Though there are many grandmothers in the Bible, only one is singled out for her role as a grandmother. In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at Eunice and Lois, mother and grandmother of Timothy.
We’re all familiar with Timothy. His name means one who fears God. He was a young evangelist who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey and worked with multiple New Testament churches. Paul praised Timothy for his faith, giving credit to his upbringing by his mother and grandmother.
We’re first introduced to Eunice in Acts 16:1, although she’s only referenced as a “certain woman” and not by name.
“Then 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.” Acts 16:1 (NKJV)
Both women are mentioned by name in 2 Timothy 1:5. “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.” (NKJV)
Then in 2 Timothy 3:14-15, “But 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.” (NKJV)
The Rest of the Story
Lois and Eunice were Jews, but Eunice married a Greek. Since we have no mention of the father other than that he was not a Jew nor a believer, we can assume he must have died when Timothy was still young. We know that the father did have enough influence, however to keep Timothy from being circumcised.
If her husband died, leaving her to raise a young son on her own, Eunice would have been a single mother forced to go to work to support herself and Timothy. Being a young widow was a difficult life, but that’s where Lois comes in. While Eunice was at work, Lois probably cared for Timothy.
Or perhaps the father was alive but played little part in Timothy’s upbringing. This would have been perhaps even more difficult for Eunice, trying to raise a godly son while married to a nonbeliever.
Regardless of the circumstances, Eunice held strong to her faith. Both she and Lois made sure to teach Timothy scripture from a young age, training him to be a man of God.
Most likely, grandmother, mother, and son were saved when Paul came to Lystra during his first missionary journey. Because of their knowledge of Scripture, they were receptive to the Good News of Jesus as Messiah.
It’s obvious that the family was close knit. Timothy was an only child with a doting mother and grandmother. Some commentators believe that Timothy was sickly and in poor health.
How hard it must have been for Eunice and Lois to watch as Timothy left home to journey with Paul on his missionary journey. Though Timothy was a grown man, he was still their baby. They knew the risks that were involved. They knew that Paul and Timothy were delivering the gospel to often unreceptive audiences.
We know all that Paul endured for the gospel, but we have no indication that Timothy was ever arrested or imprisoned. Since Paul viewed Timothy as a son, it’s almost like he protected him, keeping him out of harm’s way. Though Eunice and Lois might worry, how grateful they must have been to know that Paul was watching out for their boy.
Are you a mother or a grandmother? If so, please know how what a special privilege it is to pour into a young child and train him up in the way of the Lord. It’s easy to feel like our efforts don’t matter, that they won’t remember, that they’re not enough. But the Bible stresses the powerful influence of a godly mother or grandmother.
If you’ve ever read the genealogy of the Israelite kings, you may have seen names of kings with wicked fathers and godly mothers who went on to become godly kings based on the influence of their mothers. It’s an interesting study.
Our society may downplay the role of motherhood, but countless men and women have done great and mighty deeds based on the love and teaching of a godly mother or grandmother.
Whatever the age of your children, it’s not too early, or late, to instill in them an understanding of the Scriptures and a love of God. The effort you put into it will be more than rewarded. Though not all children will grow up to be evangelists or preachers, each and every child can grow up to be an influence on those around them. Fill them with the teaching and training they need so that whatever they go on to do in life, they have that background to hold onto.
And mamas, whatever stage you’re in, whatever you’re doing, don’t forget to pray for your babies. Pray for them when they’re little and oh so fragile. Pray for them as they grow and test your patience. Pray for them as they struggle to make life altering decisions. Pray for them as they raise children of their own. Pray for them when they’re following God. Pray for them when they stray. In everything they do, take it to the Lord. Cover them with prayers as only a mother or grandmother can. And let them know that you love them and that you’re always praying for them wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.
Lord God, I ask a special prayer today for all the mothers and grandmothers. Lord, for moms of little ones who are running around and weary with no time for themselves, remind them that what they’re doing matters. Show them just how much You value them as a mom. Remind them that they don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom. Lord, for those moms whose kids are older and perhaps not living the life their moms wanted, give them encouragement. When their hearts are breaking, give them strength. Lord, guide each and every mother, giving her wisdom in every stage of motherhood. And Lord, I want to take a moment just to thank you for godly grandmothers who step in when needed, who offer a lap and a hug no matter how big the kids may be. Lord, be with grandmothers whose children have strayed. Give those grandmothers the courage to be a spiritual strength to children who may not be getting spiritual training from their parents. Lord, comfort and bless each and every mother and grandmother listening today. Fill them with Your love and mercy. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Tune in next week when we look at Paul’s messages to idle women and silly women.
Their Story: Acts 16:1-3: II Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15
Bible Study Review
- What was the relationship of Lois and Eunice?
- What was the difference between Eunice and her husband?
- What kind of relationship did Paul have with Timothy?
Thoughts to Ponder
- How did Eunice and Lois influence Timothy at a young age?
- What impact did Eunice’s husband have on Timothy?
- How did Eunice and Lois encourage Timothy’s ministry?
- Did you have the influence of a godly mother and/or grandmother?
- Are you leaving a godly legacy to your children and grandchildren?
- How can you prepare your children to be strong in their faith?
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