“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). Paul said this in reference to his stewardship of the gospel as an apostle of Jesus Christ. However, the principle goes beyond the apostles.
Each Christian is a steward in one way or another. Some are appointed as elders or deacons, others labor as evangelists or teachers (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Eph. 4:11). Each one of these has responsibilities to faithfully fulfill before God and man. Still, there are other areas in which we are stewards.
Parents have been given stewardship over their children. They are a blessing from the Lord (Psa. 127:3). The father is given direct responsibility to bring the children up in a godly manner (Eph. 6:4). The mother also has some degree of duty in raising the children (Titus 2:4-5).
Timothy’s mother and grandmother were the dominant spiritual influence over him (2 Tim. 1:5). It is sad, therefore, to see some parents neglect the well-being of their children’s souls. There is little or no instruction at home and they are not made to behave in worship services. Bible class teachers can quickly tell what is going on in the home in regard to Bible reading and prayer. All who are present in worship services can see when a child is allowed to play or taken out to do the same. As faithful stewards parents need to set aside time for Bible study in the home.
They also need to discipline their children to sit in worship services– without the games and coloring books — and if the child needs to be taken out, it should not be a pleasant experience!
Further, God gives us all we have. He blesses us with many material possessions, which not only sustain our lives, but also make them very comfortable (Matt. 6:24-34; Jas. 1:17). Our wealth is given to us that we might honor God. We have the privilege of contributing to the work of the church (1 Cor. 16:1-2). However, this is not the only way we are to use our material blessings for Him Who saved us. We have individual duties to help teachers of the word and those less fortunate (Gal. 6:6-9; Eph. 4:28). Gaius hosted Paul while he was in Corinth and Cornelius “gave alms generously to the people” (Rom. 16:23; Acts 10:2). Thus, it is worrisome when some spend a good deal of money on recreation, entertainment and other worldly matters, but hardly anything in service to the Lord (cf. Lk. 12:13-21). As stewards of our possessions, we ought to find ways to advance the kingdom of God with them. It may be by purchasing good study material for ourselves or others. We might also help our neighbors who are in need (Gal. 6:10).
Children and material possessions are not truly ours; we are simply stewards. Let us be faithful in all our actions with regard to these.
Steven F. Deaton