We have now blogged about a businesswoman, a married woman and this week a mother, greatly influenced by her mother.
Behind every good man is a mother. Our lady of the week was no exception. Eunice was the mother of Tim. You know, the young man who was asked to accompany the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys and later go on to become his most trusted companion; the same young man who received not one, but two letters from Paul, which we read in our Bible today.
Acts tells us that Paul heard rumors of the young Timothy and sought him out because he knew The Word. “From a child you have known the Scriptures.” Timothy can thank his mother Eunice and in-turn grandmother Lois for teaching him The Torah.
Timothy’s father is only mentioned to say that he was not a believer. This left Eunice having the sole responsibility of training her son in the ways of Jehovah.
There was a time in my early-married life that my sweet and loving husband was not interested in attending church with our children and me. He had all the church he needed when he was a kid. He certainly didn’t oppose and being a good southern man, he was glad I was raising our children to know God, “Just don’t ask me to go to church.”
Sunday after Sunday, he helped get us out the door in time for Sunday school. I struggled through spells of being bitter, feeling like I had to ‘do it all myself,’ thus making me that dripping faucet. So week after week I murmured and complained! There were even seasons I was a clanging symbol! After all, “These kids are your responsibility too!” (I think I could have been a defense attorney!) The truth is I wasn’t very life-giving. Who could blame him? IF that’s what going to church produced in me…who wanted it? I had to learn to trust God to do what He said He would do. Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 1 Peter 3:1
What? That meant I had to shut-up; to stop preaching at my husband. Instead, I learned to focus that energy into teaching our children The Word. We had Bible story time, I bought Christian children’s songs and we sang them often. I did my part and learned to let go and trust God to do what I couldn’t. I made first Peter three my prayer.
When I finally got out-of-the-way God began working in my husband’s heart. Then one Sunday morning as he was helping our daughter get her shoes on, she looked up and sweetly asked, “Daddy, why don’t you go to church?” to which his reply that morning was, “I think I will today, baby.” God had begun working on my husband’s heart and He used the sweet words of our daughter to help him take a step towards a relationship with Him.
Today, Charles is the most amazing Christian I know. He allows God to use him everyday of his life. When he prays, you feel like you have been in the presence of God. While we didn’t raise our children to be as great as Timothy, they love Jesus, are married to believers and are passing their faith on to our three, soon to be four, grand babies!
Eunice, what a woman of faith you must have been!
~ Cindy Willingham