin’s health be fully restored.

    Reply
  61. Thank you for this blog. Really encouraged my heart as I continue to pray for my husband to come into relationship with Jesus.
    God bless you.

    Reply
  62. Thank you for sharing this story. I have the same situation. I am Christian and my husband is Jewish. Praying for my family: husband and 3 grown children every day.

    Reply
  63. Such a revelation and eye opening testimony. I need to do my bit i.e. pray and let God work on the hearts of my loved ones and those am praying for, He is mighty to save.

    Father I pray for complete healing and restoration of Erin and peace and courage to Tony, the children and entire family as the put their hope and trust in the Lord our healer.

    Reply
  64. A well-written, inspirational story for those of us who are still praying for family members.

    Reply
  65. Erin’s story encourages me to keep on praying for my family’s salvation. Nothing is impossible with God.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the article and comments. They are so
      encouraging and helpful.
      I have been praying for my sins salvation for several years.

      Reply
  66. I don’t know why I received this today…but I desperately needed it. Thank you, Jesus….

    Reply
    • Lila, praying for you!

      Reply
  67. I loved that story! It gives me so much hope for my son. I will keep praying & asking the Lord what I am to do & say. I know it’s all in His Hands & in His Time. I just want to make sure I’m listening & being obedient when He calls me.
    Thank you for writing this, Bennett & thank you to the Levine’s for allowing you to tell their story.

    Reply
  68. Thank for sharing this story. I have been praying for members of my family who have not received salvation and i was beginning to give up. I am encouraged to continue praying!

    Reply
  69. This was a heart warming story, well worth the read. Thanks for sharing. Praying for Erin’s complete recovery.

    Reply
  70. Yes! Wait for the Lord! Be strong and wait.

    Reply
  71. I loved this story because I have one of my own. I have been on BSF for over 30 years. I love it and love being a group leader!! I have prayed for my sister for over 30 years. She finally agreed to try BSF, loves it, is realizing God’s truths, memorizing scripture and inviting others to BSF. Waiting for her to trust Christ as her savior. His timing is perfect. Don’t give up praying. God is faithful & wishes that none should perish.

    Reply
    • Thank God that salvation belongs to God. Was encouraged to know that it is God who orchestrates in the affairs of our lives! My loved ones will all come to the full knowledge of Christ as I pray, wait and share Gods word with them.

      Reply
    • Maria, thank you for sharing! This is so encouraging for those of us who are still praying and waiting.

      Reply
  72. Hello- I want to thank you for the story about Erin and Tony Levine. It was a blessing to me and further confirmation from the Lord. I have been married to an unbeliever for 29 years. I made many mistakes in the early years, preaching to and nagging him rather than entrusting his salvation to the Lord. In hindsight, I would do things very differently. I have been prayerful and quiet for over 15 years now… still waiting and hoping. My desire is to love and accept my husband for the wonderful man and GIFT that he is and trust God with the rest. As with Erin, the Lord is using this time to humble me, grow my faith and develop my trust in HIS faithfulness. He loves my husband far more than I do! Thank you for writing this encouraging testimony.

    Reply
    • “He loves my husband far more that I do!” – Thank you for sharing this Amy!

      Reply
  73. My husband and I raised four children. Our third child (second son) was baptized at church camp when he was 12 years old. Almost immediately, Satan pursued him and he became depressed and ran Dara away from God. We prayed and waited and prayed some more. When he lost his wife and children and tried to take his own life, He finally was able to hear Gods voice As his mom, I was there to see him go from death to life in a very dramatic way (after almost giving up hope that I would be alive to see his new birth). He was 38 years old when he “woke up” to a new life in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God! He is faithful

    Reply
  74. I’ve been married 53 years. I became a Christian after 12 years of marriage. I’m still waiting and praying for my husband lo these many years. After 30 some years I was discouraged and formed a group to pray for unsaved husbands. When we grow weary someone else needs to come along side. I’m still praying…..

