Eunice and Lois: Raising Timothys
How many of you have mothers? Should be most of you. Motherhood is not just a very common job but hard work. Let’s face the facts, if being a mother was easy us Dad’s would do it. What makes a mother’s job hard is that she is handicapped. Mothers only have two hands. At least mothers prove that evolution is not true. If it were true mothers would have developed that third hand by now.
Mothers find it hard to find some “me” time. If they want to get their family’s attention all they have to do is sit down and look comfortable. To a mother, silence is not golden – it is suspicious. All a mother wants is an hour alone in the bathroom. All she got was a macaroni necklace and had to lock the bathroom door for an hour and eat the necklace when she got hungry. You deserve a break today. Do not worry about the dishes in the sink. They will be there tomorrow when you wake up on Monday morning.
Having A Son Like Timothy
Timothy Was a Christian
It was on the occasion of Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14:1) he came through Lystra. Timothy was converted by Paul at this time about AD 45. Some believe Paul may have recovered from his stoning at Lystra in Timothy’s home.
Timothy Had a Good Reputation
On Paul’s second missionary journey, “he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek” (Acts 16:1-3). He had a good reputation among the brethren which he would maintain throughout his life. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Prov. 22:1).
Timothy Had a Spiritual Father
Paul referred to him as “Timothy, my dearly beloved son” (2 Timothy 1:2) Spiritually Paul was like a father to him. Perhaps, Timothy’s Greek father was dead or did not become a Christian.
Timothy was on Paul’s Prayer List Every Morning and Evening
In his second letter “to Timothy, my dearly beloved son” Paul told him “…without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day” (2 Timothy 1:2).
Timothy Was Paul’s Like-minded Twin
In his letter to the Philippians Paul wrote “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man like minded, who will naturally (sincerely) care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, as soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord I also shall come shortly” (Philippians 2:19-24).
Timothy Was Paul’s Co-Sufferer
During the writing of 2 Timothy, Paul’s son in the faith was a young preacher ministering to the congregation in Ephesus. Paul wrote this letter while chained in the Roman Mamertine prison located just across the street from the Roman Senate. Paul believed that his execution was at hand. “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). According to the Hebrew writer, Paul’s desire came to fruition: “know that our brother Timothy has been set free…” (Heb. 13:23). Tradition says that Timothy died as a martyr for his faithfulness as a bishop in the reign of Domitian.
Timothy Was Paul’s Progeny
Paul realized that the time and work of the Apostles was quickly coming to an end. He had ben grooming his son in that faith for years to take on the duties of ministering to the saints. His final letter in effect was saying: “Timothy – I’ve run the race, I’m handing off the baton to you!”
Would you like to have a son like Timothy? Are our homes those that might produce such a mature Christian? What did it take to make Timothy the man he became?
It is most likely that Timothy’s father was not a Christian or even a proselyte of Judaism. He grew up in a religiously divided family. Fortunately, both his mother and grandmother had been faithful Jews and became Christians. They were able to team up and teach him the truth found in the Old Testament. It is a joy to be a grandparent and having taught her daughter the God’s Word, Lois is now able to share in the training of her grandson.
▸ Demonstrate a Genuine Faith in Our Life
Paul told Timothy it brought him great joy “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). The term used here for “genuine” is translated from the Greek term from which the word “hypocritical”. It literally means “without a mask” or un-hypocritical, undisguised, unfeigned or sincere. The faith of Lois, Eunice and then Timothy was not a mere costume or Sunday clothes they just put on to pretend to be a Christian. Their faith was the same seven days a week and wherever they went. They exemplified for Timothy a genuine faithful life for him to imitate.
Four preachers were arguing over Bible translations. One said he preferred the King James Version because of its beauty, eloquent old English. Another said he preferred the American Standard Bible for its literalism, the way it moves the reader from passage to passage with confident feelings of accuracy from the original text. A third man preferred Moffatt because of its quaint, penetrating use of words, the turn of a phrase that captures the attention of the reader. After giving the issue further thought, the fourth scholar admitted, ‘I have personally preferred my mother’s translation.’ When the other scholars chuckled and asked, “Your mother translated the Bible? He responded, ‘Yes, she translated it. She translated each page of the Bible into her own life. It is the most convincing translation I ever saw.’
▸Instill a Genuine Faith in Your Children
Paul was confident that before he ever met and began to work with Timothy that Lois and Eunice had already laid a firm foundation. However, Timothy did not just inherit their faith. His faith was his very own. Remember “God has no grandchildren.”
William Frederick Dunkle Jr. has pointed out “that of the 69 kings of France only three were really loved by their subjects and that these were the only ones reared by their mothers instead of by tutors or guardians.” Mothers and fathers it is not the job of the preachers, elders, deacons or Bible class teachers to raise up your children in the faith. You must instill a genuine faith in your children.
Don’t leave it to the Sunday School teacher to do your job for you!
▸ Teach Them God’s Word
When did Eunice start on Timothy? Paul told Timothy you “must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14-15). So, parents need to start early. In fact the word “childhood” in verse 15 is literally, “infancy.” Children are being introduced to academics earlier and earlier. So why not begin to teach them to walk and talk like Christ from infancy.
In Deuteronomy six Jewish parents were told to ” teach these things diligently to your sons and daughters when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up…” Timothy would have heard the stories of the great faith of men like Moses and Abraham, the fall of the walls of Jericho, David’s victory over Goliath, Daniel in the den of lions.
▸ Let Them Go Serve God
Imagine raising up a godly son and then comes along a missionary who takes him away on a long dangerous mission for the Lord. Lois and Eunice had to give up the son to serve the Lord. It was like Hannah sending Samuel off to Eli to serve God in the tabernacle. She said, “therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there” (1 Sam. 1:28).
Mothers should never underestimate the power of their influence. Remember salvation of the their soul is the goal.
– Daniel R. Vess