Mother's Faith

Bible Book: 2 Timothy  1 : 4-7
Subject: Mother; Child Rearing

Mothers have an incredible responsibility and sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. I read about a woman who telephoned a friend and asked how she was feeling. "Terrible," the lady replied, "my head's splitting and my back and legs are killing me. The house is a mess, and the kids are simply driving me crazy." Very sympathetically the caller said, "Listen, go and lie down, I'll come over right away and cook lunch for you, clean up the house, and take care of the children while you get some rest. By the way, how is Sam?"

"Sam?" the complaining housewife grasped. "I don't have a husband named Sam."

"My heavens," the first woman said, "I must have dialed the wrong number."

There was a long pause. "Are you still coming over?" the harried mother asked hopefully. [Bobby Moore, "Any Old Port in a Storm" (First Baptist Informer, First Baptist Church, Mineral Wells, TX, May 13, 1981), p. 1].

Indeed, mother's need assistant and love. On this special day, let your mother know how much you appreciate her.

Of all the duties which a mother has, none is so important as that of teaching her children how to place faith in God. I pity today the host of children in our society who have mothers who lack faith in Jesus. Many mothers feel that they are giving their best to their children by providing clothes, healthcare, toys and love, but a child is poor who lacks a mother who knows not Christ. Abraham Lincoln said, "No man is poor when he has a godly mother." [Pulpit Helps, Oct. 1991, p. 8.]

Abraham Lincoln was right! Better to be without some of the world's goods and have the grace of God alive in mother's heart than to have riches without the Redeemer.

The Bible tells us of a man who had a godly mother and grandmother. His name was Timothy, his mother was Eunice and his grandmother was Lois. Look with me in 2 Timothy 1:5-7 at a passage which is a challenge to every mother and gives insight to every person who will consider it.

Paul says that Timothy has sincere faith. He reminds Timothy that the faith he possesses is the same faith he saw in his grandmother and mother. I am aware that there are some mothers with a faith which their children have rejected, at least to this point in life. I am aware that there are some children with faith which mother didn't have or doesn't have, at least to this point in her life. However, a survey of non-believers recently indicated that one of the overriding factors in helping a young person come to salvation in Christ is a Christian mother and/or father.

I want us to consider the kind of faith that is catching, especially in the home! Paul seems to be indicating in this passage that Timothy needs to recall the faith he saw as a child. In other words, Paul wants Timothy to stoke the fires of his faith and re-ignite the flame of fervor in his soul once again. It is apparent from this second letter to Timothy that he is discouraged, despondent, and in doubt about his ability to serve God properly.

Paul wrote the letter we are reading from prison. He was facing a death sentence in Rome and knew that he would not live much longer. He was writing words as a dying man to a young man in the ministry. Paul had met Timothy and his family on his first missionary journey many years before. It is likely that Timothy came to faith in Christ while Paul was in his hometown. On his second missionary journey, Paul took Timothy with him and trained him in the Lord's work. Timothy became a pastor and was serving at the time this letter was sent to him. Paul was seeking to stir Timothy to a new level of enthusiasm and encouragement in Christ and in God's work. There is not a Christian here today who does not need to stir the fire of faith in your heart to a new level of passion. There is not a Christian mother in this room today who does not need to be reminded of your responsibility and opportunity as a witness to your children - this is true whether they are babies or have grown up and have children of their own. There is not one single, solitary person in this worship center today who does not need to have faith, more faith and great faith in Jesus Christ! So, let everyone of us give our attention to the kind of faith that is catching and is worth catching.

I. This Faith is a Sincere Faith

Paul was reminding Timothy of the sincere, genuine faith that existed in his mother and grandmother. Timothy had a mother whose faith was real and observable. Paul knew that Timothy had a tendency to be fearful, and his fears often took the place of his faith. He wanted Timothy to remember the bold, strong and real faith that existed in his mother.

Dear moms, when your children get out in the world and face the awesome responsibilities of life can they call upon the memory of your strong, reliable and fearless faith in God to help them? What a testimony a mother can leave for her children when she teaches them that there is a peace that passes all understanding when we learn to trust Jesus completely.

