She Leads: By Example: Pt 2
Last week we talked about “leading” out our faith. Many of us think we are leading out our faith because we go to church (when we can) and we pray at the appropriate times (mealtime, bedtime, and when something bad happens). We have a Bible (somewhere) in our houses (we think). We are good people (most of the time) and we provide for our children and try to be the best parents we can be.
Isn’t that enough?
It would be nice if that were enough, but it’s not. It’s not enough for us, much less our kids. We have a choice to make: we can live out our semi-baked beliefs in private or we can lead them out wholeheartedly, and in doing so teach our kids to do the same.
In case I haven’t said it enough, it starts with us. It’s not too late to be the leaders we need to be. Here is what we know: Eunice did to not only teach her faith to her son, but she also led out her faith in front of him.
2 Timothy 3:14,15 outlines what she did.
1. She taught him the Bible, unapologetically, unashamed, faithfully, and persistently.
Eunice read her Bible (2 Timothy 3:14-15). You can’t teach something you don’t know, so obviously she knew her Bible. She knew the promises God had laid out. She knew the hope found in Jesus. She had a relationship with Jesus, and we know this because Timothy had a relationship with Jesus. She taught him how to turn what he knew about Jesus into what he was to do for Jesus. She was committed to spreading the gospel, and we know this because Timothy was too. Put simply, he mimicked her behavior and the world was changed by the faith of one mom.
2. She was a trustworthy example.
Our kids are quick studies. They catch on quick that our personal actions are a true representation of our priorities and of who we really are. Our kids want to trust us, but they can only do that if our teachings match up with what they catch us doing. It’s not enough to teach our faith, they have to catch us practicing our faith in action. They want to catch us doing what is right. They want to trust us.
3. Timothy’s mom set the foundation for Timothy’s mentor to play the most important role in his life.
Paul taught Timothy to stay the course. He encouraged Timothy and he loved him like a son. Paul built on the foundation of faith, patience, love, and endurance laid by Timothy’s mom. Those foundational qualities fortified Timothy’s belief in God and his trust in the message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for everyone who receives it.
I would love to think that I am enough for my kids, that they don’t need outside leadership, influences, or guidance. But that is limited thinking. When our kids play sports, they have coaches; when they go to school, they have teachers; and when they are sick, we take them to the doctors. All this tells me we can’t do it alone. Yet, when it comes to taking them to church and giving them an opportunity to receive spiritual guidance, we see this as optional.
If we treat our relationship with Jesus as optional, our kids will see their relationship with Jesus as unimportant and irrelevant to their lives. We can’t control who they choose to become or if they choose to follow Jesus. The choice is ultimately their own. But we do have the responsibility to do all we can to provide a foundation on which they can build their relationship with Jesus. We have the responsibility to lead by being caught having a relationship with Jesus and making our continued growth both in and out of church a priority.
Today be an intentional Leader.
· Get caught leading out your faith.
· Be the parent your kids can trust.
· Set the foundation for their faith in Jesus.