Paul while sitting in a dank prison cell typed out a letter to a younger minister of the gospel, Timothy. If you’ve ever read this letter, then you know Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, passed their faith on to him (2 Timothy 1:5).
The Apostle Paul’s preaching may have been used by God to bring Timothy to actual conversion, but behind his preaching were years of godly influence by Timothy’s grandmother and mother. In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, we also learn that the sincere faith of these women was combined with instructing Timothy from his earliest days from the Scriptures. Their example and the results in Timothy’s life show us that . . . Through faith in God and by honoring His Word, godly mothers have great influence as they train their children. (Stephen J. Cole)
Sometimes I need this reminder. Those not-so-perfect Bible story readings, with boys climbing over my lap and half-listening, they matter. The hours spent in prayer for my boys to hunger and thirst for righteousness matter.
The bending over and whispering God’s blessings in ears of sleepy boys, it matters. <Tweet that!>
Paul gives Timothy four commands that I consider equally important to moms who want to be ministers of the gospel to their children (From 2 Timothy 4:2):
1. Be prepared
In all seasons, or in all situations (car rides, sporting events, family dinners) be ready with God’s Word. If we are to plant seeds of Truth in our kiddos, then we need to know His Word. Spending time in the early morning or late at night or at the kitchen counter reading the Bible. Writing out verses and committing them to memory. Ready at any moment to give an answer.
2. Correct and Rebuke
If we love our children, then we want them to have the best and longest lives possible. In leading them on the path of righteousness, there will be times to correct wrong behaviors and prevent future wrong choices. And as we’ll note below, both are done with great gentleness, just as Christ deals with us.
Lastly, we should comfort and encourage our children. Because anyone would be discouraged if not given a balanced dose of encouragement and correction.
All of these must occur with great patience and careful instruction.
If we don’t maintain a connection with their hearts (by patiently training), then we risk our children turning to false teachers and ideas that sound good but fall far from Truth.
I heard Don Campbell, President Emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary, speak on this segment of Scripture, and he pointed out,
Working the soil of souls takes great time. May we raise up a new generation of Timothys — those who guard the good deposit of the gospel, who proclaim it, suffer for it, and pass it on to the next generation. May God enable us to fulfill this charge.
May we with grown children be able to say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
How will you through faith,
influence and train your children today,
to raise up a new generation of Timothys?
Heather has been married for fourteen years and is the mother of four young boys (born exactly, to the day, within 6 1/2 years . . . just like she’d always planned). Heather writes about motherhood and chronicles the messy journey of “relentlessly replacing ‘me’ with ‘He'” — sharing the daily struggle of remaining God-centered while mothering four wild-at-heart, energetic, and often stubborn boys. You can also find her sharing thoughts on growing godly men over at The MOB Society.