A Godly Heritage
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice... (Timothy 1:5)
What kind of inheritance are you leaving your children?
Lois was the grandmother of Timothy, the apostle Paul’s young protégé, and Eunice was his mother. They were both early converts to Christianity. Timothy’s father was a Greek and apparently not a Christian (Acts 16:1). When the apostle Paul passed through their town of Lystra, he invited Timothy to travel with him. Paul tells us in his last letter, written just before his death, that Timothy’s faith was a direct result of the faith of his mother and grandmother.
Timothy was fortunate to live under the spiritual tutelage of two godly women who influenced him for Christ. I believe the faith of a mother or grandmother has a subtle, yet lasting affect. Traditionally, women spend more time with their children in the maturing years than do fathers. The natural nurturing instincts of women create a profoundly important environment for conveying values and priorities—especially the importance of receiving Christ at an early age.
Do your children and grandchildren know Jesus? What are they learning about Him from your life—from your verbal as well as non-verbal communications? From the music you listen to, your daily spiritual habits, the books you read, the movies you watch, your ministry to those in need, the words of grace and kindness you speak . . . every nook and cranny of our lives says something about who we are—and children soak it up like little sponges. But there are other, more direct ways to influence our children for Christ. We can pray for their salvation and spiritual growth (Philippians 4:6), we can teach them about Jesus (Ephesians 6:4), and we can be an example to them (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
While it’s good to prepare an inheritance for our children (2 Corinthians 12:14) and grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22), the most important heritage we can leave them is spiritual truth—faith in Jesus Christ. Proverbs 22:6 says that the best way to ensure future adults will walk with the Lord is to set them on a sound spiritual journey when they are young.
Heavenly Father, Grant me the grace and wisdom and choices to be everything that I want my children to become; to be a model of what it means to live for Jesus Christ. Amen.