THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH: Faith
The mother of Timothy is mentioned one time in the book of Acts. “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek” (Acts 16:1). The name of Timothy’s mother is not given in this verse, but we learn of it from Paul’s letter to Timothy. “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” (2 Timothy 1:5). At first one might think this single reference to his mother is insignificant. It is a very important passage. Luke records that she “believed” (Acts 16:1). She did not keep her faith to herself, but passed it on to her son. Timothy had a strong faith, and as a companion of Paul made tremendous impact for good in the church. Timothy worked with Paul, (Romans 16:21) and was his messenger to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 4:17) and to the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:2-6). He was at Rome with Paul (Philippians 1:1; 2:16; Colossians 1:1; Philemon 1). Timothy suffered much for the truth with Paul (Hebrews 13:23) (Boles 251).
None of this would have been possible without the “certain woman” of Acts 16:1. Timothy was taught at an early age. “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” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). His was an “unfeigned faith.” “Unfeigned faith means unhypocritical, sincere, and unpretentious. Timothy had a pure faith. Both Timothy’s mother and his grandmother had this pure faith also” (Sheerer 942-943). Timothy was a third generation Christian, but his was not a second hand faith.
There is no indication that Timothy’s father was a Christian. Some think he may have been dead. If that is the case Eunice was a single mother. Whatever the situation may have been, Eunice, that “certain woman” (Acts 16:1), raised a gospel preacher. Timothy was a man of god (1 Timothy 6:11). He had been taught godly qualities like holy living (1 Timothy 6:11-12). He was taught to endure hardness and difficulty (2 Timothy 2:3). He had been reared to be a man of faith (2 Timothy 1:6). Mothers today can rear young men like Timothy. It may be thought to be an impossible undertaking in light of the present assault of Satan on our children (1 Peter 5:8). Eunice shows it can be done.
There are things that a Christian mother can do to instill “unfeigned faith” in her children. (1) She can teach them about God (Deuteronomy 6:4). (2) She can teach them that the Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). (3) She can teach her children to trust God (Proverbs 3:5-7). (4) She can teach her children to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17). (5) She can teach her children the love of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7-8). (6) She can teach her children that the most potent force in their life is Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:13).
What a great example the mother of Timothy is for women today. Consider how the life of her son influenced so many during the infancy of the church. This was all because she was a “certain woman, which was a Jewess and believed (Acts 16:1). Her faith reaches beyond the first century into our modern world. When we read the books of First and Second Timothy, we are reminded how enriched we are because of this woman’s influence on the one to whom those books were written.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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