Summary: A look at the faith shared with Timothy and Eunice
It wasn’t easy. She loved her husband but it was so difficult to share a life with someone who didn’t share your faith. You would think it would only be an issue on Sundays but it was an issue every day of the week. And children only complicated the matter; her priorities for the kids were often in conflict with her husband’s.
We don’t know a lot about this woman, she is only mentioned by name in one verse in the New Testament and yet her influence is seen throughout the New Testament and the early church.
We know from the scripture that Deanne read earlier that her name was Eunice and that she was the mother of Timothy who was one the young preachers used by Paul to minister to the early church. Two of the letters that make up the New Testament were actually written by Paul to Timothy, coincidently called first and second Timothy, and he is credited with co-writing six of Paul’s other letters. So you gotta figure that Eunice did something right.
Let’s go back to a portion of what was read earlier 2 Timothy 1:5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
You catch the critical word there? The word faith, three times in thirty words Paul uses the word faith. We are told that it was a genuine faith, that it was a shared faith and that it was a strong faith. The person that Timothy was had been shaped by his mother and grand mother, and that isn’t all that surprising considering how much influence our mothers have over us. It was Napoleon who said “Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons.” And in his poem by the same name William Ross Wallace writes “For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.”
And so according to Paul, Timothy was who Timothy was because of Eunice. His faith had been formed and shaped by the faith of his mother and on this day when we celebrate Mother’s it would be a good time to look at the faith of this particular mother.
To better understand the type of faith that Eunice had the type of faith that Eunice passed on to her son we have to go back to the book of Acts where Timothy is first introduced. Acts 16:1 Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.
We haven’t pulled up on of our trusty maps for awhile so this would be the day, this trip is often referred to as Paul’s Second Missionary Journey. Paul and Barnabas had previously traveled throughout Asia starting a number of churches and they have ended up back in Antioch which is in what we now know as Syria. And the decision is made to travel back to some of the cities they had previously visited to see how the believers were doing. And chapter 16 tells us that they first went to Derbe which is situated here in modern day Turkey and then they traveled on to Lystra where they had started a new church five years before. And it was while they were here that Paul had the opportunity to reconnect with the young man Timothy and recruit him as his protégé and assistant.
And none of that really had much to do with the story, but what does is the last line of that introduction where it is written Acts 16:1 Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.
Did you catch that? His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. It’s not that Paul had anything against Greeks, you see it wasn’t what Paul said about Timothy’s father it was what was left unsaid.
He was a Greek, not a Greek believer just a Greek. And so we have a household where one spouse is a Christ follower and one isn’t and the challenges that are posed in such situations can never be fully understood unless you are in that situation.
There are financial considerations, where will money get spent? The unsaved partner sees money being given to the church as a waste and you don’t even want to get started on how the believer views money spent on vices. There are social considerations. Who will their friends be and how will they spend their social time. And there are moral decisions. What should or shouldn’t be watched, listened to or read, what should they do or not do? What happens on a nice weekend is it church or the beach?