Biblical Role Models

By Cathy Diez-Luckie

Where are the role models that children can look up to in today’s society? While we as
parents give our children important character lessons that will influence their lives, many
individuals who have modeled the humility and perseverance of Christ through countless
trials and temptations can serve as excellent role models for our children to learn from.

Looking back in time gives us a vast resource of inspiring character lessons. The apostle
Paul modeled courage in the face of opposition and suffering to spread the Gospel of Christ.
Charles Spurgeon was touched by the salvation of Christ and gave his life to preach the
good news. Esther, a Jewish orphan who became Queen of Persia, risked her life to save the
life of the Jewish people, who were about to suffer unjustly.

The Apostle Paul
While imprisoned in a cold dungeon and chained like an unruly criminal under Emperor
Nero, Paul knew that his work on earth was almost done. In what is believed to be the last
letter that he wrote (2 Timothy), Paul encouraged Timothy and all who read his words to
pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, reminding us that God’s Word is useful for
teaching us so that we will be ready to do the work that God has planned for us to do. Paul
is confident in whom he believes and is not ashamed to suffer for Christ. In fact, he
welcomes the suffering: “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame,
because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I
have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
1


Paul, at the end of his life, is asking for a cloak and his scrolls, which may have been his
copies of the Old Testament. We can see that lack of worldly possessions, esteem from
others, or rewards in this life were not what motivated him. He was concerned about telling
everyone about the salvation that comes only from putting your trust in Christ: “Remember
Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am
suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the
salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:8–10).
2
Even with the
knowledge of his upcoming trial, which is mentioned at the end of his letter, Paul had
courage to proclaim the message of Christ, having confidence that the Lord was right by his
side, giving him strength.

Charles Spurgeon
God blessed Charles Spurgeon with a family heritage of honoring the Lord and suffering for
His name. Spending his early years around his grandfather, who was a minister, Charles
was surrounded by books and developed a love of books; he spent much of his time
studying.

Spurgeon knew from an early age that he was lost and needed to be saved. He struggled
for years with the desire to know that he had salvation and would be with the Lord after his
death. Then, one snowy day, he attended Sunday service at a small church and came to
know that he was forgiven of his sins as the minister explained the text: “Look unto me,
and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 45:22).

From that day on, Spurgeon grew in love for his Savior and devoted himself to taking the
message of Christ’s Gospel, the power to transform lives, to those around him. Spurgeon
served the Lord with diligence, often preaching up to ten times each week. He pastored a
large church in London for more than thirty-five years and wrote sermons, commentaries,
devotionals, poetry, and hymns, all for the glory of God. He was blessed with an amazing
gift of oratory and touched the lives of many people.

Esther
Esther was the wife of the Persian King Xerxes; she risked her life to save the Jewish
people. To take revenge on Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, who would not bow as Haman’s horse
passed in the streets, Haman influenced the king to approve an order for the destruction of
Mordecai and all the Jews throughout the Persian Empire. Mordecai persuaded Esther to
approach the king to save the Jews.

Esther knew that trying to see the king without an invitation was against the law. Esther,
her maidservants, and all the Jews of Persia fasted for three days, praying to the Lord for
mercy. On the third day, Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the
palace. The king was pleased to see her and held out the golden scepter in an invitation to
Esther to speak her request. The book of Esther goes on to describe how she revealed
Haman’s plot to the king and rescued her people.

Our children will be encouraged to learn more about these individuals and how they
sacrificed themselves, living instead for the Lord. Studying the lives of Paul, Charles
Spurgeon, and Esther gives all of us hope and shows us how to act with courage and
perseverance in the face of difficulty.

Cathy Diez-Luckie, author and illustrator at Figures In Motion, is thankful for being able to
educate her three children at home and loves to study history and literature along with
them. Her award-winning children’s book series (Famous Figures) integrates art and history
and engages children with hands-on activities and movable action figures as they learn
about the great leaders of the past. www.FiguresInMotion.com

Endnotes:
1. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of
Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
2. Ibid.

Copyright 2014, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in
the Annual Print 2014 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education
magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and
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