I’m part of the over fifty club, I’m officially an empty nester. My husband and I are in a season of transition, we’ve raised our family and now we’re looking forward to the next chapter of our lives together. We’ve been talking about fishing, camping and all the adventures we want to do together. These conversations are fun yet they are bittersweet.
We loved being parents and raising our kids. The memories of vacations, school days, camps, Friday Night Lights, and especially taking them to church have left our hearts full, but these conversations serve as a time of reflection too. Did we get it right? I’ll be the first to tell you, no, not always. There are things we could have done better, things we should have focused on less and things we should have focused on more, but I think that reflection is part of this season and hopefully we left a good legacy.
As a Mom, leaving a good legacy matters to me, and if you’re a Mom I know that matters to you as well. The Bible says that our children will rise up and call us blessed. The Bible is our example to follow so let’s take a look at two women found in 1 Timothy and see what kind of legacy they left behind. Paul is writing a letter to encourage Timothy and you'll read in verse 5 that he mentions Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. He’s reminding Timothy that his unfeigned faith was found first in his grandmother and then in his mother and now within him. Mamas this didn’t just happen, it was intentional training.
Faith has to be taught. It was instilled in him from infancy, as a boy and into adulthood. These women were pillars of faith in the life of this boy named Timothy. Choices made by these women to model a life of faith as best they could was the very fabric Timothy was cut from. One thing I’d like to point out about Timothy, he did not have a father who was of the faith, there is no mention of his father, only his Mother and Grandmother. Take your kids to church even if your husband doesn’t go, raise a Timothy! Paul speaks of how beneficial he had been to the furtherance of the Gospel. Paul loved Timothy, he trusted him and leaned on his character.
As Mama’s we have a tremendous calling on our lives. There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “what parents do in moderation, children will do in excess”. What does that mean? Our children watch us more than they listen to us. Our walk needs to match our talk. If we are going to raise Timothys for the Gospel's sake, if we are going to teach our children and say to them, “this is the way, walk ye in it”, then we better be in our prayer closets. We better be reading our Bibles. We better consistently take them to church. We better be living it at home in front of them. You can’t do it without the LORD's help.
You can’t go to girls night with a bottle of wine to share with friends and expect them to choose differently as a teenager. You can’t tell them not to use bad words and joke about how you “cuss just a little”. They’re lots of times we’ll get it wrong but sister, let us choose to get it right as much as we can! They’re watching us, even as adults they look at the way we live. We only get 18 birthdays to impact the lives of our children so let’s teach them well the ways of the LORD. Let’s aspire to be the Lois and Eunice of this day and leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren so that we too, will be well spoken of. But more importantly that a good and Godly heritage will be passed down from generation to generation. It’s a calling, we must answer it well!
Maybe you’re thinking, to yourself, “well, I’ve messed things up”, let me encourage you in the LORD. Jesus has more than enough grace to help you rebuild relationships and redeem any of our mess ups. The story of Ruth is a fine example. Naomi and her husband moved their family to a city far from God. They raised their boys in the far country and their boys married wives outside of God’s laws. When Naomi lost her family, she was broken and destitute, life had humbled her, but she was not without hope. She decided to return to the LORD and her homeland.
You can read the story of Ruth and Boaz for yourself. It’s a beautiful love story of redemption and grace. The calling God places on a mother is weighty but HE is the one who helps us raise our children and HE redeems all of our mess ups. May we decide today to be better Mamas than we were yesterday, by His grace we can! Except the LORD build a house they labor in vain who build it.
I Timothy 1:5
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
The Book of Ruth