Then & Now - Week of January 21

Broken Homes, Strong Faith
2 Timothy 1:5

Tim lived in a home with a mom and grandma who believed God and took him to church. But Tim's Dad was not a believer. Tim also lived in a culture that really mocked the Christian faith.

Most people would say that this is a recipe for failure. Broken homes or divided homes usually lead to trouble for teens.

But they don't have to. If you passionately pursue a relationship with God, nothing can stop it—not even a divorce, a unbelieving father or mother, or a culture that screams against you.

Some of the best young people I know come from brutally troubled homes, with parents who hate God and live outside of His Will. I've also seen young people who have grown up in a Christian home and yet they abandon the faith.

Do you want to know the truth? Every single person who lives will stand before God on their won account. So, as a teen, you can't blame Mom or Dad or Brother or Sister for your lack of faith. You can make a choice to follow God.

How did Timothy do it? First, he listened to his mom and grandma when they talked about the Scriptures. He didn't blow them off, he took it in. The Bible says that obeying your parents—in the Lord—is the key to a successful life. (Colossians 3:20)

Secondly, he found a mentor in the Paul the Apostle. Paul was a wise, older believer who took Timothy and became a second father to him. Maybe you don't have a believing father in your life. That's tough—but God can bring someone who can fill the void.

Thirdly, Timothy didn't buy the lie that his life was destined for failure. Kids who grow up in troubled homes often feel that they are destined for failure. I know a lot of young people who are often told by their parents, "You're going to end up just like your Dad." Or "You're going to end up in jail." Or "You know that we never wanted you in the first place."

Stinging, hurtful words. But false words. Untrue words. Don't believe the lies. God can take your life and make it into something beautiful.

Further Reading: 2 Timothy 1.

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website: