Valuing family ministry
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 1:5 (NIVUK)
The Apostle Paul is convinced that Timothy has a sincere Christian faith and highlights that he was not the first in his family to be a believer in Jesus. In Acts 16:1 we are told that Timothy came from a home with a believing mother, Eunice, and in our header scripture, we are told that his grandmother, Lois, believed too. Timothy’s first influence was his parental upbringing and in particular, a mother and grandmother who had taught him out of the scriptures from his earliest days (2 Timothy 3:15). Calvin commented that Timothy ‘was reared in his infancy in such a way that he could suck in godliness along with his mother’s milk’.1
The important influence of godly grandparents and parents cannot be overstated. As John Stott wisely observes: ‘The most formative influence on each of us has been our parentage and our home. Hence good biographies never begin with their subject, but with parents, and probably grandparents as well. True, no man can inherit his parents’ faith in the way that he inherits facets of their personality. But a child can be led to faith by his parents’ teaching, example and prayers.’2
It’s easy for Christians to be impressed by dramatic conversions: the hardest atheist won over by skilful debate; the drug addict whose life was miraculously turned around when he heard about the love and compassion of Jesus from a concerned believer – and praise God for such conversions.
In comparison raising a family, with nappies to change and tantrums to deal with, can seem far less glamorous. The dramatic may grab our attention, but don’t undervalue the patient nurturing of a child in a Christian home. The fact someone was born into a Christian home and became a Christian may not be so eye-catching but it’s just as miraculous.
In my experience, it is rare to find someone who has come to faith where no one has been praying for them. Often it is a parent or a grandparent, but equally, it could have been an uncle or an aunt, a brother or a sister – and praise God for such people and their, often unsung, ministries.
Is there anyone you and I should be praying for? It could make a profound difference in their lives.
Father, thank you for godly parents and grandparents. Please make them a channel of your love and peace to the younger generation. And please give their children and grandchildren eyes to see you and hearts to love you. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
1 The Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus by John Calvin 1548, p292 (Oliver and Boyd, 1964).
2 Stott, J. R. W. Guard the Gospel the message of 2 Timothy, 1973, p27 (InterVarsity Press).
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a minister in Grace Communion International and Regional Pastor for Southern England.
Grace Communion International Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove
London SE5 7HN
Saturday 11 am
Local congregational contact:
Word of Life contact: