Words of Life to Our Children
Growing up, I had it in the back of my mind that my ultimate goal was to be “well rounded.” You know, the kid who dabbled in various activities and achieved a level of intelligence—both street smarts and book smarts—to hold her own. So, I spent years pursuing various activities—from musical instruments to dance to student government to track and field. I was a top-notch student and yet could hang with the “cool” kids. I was, by worldly standards, “well rounded.” Now that I have kids of my own, there remains in me a desire for my children to learn a variety of things and to have experiences that will enable them to adapt well to the culture around them. But more than that, I pray that they would know Jesus and His Word.
When thinking about the importance of investing in my children’s faith, I often think of the role Eunice (Timothy’s mother) and Lois (Timothy’s grandmother) played in equipping Timothy for life and pastoral ministry. Paul references the legacy of these women in two places. We see it when he thanks God for Timothy and his faith. Paul reminds his friend that his sincere faith dwelt first in his grandmother and then his mother, and, he says, “now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:5). Later, Paul encourages Timothy to stay strong in the Word, not being deceived, under the persecution that surely comes to those who follow Christ (3:12–14). Here, too, Paul reminds Timothy that he learned and firmly believed the Word “from childhood” (3:15).
It’s important we remember that the ultimate goal for our kids isn’t that they’d develop well. It isn’t that they’d be all-stars. It’s most important that they, like Timothy, be acquainted with the sacred writings and the God who inspired them. After his comments to Timothy, Paul, guided by the Spirit, immediately reminds us of the centrality and necessity of the Word: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (3:16–17). Many things we share with our kids are useful and good and helpful, but only God’s Word, breathed out by our Creator, is lasting and will produce enduring fruit. Nothing else is sufficient to equip our children for righteousness and prepare them for good deeds besides the wonderful words that fill our Bible.
In order for the Word to be implanted in our children and for them to hold it in high regard from a young age, the Word must be important to you and me. Do we understand that we hold the very words of the Creator of the universe in the palms of our hands? We don’t want to be coerced to read God’s Word and share it out of obligation. No, reading it, studying it, and teaching it ought to be a joy—this is an incredible privilege. As we desire to pass it on to our children and even our grandchildren, let it begin with us.