“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”
Proverbs 1:8 (NIV UK)
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” But that statement has never been truer than when you open up the Bible. Whether it was Moses’s mother, Jochebed; Samuel’s mother, Hannah, or Jesus’ mother, Mary—you can see how God uses mothers to rear the next generation of believers. They help us better understand God’s covenant love, of his compassion, his discipline, his patience, his longsuffering! And in Timothy, we find an interesting statement that Paul makes about a mother and grandmother while addressing Timothy: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV).
Christian mums everywhere should be encouraged by the example of Lois and Eunice, who reared Timothy to be a good man, full of the Holy Spirit. We know that Timothy turned out well because Paul’s letters set him apart as an important minister in the early church. The example of Eunice, Timothy’s mother, is even more remarkable when we consider that Timothy’s father was Greek, and he therefore grew up in a pagan culture. No doubt his mother must have diligently and deliberately communicated to Timothy the truth of the Gospel, and life in Christ, in what would have been a difficult environment.
Paul acknowledges how God was faithful to Timothy, not only through his own ministry, but also through these women in his own family heritage. Paul wants Timothy to recognise this truth and to count on God to use him to pass on the truth of the Gospel to others even when there are obstacles in the way.
This Mother’s day, I want you to think of those remarkable women who have made an impact on you by living out their faith in Christ. Let’s especially remember to be thankful for those mothers who remind us of God’s grace and faithfulness.
Heavenly Father, our earthly relations are very important and dear to us, none more so than our mothers. Their influence on how their offspring turn out is often underrated, even by their own children. But mothers are worthy of honour, as you commanded in the Old Testament, and we only ask that you will help us always to remember the debt we owe them. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
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