Passing the Torch
1 Timothy 1:18-19
Timothy is called Paul’s “true child” in the faith, no doubt because Paul had baptized him. In his letter of 2 Timothy, Paul calls him his “beloved son” (1:2). They were clearly close.
PAUL WANTS TO LEAVE A LEGACY – 1:18:
Paul had just talked about the “glorious gospel of the Blessed God” which had been entrusted to him. So, the “command” to which Paul makes reference and the legacy he wants to leave Timothy is that Timothy believe the Gospel, to accept Christ, and follow Him.
PAUL WANTS TIMOTHY TO FIGHT– 1:18:
“Fight” here is loaded with military imagery. It suggests a strategy, tactics, and preparation. So, Dads, what is your strategy to build up your children for success? What methods are you using to fulfill that strategy? Do you think your children are going to become strong Christians by accident? Finally, how are you preparing your children to implement those tactics to utilize that strategy? You are the commander of your forces.
PAUL WANTS TIMOTHY TO KEEP– 1:19:
Faith, of course, comes from the Word of God and it is faith in Christ, the Word of God. We need a strategy, tactics, and preparation to help our children keep that faith.
Additionally, we need to educate them in the word of God so that their conscience can be educated and will serve as an effective moral policeman in their future life. That is, we need to train them and nurture them so that their conscience becomes sensitive to God and His word rather than just sensitive to Mom and Dad.
HOW DO YOU INVEST THEM WITH A RICH LEGACY?
We can list many things, but I’ll limit myself to four:
1. Give your children a sense of home. We want our home to be a haven of happy memories and positive feelings. It needs to be a place that is heavy on encouragement and light on criticism.
2. Children need to feel a sense of heritage. They need to feel that they are part of an important past and part of an important future. That is what makes their present so important.
3. Children need a sense of warmth. Home needs to be a place where children can be who they are, without fear of unnecessary criticism and unhelpful criticism. Fathers bring stability and they need to show their loving and caring side. Dads, share your struggles and mistakes.
4. It will take time. Being a dad is not something you can outsource. You can hire a baby-sitter but you can’t hire a daddy. You have got to invest time with your children – individually. Listen. Empathize. Hug. Encourage. Remind. Counsel. Love is spelled T-I-M-E.
What kind of torch are we passing to our children? Infuse your faith into your children by spending time with them and building them up in the most holy faith.