Summary: This morning I want to begin by giving you my thesis: A mother can make a significant spiritual impact on her children with or without the help of a father.
Even though Lois and Eunice were believers, Timothy needed to come to a point in which he put his faith in Christ. Faith is not hereditary, it is learned. At the same time, when mothers model genuine faith, an environment is set up whereby children will be motivated to want that same kind of faith.
The word, “sincere” related to faith means that it was “unhypocritical.” It was real, without any pretense or false façade. Faith had come and taken up residence in his mother’s heart and in his grandmother’s heart and was now alive in his own life. These two mothers were completely sold out to Christ. They were drop-dead serious about their faith. They were fully devoted and completely committed. And Timothy knew it. No one knows better than a child whether a parent’s faith is genuine.
Notice the chain here: Lois to Eunice to Timothy. Again, we don’t read of a grandfather or a father anywhere in this equation. That’s not to say that a father is not important he is. What I’m saying is this: a mother can make a significant spiritual impact on her children with or without the help of a father.
Moms, if you want to instill authentic faith in your children then you better take your own faith seriously. If you’re just going through the motions spiritually your kids will eventually see it, and tragically, may do the same thing when they are older. As you demonstrate your faith consistently by reading the Bible, praying, attending worship, bringing your kids to programs that help them grow spiritually, and by participating in the life and mission of the church, you will send a strong message to your children.
I heard recently about a pastor who had a long conversation with someone about becoming a member of his church. When he was done the young man said he was ready to join. The pastor was curious so he asked him, “What did I say that convinced you to join the church?” The man answered, “It was nothing I ever heard you say. It was the way my mother lived.”
As I think about the kind of faith that was passed from a mother to a mother to a son, I’m convinced that a mother like this has to be more interested in having her children know the Bible than be able to speak another language before they are 5-years-old. She is also more interested in:
Her children’s souls than in their bodies or in their clothes
Her children’s eternal life than their success in this life
Her children’s relationship with Jesus than their popularity in the world
Her children’s standing before God than their social status
Her children’s spirituality than their intellectual, musical, or athletic accomplishments
While it isn’t in the text, a mother who passes along a faith that is authentic is without a doubt a praying woman. 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.