    Reply
    • Eliz, that’s an amazing idea! So helpful to know we aren’t alone – 1 Peter 5:9

      Reply
  75. This wonderful testimony is applicable to me for I feel I cannot convert them to Christianity. I became a Christian late in life so my family now views me as a hypocrite. I pray for them every day but now I will direct my prayer that God will be in charge. Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Reply
  76. Thank you for this blog! I am so encouraged to just keep on praying for my grandchildren and leave it up to Him in His time.

    Reply
  77. Thank you for sharing Erin’s and Tony’s story. It is my story to a point. l am still waiting for my husband to make that choice to receive Jesus as saviour of his life. My prayer for years was ‘God change him’, but like Erin, God showed me that I needed to change – my focus, my attitude, etc. It certainly isn’t easy – it takes discipline and focus. I have learned that God moves in His way and His time. I have come to accept that God is in control. I now pray and wait with patience, and have learned to love my husband unconditionally. Praise God for His unconditional love and mercy.

    Reply
  78. This is so very encouraging for us that have unsaved loved ones. The statement I loved the most was “I think the strongest witness is observing someone.” That was true for me & how I became a believer…no one preached, but they prayed for me & I observed that they had something that I didn’t have & I desperately wanted. That was in 1993. The other statement that struck me was “Her joy just continued to grow.” I lack this joy & pray that God will increase this gift in my life so that I can be a strong witness like Erin was for her husband. God is faithful & hears our prayers. I am eternally grateful.

    Reply
  79. Thank you for this article! Part of our family is falling away from their Christian roots and showing an interest in the Jewish religion which concerns me greatly! I have been praying for them! Will continue in that manner for them.

    Reply
    • Do not worry, Mom. Jewish religion is brought me to Christ. New Testament is based on Old Testament. The best way is read Bible with them right from the beginning. Then ask questions.

      Reply
      • Marina, thank you for sharing! This is so encouraging

        Reply
  80. God is so good! I became a Christian in college and shared my faith with all of my family, some of whom rejected Christ and me on many levels. I shared my faith with my sister who responded with enthusiasm but when troubles hit, she stopped seeking God. Years went by and I continued to pray for her and many of my family members. Two years ago, I was enduring some unfamiliar struggles which had damaged my faith, and guess who invited me to BSF – my sister did! She had been attending for quite awhile and had fallen in love with Gods word! My first year of BSF I was asked to be a group leader and then my husband began BSF – he is still going strong! One year later, my sister was asked to be a group leader. We began praying together for our family – now, our niece is in BSF and we are seeing hers and our lives being transformed by the word of God together. Also, one of our nephews’ wives is also now a faithful BSF-er who as a baby Christian is growing leaps and bounds and impacting her husband, our nephew! Together, these three women and I are praying for the mustard plant to continue to grow throughout our family! All those years God was working in all of our hearts! The seeds were planted, the roots were growing and now God is multiplying us! All glory and honor to God!

    Reply
    • Becky, this is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing! God can use a single seed to sow faith for generations. Praying for your nephew and family!

      Reply
    • Thank you!!

      Reply
  81. It’s encouraging to read about the salvation of another person. I’m still praying for one of my family members and now I don’t pray. Just left to God to work out. Bit now realise persistent pray is needed.

    Reply
  82. Thank you for posting. My history with my unsaved husband was similar to Erin’s. I had to learn the lessons that she did. It’s a good reminder to continue our work of prayer and let the Lord prepare the soil of the unbeliever’s heart to receive the seed of God’s Word. This is His work. He alone can change a heart. He alone deserves the credit!

    Reply
  83. I am inspired to plant the seed as d let Almighty GOD PROVIDE THE NOURISH
    MENT FOR IT TO GROW

    Reply
  84. This is a very beautiful and encouraging story. I especially appreciate the comment about ‘waiting on God to prepare the soil’. That’s a new thought. But evidence of our loving Father working in hearts when there appears to be no evidence of His action. How encouraging and a great reminder to continue to remain faithful in prayer.

    Reply
  85. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a great reminder and encouragement, that if we remain faithful in praying, continue to show the love of Jesus to our loved ones, and trust God to till the soil of their hearts, there is still hope for their salvation.

