Belief’s Heritage and the Divided Family

May 7, 2021

Scripture Resource Passage: Acts 16

Setting an example, establishing a pattern, following in the footsteps—each of these are descriptions in the heritage of belief. Fortunately, and greater than our genetic tendencies, there can be the blessed heritage of Christ. Families can be the practice-ground of faith.

However, many families (certainly my own) are divided by faith’s practices. The non-faith of an agnostic or atheist was apparently the 1stcentury family life of Paul’s young apprentice, Timothy (Acts 16:1). 

Given the dramatic rise of those who explain their 21stcentury faith’s connection as “None,” a divided family may be your experience as well. The Pew Research Center ( helps us understand beliefs within this expanding segment of North America. 

Photo by Julia M Cameron on

The rapid increase of a spiritually non-faith society can be seen throughout the western world as party divisions and petty personal pleasures run rampant like a stampeding herd of wildebeests. This does not mean spiritually separated families or even nations are without spiritual opportunity in Christ.

Scripture records that faith-separated or divided families can produce remarkable second generation disciples. Timothy is the evidence. Many of us are as well, bearing testimony to the Faith which found us.

Blessedly, in addition to his mother, Timothy became apprenticed to one of Christ’s appointed leaders. As a good master trainer should, Paul undoubtedly provided numerous points of instruction giving a solid model of how one lives as a disciple of Christ Jesus. 

Life Applications

  • Given the spiritual realities in your family are there discipleship practices for passing on the Faith which you can enhance during 2021? 
  • Given that some readers are parents, aunts, uncles grandparents or those with close friends, are there special opportunities afforded you in those relationships with young people? 
  • Is it time to act?

I look forward to seeing your suggestions and comments. My thanks for continuing to refer new readers to the site. I appreciate each of you.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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