Summary: A Eulogy for Eunice by Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey deals with the issues of death, parenting,and family.
A Eulogy for Eunice
2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-17
by Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey
Everyone has a biological mother with the exception of Adam and Eve. We read in the book of Genesis, “Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). So in a sense, Eve is the mother of us all.
Motherhood encompasses step-mothers, single mothers and spiritual mothers, as well as biological mothers.
Do you remember the story written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm called Cinderella, about a young lady who had an evil step-mother? Thankfully, not all step-mothers are evil. In fact, many step-mothers are good and godly in the fulfillment of their motherly role.
We should also note that single mothers are quite often in that position by no choice of their own, due to death, divorce or desertion. Some single mothers do a wonderful job of raising children to know and to serve the Lord. For example, “John M. Webb was born to Dr. Alfred Pellar Webb and Ida Stewart Webb on October 21, 1919 in Atmore, Alabama. He grew up in Atmore where his father was a local physician. From his earliest recollection John attended the First Baptist Church of Atmore. Receiving Christ as his Savior as a young lad, he was baptized and became a member of the First Baptist Church of Atmore. When John was twelve his father died leaving the responsibility of his upbringing to his mother, Ida and his grandmother, Elizabeth. His ‘Little Mama,’ Ida and ‘Big Mama,’ Elizabeth, taught him to love the Bible. John received a Bible with the following inscription: ‘To John Webb, Christmas 1930, Mama’.” ¹
From time to time we hear someone referred to as a “spiritual mother.” A “spiritual mother” is a person who leads you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sometimes your “spiritual mother” is the same as your biological mother, as in my case.
We can write a eulogy for Eunice, the mother of Timothy, from the epistles of Paul to Timothy and the book of Acts penned by Luke.
According to the Merriam Webster’s Deluxe Dictionary a “eulogy” is “a commendatory formal statement or set oration. High praise.” To “eulogize” is “to speak or write in high praise of” or to “extol”.
The prefix “eu” means “good” and the root “logy” comes from the Greek word “logos” which means “word”. We have some “good words” for Eunice the mother of Timothy.
I. Eunice’s Extraordinary Responsibility
First, we see the extraordinary responsibility Eunice accepted. In Acts 16:1 we read, “Then [Paul] came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.”
Deuteronomy 6:7 commands parents to teach the law of God to their children when it says, ““You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
The divine wisdom of Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Dr. W. A. Criswell explains in The Believer’s Study Bible the word “train” comes from a word that means ‘to put something into the mouth’. Dr. Criswell also shares that “a kindred Arabic word was used to describe the process of putting date syrup into the mouth of a newborn to encourage sucking.”
At this point the words of David come to mind, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
Eunice taught her son Timothy to acquire a taste for the Word of God.
Joshua boldly declares, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 makes the following statement about the husband’s responsibility: “He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family.”²
Eunice fulfilled the extraordinary responsibility of training her son, Timothy, in the Scriptures. According to the Scripture a husband and father is to fulfill this responsibility. We read in Ephesians 6:4: “fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Woodrow M. Kroll with Back to the Bible in Lincoln, Nebraska, explains in a message titled, “The Legacy of a Mother”: “Eunice had the responsibility of raising Timothy without the aid of a saved husband. Eunice was faithful to Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:13-14. [“And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.”] The life [Eunice] lived made her an example of the Lord Jesus Christ before her husband, and that example was later reflected in the life of her son.”