Timothy grew up without a believing father but a faithful mom and grandmother. In 2 Timothy 3:14, Paul to Timothy, “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of;” We see in this passage that he learned faith in Christ as a young person, but he had to become convinced.
I know in my own story I think I made a genuine profession of faith around the age of eight years old. But during the time of high school, I had doubts. I had questions about Jesus existing, God existing, or are we just making all this up?
Growing in their Faith
Our young people today are being attacked with information meant to cause them to doubt the truthfulness and the goodness of Christianity. I live in New England, and the message New Englanders get is that Christianity is not good for the world. It’s harmful to the world. Our kids are going to get that message through the media.
Christian parents, as they seek to disciple their children, rejoice in that childhood profession of faith, but also we want to realize that as their body grows, so also their faith is going to grow, and they’re going to wrestle with questions like, “do I really believe this?”
Inevitably, I ask those who grew up in a Christian home, “was there a time that your faith became your own?” And 98% said yes, there was another time. Realize that Christianity is reasonable, it’s plausible, it’s true. Let them wrestle with their faith so their faith becomes their own. That is a great plug for apologetics resources. Find resources that explain why Christianity is true, why it’s good, and why following Jesus is the flourishing life.
Parents are Not Perfect
One of my concerns, as I teach people about biblical parenting, is that people hear that they need to be perfect. Or that I’m a perfect parent, and that that could not be further from the truth.
A Christian parent is not perfect. I can’t count how many times I blew it.
As Christian parents, we need to realize our need for grace. There were times I would yell at my kids. There were times I’d interrupt my kids. Times when I would give, in anger, this contradictory message, “Sit down. We are having family devotions right now.” Those two things don’t go together.
Afterwards, I was totally embarrassed and apologized to my kids. Then I would come up with a different method to open up the Word. There were plenty of times that I had to go back, and I had to ask for forgiveness. And then they would different times they would ask forgiveness.
That’s how the Christian home works. It’s not this perfect home. We bump up against each other, and then show grace to each other. We’ve got to ask forgiveness. Mom and Dad, as an authority in your home, you need to apologize at times. Then there are times that our children will need to apologize as well.
Please don’t hear, “Oh, you wrote the book. You never blew it.” No, that’s absolutely not true. In fact, many of these principles came out from times when I did blow it, and I turned to the bible asking, “what does it have to say? What am I actually striving for?”
If you ask my kids if he was the perfect parent?
They’d laugh. They’d laugh.