    Reply
  86. Thank you so much for this encouraging article. I am waiting, hoping, and praying for the salvation of three of my adult children. This article was a wonderful reminder that God is responsible for my children’s salvation. I am responsible for sharing the Gospel with them and living a life of authentic faith in front of them.

    Reply
  87. Praise the Lord! I’m so glad I took the time to read this blog. My heart is encouraged to continue praying for my husband and God’s perfect timing for his salvation. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  88. I pray my son and his wife to find Christ and the hope, peace and joy He provides. They live in Cincinnati, and we live in Michigan, where I am a Group leader. She gave birth to our first grandchild last year.

    Reply
  89. This was very encouraging! We have been praying for my mother and father ‘n law for several years now. It is very frustrating when they reject everything we share with them about Jesus, but knowing that we can’t save them, and only God can, we continue to pray. My almost 20 year old son has decided he does not believe in Jesus anymore, and we are praying for him, too. He said the “sinner’s prayer” at a VBS when he was 5 years old, went to BSF for several years, and was raised in a Christian home, hearing God’s Word daily, but we never saw any fruit that shows he is a child of God. I pray that God will surround him with believers, and He has answered that prayer! My son complains about all the Christians around him! Seems like every boss he has is a Christian! He may be complaining about it now, but I pray that someday he will praise God for not giving up on him!

    Reply
  90. During covid a great sister in Christ turned me on to BSF a men’s virtual group… It has lead to a deeper level of relationship with these me and best of all the Love of Christ Word… I can’t get enough… Thanks

    Reply
  91. I married my husband knowing he wasn’t truly a believer. He had been raised in church until he was 14, then his whole family stopped going. I will never forget a stranger in a Christian bookstore telling me if he was not a Christian, then I shouldn’t marry him. I married him despite the doubts I had. We have now been married for 40 years. He is still not a professing believer, but I do see a softening in him. 2 of our 3 children have a strong faith, and have an influence on him, as well as on our 3rd child who is not saved. Thanks for encouraging me to keep praying. It can be very discouraging after so many years.

    Reply
    • Beautiful story of God’s redemption. Erin and Tony’s story about “God preparing the soil” is so insightful. Our prayers need to include that, plus praying for God to bring others to show the difference between a spirit controlled life vs a different one is to be part of our prayers for the lost.

      Reply
  92. This blog was so meaningful to me as I have unsaved family, I’m ashamed to say I have felt impatient and upset with them and myself! I will continue to pray and study God’s word and leave the saving to him!

    Reply
    • What an inspiring message to start a new year.
      Yes, God has already prepared the soil for us and every grower would know that the hardest job in planting fruit trees is the preparation of the ground. So, as Christians it is our responsibility to do the easy part of sowing and watering.
      If we fulfill our responsibilities, the smallest mustard seeds can germinate into big trees.

      Reply
      • Leon, thank you for sharing!

        Reply
  93. What a story, It goes to show that God in in control of all, I feel the disappointment she must have felt over the years,We want so much and we want it in our time, but God will do it in his time, we can’t accept that, we our in in our own little world and wanting all now, I feel that is a lot of the problems in the world today, So many feel that they are entitled to all right now, I am a 76 year fellow and what I have seen in my life time and what I see now is so different then when I grew up and lived the greatest part of my life, It is hard for me to deal with, But with BSF teaching the way they are and teaching little one I feel that this will be a great benefit to them through there life, I know this got off her story but just wanted to express how I felt, May God Bless you and your family. God will see us through.

    Reply
  94. This article was an encouragement to me. I asked my husband if he has confessed his sins to Jesus, and is trusting in Him for his salvation, and he said Yes. I know he prays and believes in Jesus, but Im often saddened and frustrated by what I see, or do not see in his life.
    It is very hard to let go and give God the reigns. I have to guard my heart and watch my attitude. Over the years of our marriage, when I would take our 3 children to church, and feel angry about him not coming or showing any interest at all, the Lord would talk to me gently about taking the log out of my own eye. So hard, but so good. His Word sustains me as I wait, and give grace.
    Thank you for sharing. It is helpful to know it is not my job to change him. Its the Lords, and nothing is impossible with God. Oh, praise Him.

