I love how varied God has made humanity — we’re all so unique and he’s strategically given each one of us the desires we need to accomplish those things he’s called us to do in this life. Some people are gregarious and outgoing, others are reserved and contemplative. Some are passionate about design others are all about function. There are the more logistical and the more creative. All of these differences and more combine and mix together to make us who we are! It’s absolutely incredible!
I didn’t always see these differences as wonderful. I didn’t appreciate those who were different than me. I was certain that my perspective on life was the correct one. But now I know better.
In my younger years, I was an undeniable feminist. I was firmly against anything traditionally girly and I was all for women running things. I didn’t want to submit to anyone or anything and, if I was the woman in charge, I wouldn’t ever need to do that. In my mind, women could and should do anything a man can do and any woman who wanted to follow in the footsteps of traditional gender roles was wrong. I thought women who wanted to be stay-at-home moms were wasting their time and playing into male-driven stereotypes.
While I still believe a woman can hold any profession a man can, I no longer disdain those women who long to be wives and mothers. In fact, I’m so thankful for those women who have a passion for family.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:5-7 (ESV)
Paul wrote these words in a letter to Timothy, his prodigy and an incredible man of God. This young man wasn’t magically imbued with a sincere faith, he saw it modeled by the important women in his life. His mom and his grandmother were passionately searching for God in an overwhelmingly pagan environment — what incredible women they were!
“Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” – Andy Stanley
I used to roll my eyes at that quote but it’s actually true! If you are a parent, you are doing something important for the world and the Kingdom of God. Whether you’re a mom or a dad, I’m thankful for you. Thank you for accepting that mantle and taking on what’s probably the hardest job in the entire world to do.
If you’re not a parent, I would encourage you to do something to help our parent friends out. Volunteer in the kid’s ministry at church, babysit for a friend so they can have a night off, volunteer at a library or a local school, mentor a kid in your community — do something to support them as they diligently work to raise the next generation!
Who has modeled this life of faith for you?
Whether it’s a mentor, a teacher, a pastor, or a family member, reach out to them and thank them today.
Who can you be an example to?
Find some way to encourage them this week.
Whether you have children or not, want children or not, you can be an example to the next generation. Timothy was a faithful follower of Christ and was a great pastor, a way of life that all started with his mother and grandmother. Don’t underestimate the immense influence we can have in the lives of others!
To go Deeper: Read Fanning the Flames