THIS ARTICLE IS A READER FAVORITE AND WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AUGUST 2011.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. — 2 Timothy 1:5
We all long to raise our boys into men who love God and who lead their families, communities, and churches well. In Scripture we see Timothy, a young, yet strong spiritual leader who was given a great head start on his journey of faith through the legacy of his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois. This baton of faith is one that we hold in our hands as well, and every day we hand it off to our children in subtle but intentional ways.
Here are five ways to pass the baton of faith on to our future leaders.
1. Pray for them.
Let’s be sure of this: only God can raise up a spiritual leader. We can teach our boys everything we know about walking with the Lord, but without the Spirit of God moving in their hearts, the knowledge we impart to them will be only that — knowledge. Pray that your boys would come to a saving faith in God, then pray that the depths of the gospel will penetrate every area of their lives.
2. Model what it means to serve the Lord.
Many things we wish to impart to our children are caught, not taught. And the same is true when it comes to our faith. As our boys watch us serve the Lord, as they experience how we prioritize His will in our lives, and as they see our passion for Jesus to be glorified, they will have a head start on realizing these things in their own hearts.
3. Confess your shortcomings.
Humility is a key characteristic of a good spiritual leader. When we admit our sinfulness to our kids, instead of acting like we have it all together, we show them that no one is perfect and that perfection is not even the goal. Running to Jesus with our sin is the goal. In order to take our burden of sin to Christ, we must see that we have a need for Him. Being able to say “I was wrong, will you forgive me?” is critical to teaching our boys humility. (It won’t hurt for his future marriage, either!)
4. Let them see you spend time with the Lord.
Little feet hit the ground running in the early morning hours. They come quickly down the hall and look for me. On the mornings I’m up, they find me curled up in my favorite chair with my Bible on my lap and pen in hand, scribbling down observations in my journal. On the not-so-good mornings, they find me snoozing (and grumpy) in bed. I notice a difference in my days when my kids wake up to me digging in the Word of God. They notice it, too.
Our boys cannot be the leaders God has designed them to be without consistent time in the Bible. As they see us make time to study the Word, they will want to model it. As they see the grace of God in our lives and the life change that results from a life based in Scriptural truths, they will want that for themselves.
5. Talk about God in your home.
Share with your boys what you are learning from your time in the Bible. Point out the handiwork of God in your surroundings. Praise Him aloud when blessings come. Pray when you really need patience, and let them hear you (I think I have to do this one everyday). God is among us and is continually at work — let’s help our boys be aware of His presence and be comfortable sharing about it.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are simple, everyday ways we can strive to pass the baton of faith to our boys. If your son has come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior, we’d love to hear the story behind that decision — let’s join together below and praise God for the work He is doing in our sons’ lives!
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Auburn fan. Katie longs for God to be glorified through the ministry He has entrusted her with. Through her speaking and writing ministries, she is honored to teach others how to hear from God through His Word. You can learn more about Katie at KatieOrr.me