Men mentoring kids

As we see our culture advance into the 21st Century, we notice what we tend to think of as a new phenomenon but in all reality, it is a problem that has been around as long as sin has been around. The problem is men not investing in the spiritual lives of their children. The Bible teaches us that there is nothing new under the sun. The things that have been will be because no matter the culture, human nature remains the same. If you go all the way back to the book of beginnings, Genesis, you will see a man who does not seem to invest in the spiritual lives of his children. Adam walked with God. Adam was created perfect but fell from his position because of sin. His relationship with God was destroyed. He and his wife began to play the blame game. They both tried to hide from God. They produced children after their own nature. It does not seem that Adam taught his children about God because his one son Cain murdered his brother Abel. Then, Adam and Eve had another son, Seth. Seth had a son named Enosh. In Genesis 4, at the very end of the chapter, we find the following verse:

26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.

I know that Moses leaves a lot of detail out of the lives of a lot of the people in Genesis, but, I believe that this phrase is very important and was left as an important detail. It seems like Adam’s children did not get direct teaching from their father about how to walk with the Lord and because of that, they did not call upon the name of the Lord. It is not clear from the text if Adam did or did not teach his children but we do see what Cain does and we see that his grandchildren begin to call upon the Name of the Lord. Adam may have realized his mistake and been part of the group that began to call upon the name of the Lord during the days of Enosh.

Let’s fast forward several thousand years and we see a young man named Timothy. He lived about 2,000 years ago.

I. Fatherless kids

Timothy was a young man who grew up without the spiritual influence of his father. He had great example in his mother and grandmother but his father was absent when it came to spiritual things.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (II Timothy 1:5)

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, (Acts 16:1)

Timothy inherited faith in spite of his father. There are many mothers today who are having to be the spiritual leaders of the family because dads are no shows when it comes to spiritual leadership. This is not a new thing. Timothy needs some male guidance in the spiritual realm, even though he is a believer and has seen sincere faith in his grandmother and his mother. Fathers are super important in the lives of their children. When moms invest in the spiritual lives of their children, good things happen. When dads invest in the spiritual lives of their children, great things happen. We need men to step up and be the spiritual leaders in their families, investing in the spiritual lives of their children.

II. Mentoring men; the spiritual father figures

Paul stepped up to the plate and invested in Timothy’s spiritual life, investing in Timothy where his own father did not do what he should have done.

To Timothy, my beloved son: (II Timothy 1:2)

1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. (Acts 16)

Paul calls Timothy his son. Timothy is not Paul’s physical son but Timothy is Paul’s spiritual son. When Paul finds Timothy, he finds a young man of faith who needs the mentoring influence of a father figure and that is exactly what Paul does for Timothy. Paul takes Timothy under his wing and teaches him how to minister by taking Timothy with him and showing him how it is done day by day. He mentors Timothy to the point where even though he is a young man, he becomes a pastor of a church and is entrusted with huge responsibility. We see the same thing today. There is such a huge need for seasoned men to step up and become spiritual fathers for the huge number of kids who are growing up without any spiritual influence from their fathers. Are you prepared to be a Paul and look for a Timothy.

III. Examples of faith

As you mentor kids who have not been mentored by their own fathers, God gives us some specific things that we must do in order to ensure the fact that kids will embrace faith and live it out day by day.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (II Timothy 1:5)

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. . . You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, (II Tim. 1:13, 3:10)

First of all, Timothy understands what sincere faith looks like because he grew up with it. He was not fooled by the church mask that many of us wear on Sunday mornings because he saw the way that his mother and grandmother lived on a daily basis, in the home, when things got tough and nerves were grated. When Paul entered Timothy’s life, Timothy saw sincerity of faith once again in Paul and also much needed spiritual teaching. There is a simple list here that is very important for all of us if we are going to try and mentor children.

  • Teaching
  • Conduct
  • Purpose in life
  • Faith
  • Patience
  • Love
  • Faithfulness

Timothy was taught the Scriptures as a child by his mother and grandmother and that led him to faith in Jesus Christ. Paul had to complete what was missing and give Timothy what his father did not give to him. Timothy also saw Paul’s conduct day in and day out. Paul lived out what he taught Timothy. By being taught and seeing Paul live out the Word of God, Timothy acquired a concrete purpose in life. As Timothy served with Paul, his faith began to grow. His love grew and his faithfulness grew. This is what needs to happen for our children who are growing up without their fathers’ spiritual influence. We have a nation of kids who are lost because they have not been taught, trained, and loved the way that they should have been by their fathers. There is a huge need for Christian men to step up and fill the gap that has been left. As a Christian man, you need to invest in the lives of children, teaching them God’s Word, modeling sincere faith, giving kids a real purpose in life that will impact their conduct and their futures. What keeps you from being that man? May the Lord help us constantly look for Timothys to invest in spiritually so that we can impact the world and the future generations.

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