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I watched my daughter play from a distance. She had cooked a meal for her dolls and was now washing the dishes. After she wiped each plastic dish clean, she stacked them bedside the sink of her kitchen to dry. 

I giggled to myself because I also stack my dishes to dry beside the sink in my kitchen. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? Funny enough, my mom stacks her dishes to air dry too. 

Dish stacking isn’t the only thing passed down in our family. Family recipes, southern sayings, seasonal traditions, facial expressions, habits, values, and faith have also been transferred from one generation to the next. 

Paul spoke to Timothy about the value of family influence. He said, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also (2 Timothy 1:5).”

Timothy is the first second-generation Christian mentioned in the New Testament. Although Timothy’s father apparently was not a Christian, the faithfulness of his mother and grandmother prevailed. Just like in Timothy’s life, we should never underestimate the far-reaching effects of raising even one child to love the Lord. 

The book of Deuteronomy gives us several simple everyday ways we can teach our children, such as talking about faith when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. And when you stack dishes. Just kidding. But you get the point I hope. 

Our children are watching and listening to everything we say and do. They will most likely pattern their behaviors according to what they’ve witnessed—both the good and the bad. 

Our roles as mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers is so important. God has entrusted children to us to train in the way they should go, and we are to pray they won’t depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Their eternity is at stake. Their children’s children’s eternity is at stake. And could it hinge on us sincerely living out our faith? I think so.

With this in mind, may we intentionally pursue God and parent with intention. When we do, I pray the sincere faith that was passed down to us will live on for generations to come—stacking faith upon faith upon faith. I imagine God smiling from a distance watching us as we do. 

This piece was originally written for Linda Johnson. For more mentorship encouragement visit https://titus-two.com