In the New Testament, we learn of a young man named Timothy who is one of the apostle Paul's closest companions. Paul mentors him, knows his family, even (awkwardly enough) circumcised him!
From the New Testament, we see that Timothy's mother (and grandmother) played an important role in the development of his faith. We also see that Timothy's dad failed to be a significant influence.
Acts 16:1-2 (NASB)
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
Timothy's mom is referenced here as both a Jewish woman and a believer. His dad however is juxtaposed with the word "but" and then simply described as a Greek and nothing is said of his father's faith. Throughout Paul's writings he will continue to reveal more about Timothy, his mother, and even his grandmother and what Paul shares could have a lot to teach us.
Don't be a "But"
Man, when the scriptures praise someone - it's a big deal. That person goes down in history and is known and talked about forever and I have no doubt they have a special place in God's kingdom. Can you imagine what it feels like to be Timothy's dad? "But his father was a Greek." For a moment, you can hear the tone shift. Paul's not racist. He's got nothing against Greeks and there were plenty of God fearing gentiles but Timothy's dad just isn't one of them.
Are you making an impact on your child's faith? Or are you a "but" in the story of God? Here's how not to be a "But"
Do Have Sincere Faith
2 Timothy 1:5
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
According to Paul, Timothy's grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were known to him as people of sincere faith. Do you have sincere faith? Here's an easy measuring stick: If someone looked at your life, would they think, "Hey, that person really believes that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead."
Is your life testimony of a living God who forever changed the course of humanity? If someone were to look at it, what would the think of how you act in the office? What you do when no one is looking? The risks you're willing to take? The way you make your decisions?
Do Value Family
Paul knew Timothy's grandmother, mother, and Timothy himself. This family was close and part of that was a result of the fact that they took their faith seriously. Throughout the Bible there are exhortations to care for and value family. When children see their parents valuing family then 9 times out of 10 those children will learn to value their parents. As a parent, you can't be an effective leader for your child if you're teaching them that parents don't deserve respect.
Do Make the Right Connections
America suffers from individualism. Heck, I suffer from it. When I get home, there's nothing more I want to do than spend time with my family, spend time with myself, and spend time with my iPad.
But - we don't always do what we want to do. As Christians, we do what we know we should do. And sometimes what we should do is pursue meaningful connections with the right people. I've said this before but I'm happy to say it again: Humans were made for community. We can only exist/thrive/live in community. God said it first, "It's not good for man to be alone." So He made more of them.
Timothy knew Paul through his mother and grandmother. Mom and Grandmom made powerful connections with the right people and as a result - Timothy was mentored by one of the greatest and most influential Christian leaders of all time. Woah. Good job guys.
2 Timothy 3:14-15
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Do Make Known the Sacred Writings
Passing things on is cool. When my Dad gave me my grandfather's ring... I thought, "that's really cool." Right? Even though I'm not a big jewelry guy, I still thought it was cool because it was passed on.
A friend of mine's dad died. His dad left behind an old well used and tattered Bible. In it, were many highlights and underlines. His dad used a different color to mark every time he'd read through the Bible.
Whether you're dead or alive - you can pass on and make known "The sacred writings" to your children. Do you? How do you make sure that your children know the Bible?
What would this generation of students look like if they had parents who weren't "buts"? (Insert winky face emoji)
- Had Sincere Faith
- Valued Family
- Made the Right Connections
- Made Known the Scriptures
It's not too late. Which could you be better at?
By Pastor Keith Sobus
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