Generational Faith

by Jean Stockdale

generational faith


Mothering is not a sprint; it is a marathon. We are to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and run this parenting race with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (see Heb. 12:1-2).

The apostle Paul led a young man named Timothy to the Lord. Timothy’s faith grew rapidly, in part due to Paul’s discipleship. Timothy served the Lord with diligence and devotion. In Paul’s final letter (2 Timothy) before he was executed for preaching the gospel, Paul attributed Timothy’s faith to the spiritual teaching he received from his grandmother and mother. Paul called the women by name and affirmed their sincere faith in Jesus Christ. Well done, Lois. Well done, Eunice.

These faithful women are alluded to but never mentioned again in the Word of God, but their godly impact is still felt today when we read about Timothy and his mentor Paul. Never underestimate the lasting godly influence you can leave on your child.

For years I struggled with feelings of spiritual inadequacy because I was just a stay-at- home-mom. I wanted to do something great for the Lord, but obviously, that was never going to happen! In fact, it appeared, for a while at least, that it would be best if I did not even try to leave home when the boys were small! It wasn’t until I discovered a glorious truth that I began to see my at-home ministry as a mission field of first-rate importance. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a rewardLike arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

When I realized that I had two full-time disciples-in-the-making at my feet, my restlessness concerning my service to the Lord subsided. I had a mission. I had an assignment. I was to reproduce my faith in my boys by pointing them to Jesus every chance I got.

As I began to see the awesome responsibility and privilege that God had given me to invest my life into these boys, I began to understand the divine calling on my life. By God’s grace I was a Christian wife and a mother, and I intended to invest heavily in my charge. I had a domestic mission field in my own home. I began to strive to serve the Lord by developing the fine art of Christian homemaking and mothering. It changed my whole outlook on the stay-at-home-mother title, and I began to wear the moniker as the exalted position it is.

When done unto the Lord, mothering is a holy occupation. Do not allow the world to make you doubt this high honor God has bestowed upon you, dear mom. If you do this well, you will send a Christian warrior into battle, fully trained, and well equipped. When he meets his enemy in the gate, he will not be ashamed. That, dear mom, is worthwhile mission.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

The mandate for Christian parenting is generational faith, passing the baton of faith from one generation to the next. May we be found faithfully passing the baton of faith to the next generation.

Jean Stockdale

 

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