Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Recently, I had a Facetime chat with my grandchildren. When my six-year-old grandson was in view, I saw that he had lost his other front tooth. I started singing, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” He looked at me oddly and said,
“I never heard of that.”
It was just a moment of sharing something that he had “never heard of” from a past that was not his, but it represents an interaction we need to have with our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those younger than us. It is, especially, important that we share Jesus Christ and the Word–as teachers, mentors, and living examples like Paul was to Timothy.
3 I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. 4 As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lo′is and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. . . 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; 14 guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
(2 Timothy 1:3-5, 13-14)
Timothy had the teaching and example in his youth from his mother and grandmother. This was the foundation that Paul could build upon to help Timothy become a strong disciple for Christ.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)
We have opportunities to be the teachers, mentors, and living examples for those closest to us and those we encounter, even if for a few moments. A woman in the church my grandchildren attend seized upon an opportunity and started an online Children’s Worship on Zoom since the church has not had in-person services due to COVID. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach these children who would, otherwise, miss this teaching. The teacher told me that my grandkids ask to pray for me as I have been dealing with COVID and lung issues. It gave me the opportunity to reach out to my grandchildren in a letter to tell them that I am praying for them as they have prayed for me. To my granddaughter, who is eight, I told her we have this special bond in prayer between us, that I pray for her and she prays for me. I did not see her reaction to this, but I do know a seed was planted.
Many seeds need to be planted with our youth. The adage “it takes a village” is so true, and it is reflected in this verse from Proverbs:
Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
A nation will fall if the generation that follows is not guided by the generation before. The love of the Lord and the Word must be planted and nourished.
One generation shall laud Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts (Psalm 145:4)
Every child is “my child” and “your child” in the sense of God’s community.
13 Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; 14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19: 13-14)
Children can–and do—teach us, and we need them to remind us how we must be before our Father and our Lord and Savior. Yet, it is, also, our responsibility to be the example for them.
It is “the other” whom Jesus always looked after in His life and in His death. He continues this focus now into forever. To have the mindset of Christ, we must, likewise, have others in our minds and hearts.
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:4-7)
We do not want our children to say to us later in life,
“I never heard of that.”
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/07/21) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word