Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Timothy’s Mother

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 09 May 2010

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Eunice! That was the name of Timothy’s mother. She is one of the celebrated mothers found in the Holy Scriptures.

Her motherhood is worthy of every Christian mother’s contemplation and emulation.

My wish for every mother in our midst on this mother’s day is that each of them will be empowered to be a mother to her children like Eunice was to Timothy.

What a great blessing it will be if every mother in our church patterns herself after Eunice!

In 2 Timothy 1:5-6, we read, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”

The Apostle Paul, Timothy’s spiritual father and mentor, made a special mention of Eunice’s spiritual influence on Timothy as his loving mother. Even that great spiritual leader acknowledges the important role that Timothy’s mother has played in his nurture to be a fine young man who is worthy of great leadership in the church.

Even if a child has excellent teachers and mentors who would assume a fatherly role like the Apostle Paul, his mother’s role in his nurture is still invaluable and irreplaceable. In fact, even Timothy’s grandmother Lois is also mentioned as having an impact on his life.

Dear sisters, I would like to share with you two spiritual virtues of Eunice that you may emulate them in your role as a mother. In fact, these virtues are worthy of emulation by anyone, not just mothers, who desires to nurture younger Christians.

A woman of “unfeigned faith”

According to 2 Timothy 1:5, Eunice was a woman of “unfeigned faith” (cf. Acts 16:1). It was found first in Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and then in his mother, Eunice, and now in Timothy.

The word “unfeigned” (Greek: anypokritos) means “without pretence”, “genuine”, “sincere”. In other words, Eunice’s faith was without playacting. Hers was an unpretentious faith. Unlike many women of our time, Eunice was not putting up a religious front in order to hide a materialistic life. Her confidence in God was without hypocrisy.

It also appears that her faith is called “unfeigned faith” because it had withstood all the tests of its genuineness. It is a proven faith. Its genuineness has been authenticated.

An “unfeigned faith” expels doubt, fear, worldliness, hypocrisy and lethargy. It, then, exhibits love, obedience, generosity, sacrifice, hope, zeal, patience, prayer, etc. And besides these, faith produces all the virtues that please the Lord. After all, the Scriptures remind us that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Dear mothers, have faith in your God. Pray that your faith will increase day after day. What is life without faith? Only a life driven by faith can expect great things from God.

A woman of influential faith

The Apostle Paul said that the unfeigned faith that was found in Timothy “dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice”.

As Timothy grew up, he could see the kind of faith he should possess, which was found in his mother and grandmother. His mother’s unflinching faith in God influenced him. He wanted his mother’s strong and steady faith, and followed after that faith.

A strong faith is powerful and effective. Its inspiration is irresistible. When Eunice brought up her son with constant prayer, with confidence in the promises of God, in obedience to God’s Word, her son’s life was also built up in the beauty of that faith.

Consider the following observation by J.L. Nye:

“Sir Walter Scott’s mother was a superior woman, and a great lover of poetry and painting. Byron’s mother was proud, ill-tempered and violent. The mother of Napoleon Buonaparte was noted for her beauty and energy. Lord Bacon’s mother was a woman of superior mind and deep piety. The mother of Nero was a murderess. The mother of Washington was pious, pure and true. The mother of Matthew Henry was marked by her superior conversational powers. The mother of John Wesley was remarkable for her intelligence, piety and executive ability, so that she has been called the Mother of Methodism. It will be observed that in each of these examples the child inherited the prominent traits of the mother.”

Dear mothers, nurture your children with faith in God. Teach them God’s Word with perfect faith in its wisdom and power. Show them how to live by faith in God. Give them an example of a life beautified by the virtues of faith.

Even after Timothy became a pastor, he was reminded by Paul to continue in the things he has been taught from his childhood. In 2 Timothy 3:14-15, we read, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Timothy as a child was well nurtured in the Word of God.

Dear mothers, do you instil within your children biblical truths and wisdom? Do you bring them to church and all the various activities for children? Do you urge your children to obey the Word of God wholeheartedly?

I pray that you are not the kind of mother who gives little or no importance to the biblical upbringing of your child. It is more important that your children are well grounded in the Word of God rather than the secular education that they pursue. There is great danger, with eternal consequences, if you give priority to secular matters more than spiritual matters. The right way to train your children is to live right by faith. It will do well if you remember that “Succession of faith is the best succession”.