    Reply
    • Julie,
      I lived many years as a woman married to a man who sounds a lot like your husband. It’s hard to communicate clearly the pain and loneliness I felt when I would go to church alone or face spiritual decisions he didn’t agree with. Although my faith was very strong, there was often confusion and fear. Without going into a long narrative, I will just say, God intervened powerfully and showed himself faithful to fulfill my longing, though many years and tears passed! Just know you are an unsung hero, a warrior in the faith, a gentle, quiet spirit and you are of great worth to God! I will be praying for you, your husband and your kids going forward.
      In Christ!

      Reply
  95. My daughter married a Jewish man whom I adore! She was raised in a Christian home! They have 2 beautiful daughters who have been exposed to both religions! This story has helped to lift a weight off my shoulders! Erin reminded me that God does the saving! My part is to be faithful and allow God to do the saving!!! I can let go. I can hope, pray,share, and wait on God’s timing! I need but trust in Jesus for my daughter, my son-in-law, and granddaughters salvation!!! Please pray with me!

    Reply
  96. Quite encouraging story.
    It’s true that we become impatient in our desire to see our family members accept Christ.
    But the truth as has been well put is that God’s time is the best and surrendering all to Him is the key.

    Reply
  97. This year my husband and I will have been married for 58 years. He was a practicing Christian very early in our marriage, but as a relatively new believer, he strayed from the Lord when he entered military service. He has not come back to Jesus yet, but I know he will! So many family members and friends have been praying for him for decades. God is good and faithful!

    Reply
    • Lynette, praying with you!

      Reply
    • Lynette God does it all Im His time. I felt so hurt by my sister for so many years but I loved her too much to give up praying. God is faithful. All we have to do is wait on His perfect time.

      Reply
  98. I needed to read this blog. Usually I don’t take time but today I did . I am glad I paid attention to the nudge .

    Reply
    • My son was a strong believer in his college years. I’m not sure when he turned away, perhaps when his brother, my middle child, took his own life. He is beginning to connect with Jesus, but I believe only to blend or integrate Christianity and Islam.
      I have prayed and then stopped. I do believe that someone else will be the one(s) who lead him to the Lord. In the meantime I need to return to praying for him.
      I am encouraged by Erin and Tony’s story. And by another Janet’s prayer for patience and grace to continue to pray and to be a godly example.

      Reply
  99. I’m very encouraged by this story. I’ve been praying for the salvation of my son and son inlaw for a long time. For sure the Lord saves at His own time. I pray for patience and grace to continue praying for them and that I may be a godly example to them

    Reply
  100. Erin’s story is so close to mine with some persons in my greater family (includes blended family members not necessarily bloodline but closer than friends and accepted as such by the rest of the family) My Christian wife died of stage 4 cancer in August 2020. Hearing Erin’s story makes me wonder if we prayed long enough, only God the Father and God the Son know the answer, although it does not matter anymore. Since according to Jesus we are no longer married but I am in my heart and will be until Jesus returns. My wife was a public school and college teacher together for 49 years student lives changing years. I left the corporate world and taught public school and college for 17 years. I have college students today I am spending time together occasionally who I am trusting The Holy Spirit to aid in bringing them to become believers and followers of our Christ. No point here except to say we should never give up on anyone until we have gone home to be with Jesus ourselves.

    Reply
    • Never ever give up because God, the All powerful,All knowing and All present is still at the helm.

      Reply
  101. Thank you for this encouraging story of Erin and her husband! It was very encouraging and she is right we have to wait and Trust on the Lord for his timing 🙂

    Reply
  102. What wonderful encouraging words
    What freedom to know Christ and that He has the plan and purpose plus His timing is perfect
    I just love Him so.

    Reply
  103. We have one childrens family in a Jewish situation and 1 other family professing no belief except 1 child.

