Saturday, May 07, 2005

Lois and Eunice--Moms For The Ages

I have now recovered from my early-in-the-week panic over Mother's Day (See Mother's Day----Aauughhhh!!!), and my studies have led me to Lois and Eunice. Who are Lois and Eunice? Lois and Eunice were the grandmother and mother, respectively, of a young preacher named Timothy roughly 1900+ years ago. We only know about them because Timothy had a friend and mentor named Paul, another preacher, who liked to write letters. Paul wrote, in a letter to Timothy, that he missed Timothy and looked forward to seeing him because he remembered Timothy's "unfeigned faith"--faith that Paul had first seen in Timothy's mother and grandmother. (2 Timothy 1:5) If you stop and think about it, that's pretty cool...Timothy was the kind of person that you want to be around and you miss when you're not with them, because he was phoniness...and Paul knew he owed it to his mom and grandma.

What does it take for moms and dads to raise a child who becomes the kind of man Timothy was? First, it takes being real yourself...Paul says that he first saw the unfeigned faith of Timothy in his mother and grandmother...those ladies didn't just talk about having faith or being Christians, they lived it out...Paul says their faith "dwelt" in them. Their faith lived with them all the time...Now for some people, faith seems to come for a visit on Sunday might hang around for lunch and the evening service, but then faith is in the car, waving as it heads off down the road until next Sunday. In those kind of families, kids see a model that teaches them that Jesus is for one day a week, and then we go back to the "real world." But Lois and Eunice's faith was with them all the time, guiding and directing them, and helping them to show Timothy how to live as a Christian man.

They didn't just live out a faith with no context, 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul mentions that Timothy had been taught the holy Scriptures from his childhood. Lois and Eunice had not been slack in taking care of Timothy's education--Timothy wasn't taught to be good for the sake of being good, or that he should "let his conscience be his guide," or that he should look at every situation and do what he thought was best; he was taught God's word from a young age. Learning the Bible is not just a good idea--learning the Bible gives us the direction we need to make us the people God would have us to be. Verse 16 says the Bible should be used to direct our ways and to guide us into righteousness...not our righteousness, but the righteousness of God.

Finally, Lois and Eunice did one more thing that was a key to Timothy's development as a Christian and as a man...they made sure that his role model was a person worthy of being followed...Paul. Timothy had traveled with Paul, had served with Paul in ministry, had been taught by Paul, and had seen Paul in good times and bad...and Timothy saw that Paul, like Lois and Eunice, lived out his faith in every situation, and God was always faithful to deliver Paul.

Timothy grew up to be a faithful follower of Christ and man of faith...because the women in his life, his mother and grandmother, lived out their faith, taught him the word, and made sure he had good role models. Praise the Lord for faithful mothers!!

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