But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15
Gianna, a precious two-year-old little girl, comes to visit us ever so often, bringing with her a pure innocence and curiosity that can only be described as childlike faith. Upon her first visit, she discovered quickly that our home was not childproof. Having some of our most delicate items on lower shelves, we soon realized the necessity of moving them higher. Gianna does not miss much and learned quickly that certain things in our house should be “out of reach.”
After several visits, Gianna would instinctively go to the shelf, pick up the “forbidden” items, and gently move them to a higher shelf on her own. They were not really out of her reach at all, but because she knew and trusted those who showed her what was untouchable, she would not touch them again.
In his letters to Timothy, Paul encourages, cautions, and reminds his young associate of his Christian upbringing in an attempt to protect him from the dangers of temptation and deception. Paul stresses the importance of faith and truth, discernment, and purity. Timothy’s mother and grandmother were responsible for teaching him God’s Word when he was a small boy. These two faithful women had an incredible influence on his life.
When you think about it, there is precious, little time to influence a child for Christ. Competition from the world and its “untouchables” complicates and confuses little ones who naturally long for the direction and pure love of Jesus. A child’s spirit can easily be crushed under the weight of conditional love, impatience, exposure to temptation and evil, and the lack of instruction in how to deal with it all.
We, as Christians, all have the opportunity and the responsibility of influencing others for Christ. Our example can show them how to deal with a world that is not childproof, protecting them, and helping to keep temptation out of reach.
Sue Payne is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in home schooling newsletters and church news bulletins. She is experienced in curriculum planning and design and uses her writing skills to encourage and teach others. Sue lives in Delaware, is married, and has two boys whom she home schooled for a total of fourteen years.
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