When I found out I was pregnant with Gavin, there was no doubt in my mind what I would teach him spiritually. I love God with my whole heart and I will die serving Him. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I give Him all the praise and glory.
The Scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” And that’s what I plan to do with Gavin. As long as I have breath, he will be taught the things of God. And, I believe, God will bless that.
One of my favorite people in the Bible is the apostle Paul. He wrote a letter to a young man named Timothy. Paul had big plans for Timothy and so did God. So Paul wrote him two letters, one of which we will look at today in 2 Timothy 1:5, 6.
Paul takes the opportunity to praise Timothy’s mother and grandmother because of their “unfeigned” faith which they instilled in him. So, what is “unfeigned” faith and how do you get it? Even more than that, how do you instill that into your child?
Unfeigned, by definition, means not pretended; sincerely felt or expressed. Basically, you aren’t putting on a show for people. Your faith goes deeper than the surface. You are sincere in your words and actions. You truly mean and live out what you “preach”, so to speak. Wouldn’t it be an awesome compliment for someone to say about you that you had unfeigned faith?
Faith is described by the writer of Hebrews in chapter 11 verse 1. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” This kind of faith is not the “hope-I-win-the-lottery” faith or some wish or dream you have. This faith is the absolute assurance that God loves you, that He saved you, and that He has great things for you. God is real and He is able to take care of us. This faith requires believing that God will do what He said because He can. My pastor has said, “By faith we believe that these things are so, and in hope we believe that these things are ours!”
Some people have an easier time with this unfeigned faith than others. Children, for instance, believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Why? Because they just accept things as they are. They have been told that all of these fictional characters exist and they have no reason to doubt that. Children are innocent and they believe blindly. That’s why it is so much easier for a child to come to know Christ as Savior than an adult many times. Adults tend to need to see or touch something before they believe it exists.
For instance, we know wind exists. How? Billy Graham said, “I’ve seen the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind.” You can’t feel or touch wind, but you see what it does to the things around it. Children believe this same way. They see presents under the Christmas tree and they’ve been told that Santa brought them…they believe it. They lose teeth, put them under their pillow. The next day they have a treat of some kind under their pillow instead. They’ve been told that the Tooth Fairy came…they believe it.
A person who has been changed by Christ will tell you with their words and show you with their actions that they aren’t the same anymore. You don’t see Christ, but you see the effects of Christ on that person. It’s an amazing thing to see someone who has been changed by Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
How do you grow your faith? First, I would get to a church where they wholly believe and preach the Bible. Secondly, read and study your Bible daily. Have a set time that you get away from all of the distractions in your life and spend time with God. I would also spend time every day in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Let a prayer always be on your lips. When you do these things your faith will grow.
Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, I want to instill this faith in Gavin. How am I going to do that? He watches me and likes to copy things I do. So, as I live out my daily life, I will do my best to live it according to the way God wants me to live. I will take him to church with me, where I know he will be loved and taught the things he needs to hear. I will teach him Bible truth by telling him the stories there. I will pray with him everyday, teaching him how to talk to the Lord.
And, because I claim the promise found in Proverbs 22:6, I know that my child will grow up to have that faith. Is it an easy thing to do? No, because the world will tease, make fun, and persecute us because of our faith. But, we still believe what we believe and we will not deviate from it.
Unfeigned faith is something I want to have. I hope you do too.
Have a great day!