When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5)
The family unit is never as strong as when the generations of grandparents, parents and children are knitted together in a single bond of the love of God. There are many things we want to pass along to our children and even our grandchildren. A heritage is a valuable blessing to share with family as each passing generation builds upon the other leaving legacies that define who we are. Trinkets sprinkle the shelves of days gone by, treasures are safely hidden away and memories of the past dot the walls with pictures and mementoes of family. The apostle Paul mentions the greatest gift his young protégé Timothy could have when he mentions the faith that dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and was carried into the heart of his mother, Eunice. Timothy had the greatest treasure of all. A family legacy of faith.
A virtuous woman is a life worth more than rubies or great wealth. Her character is molded by the image of God, as she trusts in the mercy of God to guide her life and her family. Lois taught her daughter Eunice to embrace that love and make the Lord the guiding light of her life. It is difficult in any age to teach children the word of God and Lois was faced with no easy task. Her determination fueled her desire to see her daughter grow to womanhood serving the will of the Lord God in every part of her life. Following the admonition of the Law of Moses, Lois taught young Eunice when she walked by the way, laid down to sleep and rose up. The young daughter of Lois learned the wonderful stories of Creation, Abraham, Moses and great kings like David. Her mother taught her the voice of the prophets and the eternal truths in the word of God. Eunice grew up knowing the voice of the heavenly Father. Lois was also teaching Eunice another valuable lesson: how to teach her children.
Generational learning is when one generation teaches the next generation to teach the next generation. Lois taught Eunice to love the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and body and to teach this same message to her own children. Eunice gave birth to a little boy that would grow up in the shadow of his grandmother and mother teaching him the eternal truths of God’s word. Timothy’s mother would sing the ancient hymns of the Psalms and tell the little boy the stories of Noah, Joseph, David and Daniel. Lois had taught Eunice well to carry on the faith of God in her own children. Timothy grew up knowing about the nature of God, His will and His word. He learned this because two women made certain he knew God.
Teaching is a lifetime of directing the hearts of our children and our grandchildren. Parenting lasts as long as we live. There is a need for families to begin building generations of children who love the Lord. Nothing is more important in the life of a child than knowing who God is and falling in love with Him. This work is especially important for grandparents to instill in their grandchildren. The greatest treasure we can leave our family is a legacy of service to God. It begins in the home. Fathers and mothers must teach their children the word of God above everything else. Grandfathers and grandmothers must be examples of fidelity and truth to their families. How many generations of faithful Christians do we find in our family? This must come from each generation teaching the next.
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. (Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1906)