“I have been reminded of your sincere faith,” the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Later in that same letter, Paul wrote of Timothy, “… from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (See 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:15.)
Timothy had the tremendous blessing of being raised by a godly mother (and grandmother) who taught him the Scriptures from the time he was a little child. (Acts 16:1 seems to indicate that his father was not a believer.) Through the Scriptures Timothy was taught, he gained the knowledge that eventually led him to salvation through personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Countless committed Christian moms since then have played a key role in leading their children to saving faith in Christ. One such woman was Charles Spurgeon’s mother, Eliza. Every Sunday evening she gathered her children around the table, read the Bible and explained it to them verse by verse.
Then she prayed, and her children never forgot the words of some of those prayers. Once she prayed: “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance they perish, and my soul must bear swift witness against them at the Day of Judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.”
“That thought of my mother’s bearing swift witness against me pierced my conscience,” Charles Spurgeon recollected as an adult. “How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee and, with her arms about my neck, prayed, ‘Oh, that my son may live before Thee!’”
Charles’s father, John, was a clerk in a coal merchant’s office in Colchester, England. John also pastored a church in Tollesbury, a village nine miles from the town where he worked and lived with his family. Once, while on his way to a preaching engagement, John became convicted that he was caring for the spiritual needs of other people while neglecting those of his own family. So he returned home.
Finding no one downstairs, he ascended the stairs and overheard the sound of earnest prayer. Quietly listening outside a bedroom door, he discovered that his wife was fervently interceding for her children, especially for Charles, her strong-willed firstborn son.
That very son later testified, “My father felt that he might safely go about his Master’s business while his dear wife was caring for the spiritual interests of the boys and girls at home.”
Christian parents today (moms and dads) should be just as serious and careful about teaching their children the truths of God’s Word and about leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Such conscientious efforts on the part of earnest Christian parents will bring incalculable blessings and benefits to their children in this life and throughout eternity!
The above true story about the Spurgeons and a number of other family-related incidents are found in the first chapter of my book Timeless Stories. We would enjoy hearing from you about other consecrated Christian parents who had a powerful spiritual impact on their children’s lives.
Copyright 2013 by Vance E. Christie