A Grandmother, Mother, and a Boy
Some interesting (albeit anecdotal) thoughts on motherhood...
- By the time a child reaches 18, a mother has had to handle some extra 18,000 hours of child-generated work
- Women who never have children enjoy the equivalent of an extra three months a year in leisure time!
- A father was trying to explain the concept of marriage to his 4-year-old daughter. He got out their wedding album, and explained the entire wedding service to her. When he was finished, he asked if she had any questions. She pointed to a picture of the wedding party and asked, “Daddy, is that when mommy came to work for us?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, “Men are what their mothers make them” and an old Spanish proverb says, “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”
For some women, mother's day is Difficult...
- Maybe you want to be a mother but you can’t be for some reason
- Perhaps you did have not had the best mother in the world
- Some of you have had a mother who has died
- Some of you mothers have lost a child to death
- Some of you mothers feel the pain of a wayward child
- And, some of you are flying solo as you work hard to nurture your child’s faith
A Grandmother, a Mother, and a Boy
This message is for the mom's that are flying solo. One of the more remarkable young men in the New Testament was raised by a single mom, Timothy. Timothy's mother and grandmother passed a legacy on to him that would propel him into the pages of history.
Eunice - Timothy's Mom
We don't have all the details surrounding Eunice's circumstance, but they might have looked like this:
- Eunice was raised in a religious home and was greatly impacted by her mother Lois.
- As she approached her teenage years, she became attracted to a young man who was not into Eunice’s religion at all.
- Against the best wishes of her godly mother, the teaching of her faith, and the tug of her conscience, she married the man.
- After a couple years of marriage, Eunice and her husband had a baby boy they named Timothy. Eunice’s dad had died so they asked her mother Lois to come and live with them. We don't know where Timothy's dad is in the picture. Maybe he died, left them, or was simply disinterested.
- Both Timothy's mother and grandmother spent hours with him, teaching him the stories of the Old Testament, praying with him and for him, and training him in the things of God.
- Paul came to Lystra and spoke about a man named Jesus. Both Lois and Eunice listened intently.
- These new believers in turn focused on teaching Timothy all about Jesus.
- We know from reading the book of Acts that Paul himself took a personal interest in Tim the teenager and, partnering with his mother and grandmother, became a major influence in Timothy’s life.
- Later, Paul Timothy becomes part of Paul’s ministry.
- Many years later, while Paul is in prison, awaiting his execution, he writes two letters to young Timothy.
- As Paul writes these letters, that we know as 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy, he reflects on the mothers who made an impact in Tim’s life.
With that as background, I’m going to draw from three different passages of Scripture two of which are found in Paul’s second letter to Timothy -- to show how a mother and a grandmother -- can make a significant spiritual impact on her children with or without the help of a father.
Instill a Respect for Scripture
The first way a mother can do this is by instilling within her children a respect for Scripture.
In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul reminds Timothy that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Then in verse 14, Paul urges Timothy to hang tough when the tough times come: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
2 Timothy 3:15 shows us what this truth was: “And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”
Instill an Authentic Faith
2 Timothy 1:5: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
Any home in which faith is passed on from generation to generation has to be a home of prayer. One cannot imagine Lois not praying for Eunice or Eunice not praying for Timothy. We read in Acts 12:12 that the mother of John Mark opened her home for a prayer meeting while Peter was imprisoned. In Acts 1:14, Mary, the mother of Jesus “joined together constantly in prayer” with the disciples. That’s the hallmark of a godly mother.
Instill a Desire to Serve
Acts 16:1-3: “He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey…”
- He was a strong disciple.
- He had a good reputation.
- He was available.
When Paul stopped in Lystra for this second time, he enlisted Timothy to be his special assistant to replace John Mark. Paul refers to Timothy as his “beloved son” in 1 Corinthians 4:17 and in 1 Timothy 1:2, he calls him his “own son in the faith.” In Philippians 2:20, Paul can’t think of anyone like Timothy when he writes: “I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.” Paul thought very highly of Timothy and couldn’t wait to unleash him for ministry.
Let’s see if I can bring all this together. Mothers, you can make a significant spiritual impact in your family with or without the help of a father. You can do that by instilling three things into your children's hearts:
- A Respect for Scripture
- An Authentic Faith
- A Desire to Serve
I want to applaud you mothers who take the task seriously of making a spiritual impact in the lives of your children. As Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise and call her blessed…” On Mother's Day 2014, we honor your devotion and sacrifice.