Devotional: ‘Raising a Child to Love Christ’

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Today is a difficult day to raise a Christian child. Satan has so many devices and schemes at his disposal by which he can infiltrate the hearts and minds of our youth. For decades Christian parents have struggled to protect their children from the negative influence of TV and music. Now there is also the Internet and other forms of social media. My heart goes out to our parents and I am committed to do all that I can to help them.

During the days of the early church there was a remarkable young man named Timothy.

Acts 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

As we study his example we see something significant. Timothy’s mother was a Christian, but his father wasn’t. The Bible says that Eunice was “a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek.” Though we are not given any more information, we may imagine that Eunice probably fell in love with Timothy’s father and decided to marry him during a time when she was not walking closely with the Lord. For a while this adventure may have seemed exciting, but when they had their first child everything changed. Eunice was forced to decide whether she would allow her son to be raised under Greek culture which was often very humanistic, or whether she would raise him according to biblical standards. Apparently Eunice chose Christ for she named her son Timothy which means – “He who honors God.”

The ideal home is a place where the husband and wife work together. This harmony is especially important when it comes to raising children. Yet we all know that it doesn’t always happen. Even in homes where both parents claim to be a Christian, there isn’t always an agreement as to how much weight their Christianity should carry when it comes to choices and decisions.

Eunice is a great example of how even one Christian parent can greatly influence their child. What can we learn from Eunice?

1) She started very early teaching Timothy about God

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Perhaps Eunice started to talking to her child about Christ, even before he was born. Then as she nursed him, she sang little songs to him about Jesus. As he learned to walk and talk, she began telling him Bible stories and instilling in his heart a love for God. One wonders how old Timothy was when he accepted Christ as his Savior. Perhaps he was very young. Then as he began to mature from a child into a young adult, Eunice continued to talk to him about Christ and to reinforce godly principles in his thinking. Little did she know that God had a very special plan for her son. Of all the people who ever knew the Apostle Paul, perhaps Timothy was the one dearest to his heart.

2) She lived her faith out before him

2 Timothy 1: 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Paul spoke of an ‘unfeigned faith.’ Actually the word means – {sincere or genuine; one that is without hypocrisy} Today we would say that they were – “not playing a game.” This sincere faith of Eunice and her mother Lois had a great impact upon young Timothy. It gave him practical examples to follow.

As I think about this, I am reminded of the impact my Christian grandparents had upon me. The Bible says – One generation will declare Your works to the next and will proclaim Your mighty acts.” (Ps 145:4 CSB) Eunice and Lois did just that and the result of their efforts can be seen in a young man named Timothy.

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