Circuit Rider Letter
by Pastor John DiGiamberardino
From the Pastor’s Desk
“I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you,
which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice,
and I am persuaded is in you also.”
II Timothy 1:5
Paul and Timothy were great friends. They shared a common mission together, telling other people about Jesus. They traveled together. They had a lot of time to get to know each other. When you read through Acts 16 to the end of the book, you realize they shared a lot of ministry experiences together.
Timothy had a genuine faith. How did Timothy learn about God? Who taught him? Who discipled him? What examples of faith were before him? Where does such faith come from?
For Timothy it seems his faith started when he was a child. He received faith from God but he witnessed genuine faith in two women, his mother and grandmother. Timothy’s mother, Eunice and grandmother Lois, were strong believers in Christ Jesus. From childhood we are told, Timothy learned the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. His mother and grandmother taught him the Bible! There is nothing more important than teaching children the Word of God.
Eunice and Lois taught Timothy the scriptures.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
II Timothy 3:16
They didn’t just teach it to him and read it to him, they lived it. They were an example of genuine faith to Timothy. They understood the power of God in their lives. They lived it. They knew what it was to be forgiven. They knew what it was to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They knew what it was to love God and others. They knew what it was to be woman of genuine, indisputable, sincere faith. They lived it.
I am learning that our children watch everything you do. They hear everything that you say. Our children hear everything you say and they see everything you do, they model who you are.
It makes me ask some serious questions…Who am I? What am I illustrating to my children? What am I teaching my children? What are they learning from me? How are we helping them have a genuine faith in Jesus Christ?
Let me make a few suggestions of what we can do to raise a child to learn faith.
First, put the marriage first, not the child.
Husbands how you treat your wife will illustrate to your little girl how guys should treat them.
And it will teach your little boy how they should treat girls.
Wives how you treat your husband will illustrate to your little girl how guys should treat them. And it will teach your little boy how they should treat girls.
Don’t let their lives control you. You are the parent. You are the head of the house not them. Lead them and love them. Model for them genuine love for each other. Go out on dates with your spouse. Spend quality time together. Talk about things that are not related just to the kids. Be affectionate to your spouse. Love each other unconditionally.
Second, fill your child with the Bible (Word of God) early.
Recognize the power of the Word of God to bring salvation and faith. It starts in the home. Read and talk to them about Bible stories. Quote scripture not in a negative way but as a joy from the mouth of God. Take them to Sunday School. Put before them some serious role models and be sure to model that you are still learning as well. Attend a Bible Study. They need to see that learning God’s Word never stops. Studying the Bible is for all ages. Host a home Bible study, a family Bible study, family devotions. Go to church together and sit together as a family. Answer their questions about the church, worship, and God. Help them learn how to worship the Lord with others and privately. Model that for them.
Third, pray intensely for them every day.
Let your children see that you pray when things are good as well as in times of need. Do they see you praying for them? Pray for their safety, health, relationships, friends, future spouse. Let them hear you praying for them.
What are you teaching your children? How are you helping them have a genuine faith in Jesus Christ? So often we know what we should do and do not do it. Stop thinking about what you should do and start doing it.
May God bless you as you let the Holy Spirit guide you daily.
See you in worship Pastor John