True Christians are characterized by a genuine faith. A good synonym for the word 'genuine' in 2 Timothy 1:5 is the word 'sincere'. If you look in a dictionary that lists word origins, you'll find that the word 'sincere' comes from two latin terms -- 'sine' and 'cere', meaning "without wax." Years ago, a potter would often put his seal, or stamp, upon a completed vessel with the words 'sine cere.' This meant that to his knowledge there was no flaw in that work. If a potter did crack a vessel, he carefully patched that flawed vase or bowl by filling in the crack with wax. Then he glazed over the repair. But the repaired item it did not merit the stamp sine cere, "without wax," because it was not a flawless piece of pottery.

Oh, for a faith that is real - a 'sine cere' faith - a faith without flaws! We need to be able to trust God completely. Our children need to see that kind of faith in their mothers and their fathers. Our generation needs to see that we who claim to know Christ, truly do trust Christ.

Vance Havner, a Baptist evangelist, related the story of an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles both real and imaginary. Finally she was told in a kindly way by her family, "Grandma, we've done all we can do for you. You'll just have to trust God for the rest." A look of utter despair spread over her face as she replied, "Oh, dear, has it come to that?" Havner commented, "It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!"

Let us have and show a faith which is not a last resort but is an abiding force in our lives. We must have a sincere faith! Only that kind of faith is catching.

II. This Faith is a Scriptural Faith

Look at 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Note that Timothy's mother and grandmother had given him a Biblical faith. Timothy's faith was not based on some New Age hocus-pocus, but was a faith based on God's Word. Timothy's faith was not based on humanism, secularism or any other ism that should be a 'wasim'! No, his faith was based on the Word of God. What does God say, that is the question which are children must be taught. Mothers, when you teach your children what God says, and what He has done as recorded in the scripture, you give them a basis on which to place their faith in the Lord. Teaching your children morals and ethics is a good thing, but only God can help them under the awful assault of temptation they will face. Instructing your children in being strong is wonderful, but only a faith in God will help them when every earthly foundation is crumbling beneath them. Paul was reminding Timothy that his mother and grandmother had taught him to have a biblical faith.

There has never been a generation of young people who more desperately needed the Word of God that this one. The Scriptures give us the wisdom of God. The Scriptures give us the Words of life. The Scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation. Your faith must be based on Scripture. There is no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that the generation we are in right now in America is more ignorant of the Bible than any previous generation. Moms and dads need to train their children in God's Word. You can expect the public schools to do that. They don't even allow Bibles on the premises. You can't expect the internet to do that. It is hard to imagine the terrible things children see on the internet without their parents knowledge. You can't expect your church leaders to teach them God's Word. At best, most children will be in church a couple of hours a week, and not all of that includes Bible teaching. But, your children are in your home every day. You can teach the more than anyone else what the Bible says and how they can have faith in God and God's Word.

No parent can guarantee that his or her child will follow the Lord and believe the Bible, but no one else has the best chance to make that possible than a mother or father. And, mom, don't discount the incredible influence you have in those early years concerning the faith your children will develop. It will be a faith in self, money, the world, or some other philosophy, or it will be a faith in Christ and the Word of God. Don't miss the narrow window of time you have to do all within your ability to give your children a biblical faith. 

III. This Faith is a Strong Faith

Our children are watching us. We must have a sincere faith and a scriptural faith. If we have such faith, we will have to act upon what we know is true. The Bible teaches us that the scriptures which produce faith also teach us what is right, tell us when we do not do what is right, show us how to make it right and keep it right! Such living produces strong faith! Working faith is produced by being sincere and scriptural.

How many parents here know that your children see you when you lose your temper, when you gossip about a neighbor, when you speak out of turn and when you fail in many other ways? Well, have they seen you confess that to God? Have they seen you walk the aisle of your church and bow down in humble confession. Have they heard you apologize to someone you've harmed or have they heard you apologize to them when you have not acted in front of them as you should? Believe me, they are watching!

Strong faith, which can be taught and caught, is the kind that acts upon what it believes. Strong faith is necessary in order to be transmitted to anyone else!

