Summary: What are a Mom’s real priorities? Paul’s ministry review with Timothy reveals the good job Eunice and Lois did in raising a child prepared to live for the Lord


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2 Timothy 1.1-5, 3.15-17 May 11, 2003

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2to Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

2 Timothy 1:1-5 (NASB)

Eunice was a single mother in a scary world. She was a Jewish believer in Jesus. She’d been married to a Greek unbeliever, who’d either left or died. Like today, raising a child in a single parent home, was no picnic.

Then again, there are times of compensation. A little boy invaded the dress department of a big department store and said to the salesperson, "I want to buy my mom a dress, but I don’t know what size." "Is she tall or short, fat, or skinny?" asked the clerk. "Well, she’s just perfect," answered the boy. She wrapped-up a "size 8" for him. Two day’s later Mom came and exchanged the dress for a "size 16."

Eunice’s boy Timothy was that kind of compensation. And there were good reasons. Eunice was a wise and spiritually-strong mother. Her priorities were learned at her mother Lois’ knee, and passed along to Tim. The world pushes transitory values - money, position, power and fame. You can sense that with a quick look at the TV lineup for most evenings - American Idol, Fear Factor, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, and many more.

Mother’s Day is a good day to review the basics of a mother’s priorities. We find these in 2 Timothy 3.15-17. Paul is writing to a young pastor which he had taken under his wing to train. Let’s look-in on the review Paul conducted with his young protégé’ named Timothy.

Priority #1: Savior

15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:15 (NASB)


Eunice led her boy Timothy to know the Lord Jesus Christ. She taught him about Jesus, and expected that he would accept Christ as Savior.

The word "leads" in this verse speaks of anticipation. When a mother anticipates, prays and leads toward Christ, she has every right to expect the cooperation of God in bringing her child to the Lord. This sounds simple; but it is not easy...or cheap. Susannah Wesley is said to have prayed one hour every day for her children. She was strict. But she was unselfishly faithful. She had six rules for teaching her children the priority of the Savior:

1. Subdue self-will in a child.

2. Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.

3. Give him nothing he cries for, and only what is good for him when he asks politely.

4. Punish no fault confessed, but let no sinful act to go unnoticed.

5. Reward good behavior.

6. Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.

What is so familiar about these rules is it is exactly the way the Lord treats us. Knowing the love of the mother up-close and personal, the children will learn to love the love of the Father in heaven.

Priority #2: Scripture

15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings….

16All Scripture is inspired by God…

2 Timothy 3:15a, 16a (NASB)


Eunice taught her son the scriptures starting at a very young age. Jewish boys start formal instruction in the Scriptures at age 5; younger than that is not too soon. It is said that Susannah Wesley had 19 children. (Whew!) What is more, this mother of Charles and John Wesley took each child aside for an hour every week to discuss and teach them the principles of spiritual living. Those two sons touched two continents for Christ.

The best formula I know for teaching children is to

a. Bring them to church on Sunday;

b. Apply what is learned on Sunday all throughout the rest of the week.

Mothers, nobody will MAKE you do this. In fact, it is just the opposite today. With God removed from public places and the schools faithfully teaching secular humanism, your child has little chance of growing up to be a Timothy, or with any kind of Christian values, unless YOU teach him!

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Faith Timmons

commented on May 6, 2009


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