Those of us born into a family where at least one of the parents is a believer are holy—prepared for God pure, clean (1 Corinthians 7:12-17) until the age of accountability. As parents we cultivate our children’s soul and spirit.
Children are instructed to obey their parents and parents are to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). Most children raised that way come to faith in God their father and Messiah Jesus their savior.
Timothy was blessed with a mother and grandmother who knew God. Paul wrote to him, “I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy; having been reminded of the sincere faith that is in you, which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also. (2 Timothy 1:3-5). WMB
I was born a little over 80 years ago. From my earliest recollection, I have known the Lord. I was extraordinarily blessed because I was born to parents who knew our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My Missouri Synod Lutheran parents started and ended each day with family prayer. We went to Church every Sunday. Mom and dad often spoke highly of God to one another and us. I had three sisters and brother. What they believed took. I could feel God’s love through the gentle touch and hugs of my mother. Even though I couldn’t say what it was then, I could see my heavenly Father’s will work in my earthly father’s character, especially his reverence of God and reliance on the Bible for the truth. I could feel God’s love pour into my heart by the Spirit. I especially felt wonderful joy when singing hymn praises and praying. God conveyed His love to me through my parents, siblings and extended family. It felt real good to know God.
From my observations, I think the majority of believers came to believe in the Lord by believing the gospel their parents taught them in word and deed. An ad hock survey I observed bears this out. One time around the year 2000, Judy and I were at a conference in Colorado Springs with about 4,000 fired up believers. The speaker asked for a show of hands on how they first believed, or got saved. Was in through the gospel Billy Graham preached at one of his crusades? About 10 hands came up. Was it at any other kind of Christian Crusade or Conference? About 10 hands came up. Was it by hearing the gospel your pastor preached? About 100 more hands came up. Was it by being led to the Lord by someone you knew other than your parents? Around 500 hands came up. Was it by believing the gospel one or both of your parents taught? About 3,000 hands came up.
Today, many who believe in the God of the Bible do not raise their children that way. Some don’t attend church. Some never pray with their children, not even table prayers. Some, never speak a blessing to their children. Some never tell their children Messiah Jesus wants to be their savior. Some leave the discipline and instruction of the Lord up to their church. Left to natural inclinations, some children raised that way never come to faith in the Lord and remain natural man.
May our God “count you worthy of the calling, and may He fulfil all the good pleasure of goodness, and the work of the faith in power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.” From 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Young’s Literal Translation.