Women of the Bible Series
Eunice (II Timothy 1:5) – PART 1
II Timothy 1:5, 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.
I think of a young man who grew up in a home without a Christian father, but with a godly mother and a godly grandmother; and this young man became a major influence for the cause of Jesus Christ in the first century. His name was Timothy. Timothy had one of the greatest privileges that a child can have: strong Christian parents. His mother and grandmother were steadfast believers who were faithful to God's Word every day of their lives. This was and still is the key in any family. How did this young man from the city of Lystra, a mystical place given over to idol worship, develop into such a great leader for the cause of Jesus Christ? He was raised by a godly mother and grandmother. There had been three generations of genuine faith in Timothy’s family: first, his grandmother Lois; then his mother Eunice; and now finally Timothy himself. This faith pleased God (Hebrews 11:6).
Timothy's faith in Christ was genuine and sincere; it was real and true. He honestly trusted Christ as his Saviour and Lord, and he lived for Christ. One of the major reasons for his strength in the Lord was the strong faith of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. They had rooted and grounded him in the faith. What made this mother stand out were the qualities in her own life that she passed down to her own son. When Paul thought of Timothy's faith, he remembered the impact Timothy's mother and grandmother had on his becoming a believer.
Eunice’s husband is not mentioned by name in the Scripture. Eunice was a Jewess, and believed; but his (Timothy) father was Greek. This suggests Timothy’s father was probably an unbeliever. The story of Eunice and Timothy gives hope to one parent homes or couples who are unequally yoked. What good things about Timothy can be attributed to the training of his mother? Timothy was strong Christian, and this was in part due to genuine faith of his mother.
Even though faith is something intensely personal and each person must believe for himself or herself, we are nevertheless influenced in this decision by others. That was certainly true of Timothy. Eunice passed on her faith to her son Timothy by planting the seed of faith in his life. From the first day of his life, Timothy had a constant reminder of the importance of faith and that reminder was his name. Eunice could not put the fruit of faith in her son's life, but she could plant the seeds that she hoped someday would blossom into faith. She did that by giving him the name Timothy.
In Acts 16:1-3, Timothy is called a disciple, well reported of by the brethren, and desired by the Apostle Paul on his journeys. Even Paul recognized the influence of Timothy’s mother in II Timothy 1:5. Materialism and wealth cannot compare to a child growing up to serve God and honor his parents. The name that Eunice gave Timothy showed her desire for Timothy, as his name means “dear to God”. What a person does is greatly due to what his parents taught him.
The Bible reference to Eunice’s faith is referred to her belief in God and His Word. Paul said to Timothy that what he would be remembered most about Timothy’s mother was that the faith she had was genuine. Unfeigned faith begins salvation, and then continues as one consistently spends time with God and lives with Him. The word “unfeigned” means sincere or without hypocrisy. Hypocrisy comes from trying to “look like” instead of “being” what one should be. Children and teens can read their parents. They can see right through their teachers, and they can turn away in disgust from a believer who plays charades. Eunice passed down this unfeigned faith to her son Timothy because it was her. She put it in herself by having a steady diet of the Word of God (Romans 10:17). A child who grows up with a parent who takes seriously the things of God has instilled in them a faith that will last their lifetime.
Genuine faith produces a genuine Christian. A child’s convictions and what he or she believes are shaped by the child’s parents. Often when a parent who says, “I want my children to choose their own way” has already chosen it for them. A teaching mother will train her children in the things of God, but more importantly will live them. Eunice’s faith was portrayed in her life because of a heart that believed in God. You can’t help but teach what you truly believe. Sure, Timothy learned from Paul and others, but his foundation was under the influence of his mother Eunice. Paul tells us that Timothy had a real, living faith in his heart. He had more than just a profession of faith; he had an active faith.
Mothers know that they have an especially important role they have been entrusted with. In our troubled world it is a daunting task, but God will strengthen and guide you in your quest to teach your children and to encourage them to choose and to honor Him. The love and influence of Christian mothers is something we should all be thankful for every day of our lives.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for my parents who love and care for me. May I honor them and show my love and care for them for the many sacrifices they have made in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.