This week, we are taking a look at one short verse in the Bible, instead of a whole story, one that is one of the MOST important Bible verses for moms. It’s this one:
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. – 2 Timothy 1:5, NLT
Why do I think this is the one Bible verse that moms need to know?
Let’s break it down.
First of all, Paul is writing to Timothy. Paul was the last apostle and one of the most influential Christian believers of the 1st century. He wrote most of the New Testament letters by divine revelation and spread the Word of the gospel to Gentiles. In the books of Timothy, he is passing his wisdom and authority onto Timothy, who he considered Timothy like a son. We first heart of Timothy AND his mother at the same time, in Acts 16:1:
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.
Why does this matter?
Paul must have known this family very well, and his mother’s and grandmother’s faith looked exactly the same when it was displayed in Timothy. Note that Paul’s only mention of his father was to tell us that he was not a believer.
Get that: one of the earliest church leaders, trusted by the most key figure in spreading the gospel early on, did NOT have a believer as his father. That means the spiritual head of his household was his mother.
Eunice, as well her mother Lois, took their roles as spiritual leaders seriously, passing down the faith to Timothy so completely that it didn’t matter to his spiritual development and growth that his father was not a Christian.
And THAT’S why this is one of the most important Bible verses for all moms to read and study.
Let’s dig deeper.
Are you married to a nonbeliever? Yes! OK, then YOU can be Eunice, and your child can be a Timothy. But even if you’re not, never fear, we can all learn something from her.
What else does 2 Timothy 1:5 tell us about the way Timothy was raised?
1. Lois and Eunice modeled their faith to Timothy. The NKJV words that same scripture this way:
…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.
Talk about a Bible verse that praises moms! Remember that your genuine faith was planted and nurtured in you by the Lord, whether or not it was passed down from your own mother.
2. Timothy then showed visible evidence of that faith to Paul. Paul was no slouch about picking out charlatans – those who claimed to be Christians but were not. He’s even gone so far as to recommend members who display willful sin to be “handed over to satan” to learn correction and had expelled members who showed they were not true believers. Bestowing this honor on Timothy was not something he would have done lightly. He would have only done this had he been absolutely, divinely sure of Timothy’s faith.
3. Timothy was not just faithful, but mature in the faith since he must have demonstrated that he could handle this high honor from Paul. We see this in Philippians when Paul says:
I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. -Phil 2:20-22
And here’s another thing: Timothy’s father may have been Greek (a non-believer) but God provided Timothy with a spiritual father – Paul – right here on earth.
If you are single, widowed, or have a husband who is not a Christian, God can – and will – provide the role models for your child.
But it starts with you! Can you see now why these few words of Scripture are one of the most important verses for moms in the whole Bible?
What Can We Learn The Most Important Bible Verse For Moms?
One of the most important lessons we can take from Lois and Eunice?
1. Don’t hide your faith around your family.
Be open about your faith. Yes, even if you are married to a non-Christian. Ok, really, I should say especially if you are! Don’t be lukewarm but wear your faith with pride. I know it can be hard but it will please God very much and fulfill His mission.
For over 2 years, I attended home church without my family and kept my faith quiet in order to “keep the peace.” I now know that was not the right thing to do. Be open and verbal about my faith has helped my family grow and learn about the Lord. Even if they do not accept Christ, I am responsible that they will have heard the truth and now I’m sure they have heard it!
2. Model, model, model.
If you have kids with special needs, you know that modeling is one of the top ways they learn things quickly and easily – and usually, permanently. In fact, all kids can learn from modeling – and adults too. I always remember when I was in college in the months after 9/11 in New York City and a professor asked how I could be so calm and steady after the event. I was only courting Christianity at the time so I didn’t have the words to share what I now know. I hope and pray that my family can see how peaceful and trusting I am now (relative to my past) so that they too wonder what I have that they are missing.
3. Talk about the hard things.
Eunice was raising her son as a Christian during a time of heavy persecution. Liken it to being a Christian in a Muslim country with Sharia law, or China or North Korea. I’m sure they had some hard conversations as they saw friends persecuted, maybe even killed for their faith. And I have no doubt that there were some difficult days when Timothy’s dad was not enjoying his wife’s new faith.
Today, too, there are some hard issues in Christianity. We live in a time of extreme emotional comfort and this will make you feel like an outsider. That’s ok, Jesus was an outsider too. Think of Paul, who turned his back on his family, his job, his probably wealth to spend most of his later years in chains, mocked and scorned for his faith – and all with joy. I love showing this joy to my husband – it’s taught us both so much and brought us closer! Be careful, though. Make sure you are discussing with someone who is genuinely interested and not someone who is just baiting you, even if that’s your older child or your husband. Ask God to help you figure out the difference.
4. Believe the best for your children.
Even if your kids have learning disabilities, that doesn’t mean an automatic “go” card to heaven. If they have the intellectual capacity to do so, they will need to call on Jesus themselves. So train them up – do not assume that they are too disabled to make a choice. Imagine your child is Timothy and you are Eunice.
Imagine that your friend, who is a leader in the church, contacts you to tell you that he sees YOUR great faith in your son or daughter, and is assigning a great and Godly responsibility on your child’s shoulders. Doesn’t the idea of that just give you a shudder of excitement? That’s the kind of pride we need to aim for as parents. Imagine God pointing to your children when you arrive in heaven as He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).
Being open and vocal at home about my faith helped my family to turn a crucial corner in one piece. I can easily create lessons, make up songs, read aloud, play music – no need to be quiet! I can worship as I see fit and pray over dinner. I can give the kids a kiss as they leave for school and tell them Jesus is watching over them. I can debate the pro’s and cons of fundamentalism with my husband without fear or shaming.
5. Pray blessings over them.
Timothy was lucky to get Paul to pray over him, but we parents can pray blessings for our kids right now, in front of them. I hope you already do this, but I ask God to bless my kids every night with whatever they will need to get through the day, but also to be blessed with salvation, peace, joy, comfort – whatever I feel they need at the moment! Ask God to bless them with Christian friends and with evidence of His divine presence in their daily lives and with understanding and knowledge of their words. Bless them with health, healing, development, and strengths to live out God’s purpose in their days, years and lives.
And my life? Wow. Unbelievably different than just 6 months ago. Sure, some of that had to do with painful changes God needed me to do and some with homeopathy, but much of it is due to the open atmosphere I’ve helped create for the Holy Spirit to really live in my home.
6. Don’t forget to pray for yourself.
I can’t believe that Eunice and Lois could raise Timothy to be such a strong man of God without being on their knees, night after night, begging God for the wisdom, strength, and guidance to do so, and praying for forgiveness for the times they messed up, as surely happened. We all blow it as parents, even the most righteous of us. I remember a friend who blows me away in this department confessing how he’d not done the right thing for his child. I was shocked! We are all human and as good as we can try to be, we will make mistakes.
If your spouse does not share your faith, you need to pray for your tongue, your pride, your testimony, and your constant obedience to show him or her the heart of God. This is going to be one of the hardest things you might ever do as a spouse. Take every opportunity to seek the Lord’s guidance as you do!
My challenge to you today is this:
How can you raise a Timothy of your own? Tell me how you share your faith with your loved ones!
To learn more about Timothy, 1 and 2 Timothy – Paul’s letter to the man. It gave him guidance to oversee the church at Ephesus, and some of his last words. Then visit 1 Thessalonians 3 to read more of Paul’s confidence in Timothy and what he was doing.
Need more guidance? Learn the 7 ways your child can connect with God at Focus on the Family.
Do you agree? Share what you think are the most important Bible Verses For Moms?