“When I call to remembrance the unhypocritical faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”2 Timothy 1:5
In 2 Timothy 1, The apostle Paul is writing to young Timothy. Paul addressed Timothy as his “son in the faith.” Among many other words of encouragement, Paul reminds Timothy of “the genuine faith” which Paul is “persuaded is in Timothy.” Paul believes Timothy is a true believer. Looking a little deeper, Paul points to Timothy’s own mother and grandmother as having a major spiritual influence in his relationship with the Lord. Timothy’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior was influenced by both his mother and grandmother. What a tremendous example of the impact godly mothers and grandmothers (and dads and granddads and aunts and uncles) can have on their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews in reaching them for the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing could be more of a blessing to parents, or aunts and uncles than to have influenced their children in their decision to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
Certainly, my own mother and great-grandmother did more than they would ever know to point me in the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it was a great aunt that did the most to “reach me” for the Lord Jesus Christ. Following the death of my mother when I was five years old, my great aunt “took me under her wing”, so to speak. On special holidays, and the summer months, that great aunt would come to wherever me, my sister, my brother, and my dad were living and take me to her home. My brother and sister were regular visitors in the homes of two other aunts. I have to say this, the one who showed the most love to us was the aunt that “took up much time” with me.
When in the home of my most favored great aunt, it was expected that we would be in church every time the doors were opened. It was not too long before the messages I heard in the preaching, the Sunday School classrooms, and, yes, in those days “Training Union” began to sink into my heart. In a Sunday night service one night, I could not resist the Holy Spirit’s tug on my heart to go forward as the preacher asked those of us to do who wanted to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ of the gospels and be saved.
Not too many years later in my 30s, the same tug on my heart was there to surrender to God’s will to be a preacher of this same gospel. After one of my mother’s sisters heard that I had surrendered to the ministry, she asked me one day if I knew that my mother had dedicated me to the Lord when I was a small baby. I told her I didn’t know that but was not surprised, because I knew God wouldn’t let me alone for some reason.
The message here is this: parents if you know that you, yourself know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, be sure your life reflects your commitment to and walk with Him. Then do everything you can, including praying and showing godly proof of Him in your life. You may or may not live long enough to observe your prayers answered and the payoff of your godly living in the lives of your children. On the other hand, one of those children may walk up to you in heaven one day and simply say, “thank you.”
Will you pray about God using you to reach out to someone special to you? Look around in your family and see if God will give you an open door into his or her life.
First Dallas Sunday School Teacher
Bruce received the Lord Jesus as his Savior in December 1957 under the influence of a great aunt. God called him into ministry, and he was licensed and later ordained by First Baptist Church Oak Cliff in 1982. He bi-vocationally pastored for 27 years. He attended Mountain View College, Criswell College, and Dallas Baptist University. He joined First Baptist Dallas in 1997.