I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV)
Timothy benefited from a family line of faith. His grandmother discipled his mother, and his mother discipled him. There must have been a genuine love and respect that they had for each other, which is not very common today. How many parents raise their children to know the word of God and develop their faith? For those who do, they are indeed a blessed minority. Worshiping and having faith in God have mostly become secondary priorities to jobs and entertainment. Church attendance is down, especially after the pandemic, and we are left with a culture filled with confusion and divisiveness because the people are not rooted in God.
This is not a new problem because it originated from the fall of Adam and Eve. Paul noticed its continuance in his day, which is why he instructed Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” inside of him so that he can continue to faithfully preach and teach the gospel. His assignment was to equip more saints with the Word of God, so they can live a life truth and not be deceived by the lies of devil and godless people.
This made me think about what I am doing to strengthen the church and other believers. Where does the Lord want me to inspire people to grow in their faith? For one, it must begin with me in my home. If I am not rooted in Jesus, then I cannot be effective in leading and caring for my family. How will our spouses and children grow if we are not there to support them?
Notice that Paul mentioned Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. They have kept the Lord at the center of their family and continued to raise up their children under God. Where were the fathers? This is not meant to be an observation and not a criticism. Men are typically career driven and less relational. Whereas women tend to me more nurturing and open to having discussions about God. In this instance, Lois was probably gifted with the ability to teach spiritual truths and faith. Her love for God was taught to her daughter, and then later to her grandson. She left a legacy of faith that would strengthen the church and encourage future generations of believers. There was no way she knew that would happen. She just simply fulfilled her duty as a mother in her own home, and God was glorified in her efforts.
I am learning that it is never too late to pray and read Scripture together. The point is that we must try to be role models in our homes and lead our loved ones, not in an overbearing way, but instead with words of encouragement, prayer, and acts of kindness. Our patience may occasionally be tested, but we must have the resolve to patiently wait and allow them time to catch on. Remember, we can plant and water seeds, but it is God who produces the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6).