IV. This Faith is a Sustaining Faith

Paul was writing to Timothy to tell him that he needed to renew his faith in God, for Paul knew that only Sincere, Scriptural, Strong Faith, would sustain Timothy in the dark and difficult moments of life.

Paul's faith sustained him. He did not give up on God even when it seemed that everything was going against him. Paul was in prison and knew that he was going to die, but his thoughts were for others! Paul was not sustained by personal courage! He was made strong through His faith in and walk with the Lord.

Your children need to see that your faith sustains you in the valley moments of life. It is easy to praise to God on the mountaintop, when everything is going your way. O, for the grace and grit to praise God in the valley! You must have a sustaining faith, if it would be a contagious faith.

V. This Faith is a Simple Faith

Faith in God is not something which only theologians can understand. A grandmother can understand it and teach it. A mother can grasp it and share it. A boy from infancy can learn it and it will lead to his salvation.

Faith in God must not be confused with a lot of religious language that often clouds the mind and confuses the heart. No! Simple faith. The story is told of the time Karl Barth came to America and, I my memory serves me correctly, he spoke at Harvard University. Karl Barth was considered at the time the greatest theological mind in the world. His books are still widely read and taught in theological seminaries. After speaking to a seminary class he allowed time for a few questions. One young man spoke up and asked, "Dr. Barth, what is the greatest truth you have every conceived?" The class waited with keen anticipation to see what the white-haired theological intellectual would say. After a moment, Dr. Barth spoke very softly these familiar words, "`Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so', that is the greatest truth I have ever known!" O, for a simple faith that even a child can understand and catch!

VI. This Faith is a Submissive Faith

True faith is total submission to God, His truth and His will. For a person to believe God, he must resign all other sources! It is God and God alone who saves us and keeps us. It is God and God alone who holds the universe together. We cannot have a mixture of humanism and Jesus. It is Christ and Christ alone! We must submit to Him totally! Our children and all those whom we wish to have the faith we have must see our willingness to let go and let God guide and lead our lives. A poet wisely wrote:

"As children bring their broken toys

With tears for us to mend,

I brought my broken dreams to God,

Because He was my friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him

In peace, to work alone,

I hung around and tried to help

In ways that were my own.

Finally I took them back and said,

'Dear God, why are you so slow?'

'My child," He said, 'what could I do?

You never did let go.'"

Do your children see you giving things to God and trusting them totally to Him. O, that we might ever lay things at His feet and trust them to His care.

VII. This Faith is a Saving Faith

Most importantly, it must be a saving faith! We must have a faith in Jesus Christ that has led to our own salvation and faith which we can teach to our children so that they too can come to trust Him as their Savior! Some people believe that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe it with all your heart. They remind me of a ship I read about some time ago. A ship, The City of Berlin was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The crew on the great ship saw a sailing vessel in sinking condition. Launching their lifeboat, part of the crew went to the rescue, only to find that the sailors refused to leave their ship. They said they had confidence in her. In the morning the wreck had sunk. Mistaken confidence leads to ruin. It is important what you believe.

Have you right now this moment absolute assurance that you have saving faith in Jesus Christ? If you are not sure, how can your child, neighbor, friend or foe ever come to trust Christ because of you? Look in faith to Jesus right now. He will save all who put their trust in Him.

"Faith is a cheap commodity. Everyone has some kind of faith. Atheists have faith - faith that there is no God, no place of everlasting punishment in the hereafter. Animals possess faith. They display the utmost faith in their masters, as do children in their parents. Sick people also display tremendous faith. They go to a doctor who took courses in school with names they may not even be able to pronounce correctly much less understand. He gives them a prescription they can not read. They take the prescription to a pharmacist they may not have even seen before. He gives them some medicine they do not understand and that cost and arm and a leg. All this is done in trusting, sincere faith. But faith by itself does not save anyone. It is the object of our faith that saves us. That's why the object of saving faith must be Jesus Christ." [Bill Gordon]


Perhaps there is someone here today who has now, or has had in the past, a prayer mother - a mother who prayed for you to know the Lord and follow Him. Today is a good day to thank God for her in this service. If you do not know the Lord your mother trusted, you can know Him as your Savior today. Let us respond to God's call just now, as we sing.