    Reply
    • Dear Randall, be encouraged that God hears your prayers and will send others to minister to your family too. Over 10 years ago at a college course with people all over the country I met a Jewish woman who did not believe Jesus is the son of God. She was angry at her brother who was a Christian. We lost contact years ago but I have continued to pray for her and her family for 10 years and fasting. I don’t even know her brother’s name but I wish he knew that someone else is praying so he could be encouraged and not give up.

      Reply
  104. I love Erin and Tony’s story about seeking God. I pray I will have the same compassion, patience and perseverance to openly discuss the bible and the gospel to my family. I pray Lord You touch the hearts of my families.

    Reply
  105. It tells me to continue to pray for the return of my son to Christ again and the salvation of daughter-in-law and son-in-law. When I dont know but the Lord knows. So dont give up and be persistent.

    Reply
  106. Thank you for an amazing story I was about to give up praying for my husband salvation.
    Now I know God answers prayers his timing is perfect.

    Reply
  107. From the encouragement from His Word – we press on. His Word Press never fails.

    Reply
  108. My centre of focus is on the Lord, the Author and Finisher of my faith and everything will fall in place because Jesus loves us.

    Reply
  109. Thank you for this amazing story. It definitely comes to me today as a confirmation to what the Lord has been saying to me. As a family we are currently facing very challenging times.

    We recently lost our mother to covid unfortunately that has left a big chasm between my siblings and I. There is a lot of pain and bickering, my observation of all the fights we are having is that most of my siblings are not saved. Although my mother was a Christian yet mentioning the Lord right now in my family is like saying a swear word.

    In my big desire to preserve my mother’s legacy of faith, I have been literary forcing Christianity down everyone’s throat hoping they will realize that all we need is the Lord right now. Unfortunately sending Christian music on the family WhatsApp group and different sermons, as well as quoting scripture every time I have an opportunity to talk to my siblings has not made things better instead it probably has made things worse.
    My heart goes out to my siblings and I get very frustrated why they cant just see that its Christ alone who can heal us and restore our family. As I have fervently been praying for my siblings, I felt the Lord was saying to me that I should stop with my scriptures, songs and sermons instead I should model Christ in my conduct with them and continue to pray in my closet as we have been taught in the study of Matthew that God whose sees and hears us in our secret prayer closets with hear and answer us. Therefore this story has come as confirmation to the promptings of the Spirit with me to let go and let God do His work through the Holy Spirit and at the right time their hearts will melt and they will find the Lord.

    Thank you for this great testimony

    Kindest regards

    Nobukhosi – Johannesburg

    Reply
  110. Thank you Lord that I chose to read this blog amidst a crazy work schedule. It just perk me up to continue praying for my mom and my grown children salvation.

    Lord teach me to be faithful always knowing God will do the saving and not me.

    Reply
    • Amen!

      Reply
  111. Its very encouraging to me..my husband also..not tasted the love of Jesus..but He obeys.. God’s ways one day he will know Christ as his personal Savior please pray for him.

    Reply
  112. This is very encouraging as I’m praying for the salvation of my family

    Reply
  113. Praise the Lord. Beautiful testimony. God bless Levine’s family.

    Reply
    • This story encouraged me to continue praying for teenaged grandchildren who are growing up amidst the opposition of Satan in our culture today. It reminded me that my job is to sow the seed and God will faithfully prepare the soil of their hearts.

      Reply
  114. This is so encouraging! I have prayed for my husband for 30years. And now for each of our adult sons. My husband is a survivor….as you say…..everyone wants to save him but no one wants to KNOW him. It’s an interesting observation.
    I am now so blessed to be studying BSF once again after a 20 year break.

    Reply
  115. Thanks for sharing, very encouraging. That’s exactly what I should do: Trust our Heavenly Father, keep praying.

    Reply
  116. I thank the LORD for BSF. Attended BSF year 1999-2006, then off and on from 2006-until pandemic. Currently attending again with my son and 2 of my 10 grandchildren. Praying for more to join. Praise God for the leadership and detailed studies, which help to grow my faith and helps to create meaningful devotions for our family dinners. Regards David

    Reply
  117. SO TRUE

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This