On Youth Day 2022, let’s emphasize how the upbringing of our children determines more than their character in this life, but also in the eternal life to come. Solid biblical faith, the daily intersession of parents, the presence of both a father and a mother that love them, are but a few prerequisites to give our young people the chance to grow up to be successful – in the Lord.
Listen again to 2 Timothy 1:5-6 - “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 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.”
The well known and respected Dr. Andrew Murray wrote in the 19th century the following profound truth about the importance of being a God-fearing family:
“Oh, that the eyes of God’s people might be opened to the danger that threatens the church! It is not infidelity or superstition, it is the spirit of worldliness in the homes of Christian families, sacrificing the children to the ambitions of society, to the riches or the friendship of the world — that is the greatest danger of Christ’s church.”
Paul’s letter to Timothy emphasizes that this young Christian minister’s identity, that Paul commends, is rooted in the faith that his mother and grandmother had left him as a lasting, yes everlasting, legacy. They shared Christ with him and taught him as mothers and grandmothers do. Paul firmly placed the growth of Christian faith and ministry within a loving, faithful, modest, shared, committed family setting.
This made Timothy anything but an independent, lone ranger, advocating his own brand of Christianity. No, his faith was rooted in the example and education of his Christian home. It enabled him to be a reliable preserver of the Truth of Christ and the preacher of the sound Spirit-inspired Gospel-message.
Our faith and calling, our authentic witness, is rooted in and grows from our Christian identity received from devoted, exemplary Christian parenting.
But if parents and grandparents sell out to “the spirit of worldliness and to sacrificing our children to the ambitions of society and the friendship of the world”, as Dr. Murray puts it, false teachers and heresies, and dangerous life styles, will rob our children of the cherished gospel and the costly salvation, and the godly lives, it promises.
No, let the influence and example, the choices and the commitment of families to Jesus, lead our children to the place where they will fan into flame the gifts of God in their lives - and thrive when the church, in laying hands on them, send them into the world to both conserve and share the glorious legacy of our Christian faith – the lasting legacy of our precious Redeemer, Jesus, our Lord, bringing true prosperity to the next generation and to the nation.