“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” —2 Timothy 3:15
The hope that our children will follow the Lord with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength is an admirable desire and one that is of extreme importance. However, knowing how to foster such devotion in our children can be quite daunting. How can we make the choices and parenting decisions that will encourage our children to follow God?
One verse that I have found encouraging regarding training my children is found in 2 Timothy. In the book, the apostle Paul is speaking to a young pastor named Timothy. Timothy came from a different kind of family than we might expect for a pastor. It had challenges and didn’t always fit the typical mold. However, Paul credits Timothy’s mother, Lois, and Timothy’s grandmother, Eunice, with cultivating in Timothy a love of God (2 Timothy 1:5).
2 Timothy 3:15 provides insight into how Lois and Eunice taught Timothy. The meaning of the words, “infancy” and “have known” indicate that Timothy was continually taught the Scriptures from his earliest days. It was a recurring and habitual experience in his life.
The described pattern provides a straightforward way to foster the environment for your precious child to develop a heart devoted to the Lord. From the day that a baby is born, a regular time of reading the Bible makes an enormous difference in encouraging him or her to hold strongly to Jesus.
Shortly after each of my children took their first breaths, their father read Psalm 139 to them. The memories of those tender moments are priceless and set the first instance in a daily practice of reading the Scriptures.
In the few remaining hours and days before you welcome your darling child, spend time selecting the first passage of Scripture to read to him or her. Also, establish a plan to help them know, from infancy, the Holy Scriptures which are able to make them wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.