Summary: When a mother fulfills her calling well, her family, her church, her community feels the positive power of her influence.
Motherhood is a hard balancing act. Mothers are not only concerned with the growth of one single child, but in balancing the good of many who are in their care. If married, they nurture their husbands. In some cases they provide care for sick parents or relatives as well as filling needs in their communities. For all these things, there are no daily hours, no pay raises, no paid vacations. In spite of all their work, too often the house may look like the scene of a robbery, with toys, shoes, clothes, food, newspapers, magazines, and mail lying about. When you add that many moms are also working outside the home, no wonder that some moms are tempted to see death as an alluring option. They think, “Hey, I’ll finally be able to sit down.” No question about it, mothering is a tough balancing act.
But the job is so critical. When a mother fulfills her calling well, her family, her church, her community feels the positive power of her influence. We must learn to value motherhood more in our world. We must have a vision of the enormous potential of the mothering role.
Next week’s talk will be “Dealing with a Difficult Child.” But today, we’re exploring how mothers are the molders of men and women. Remember that a mother is not merely raising her one, two, or four children. She is also affecting future generations for good o evil. All the love, nurture, education, and character-building that come from a mother will work its way into the lives of her own children and her children’s children. Many great men and women could say with Timothy Dwight, former president of Yale, “All that I am and all that I shall be, I owe to my mother.”
But I want to direct your attention to another Timothy who was greatly influenced by his mother. He’s in the Bible. He was a great man. Let me introduce him to you.
Timothy is a name that means “honoring God.” He certainly did. He was a young man who was trained by the great leader of the early church, the Apostle Paul. He was spotted by Paul in a city named Lystra. It would be like Billy Graham coming to Cleveland, meeting a teenager at CVCC, seeing lots of potential and spirituality, and inviting the teen to join his team. That’s what happened to Timothy. He traveled with Paul on many of his missionary journeys. Paul called him “his son in the faith” (I Timothy 1:2) and his fellow-worker” (I Thessalonians 3:2). Timothy became a great evangelist himself (I Timothy 4:14) and did missionary work in Corinth, Thessalonica, and Macedonia. He finally settled in Ephesus and pastored the church there (Acts 17:15: 1Thessalonians 1:1, 3:2; Acts 19:22). He died as a martyr. Truly, he lived up to his name - he honored God!
Why? What are some of the keys to his God-honoring life? The Bible points us to his mother.
In the verses we’ll think through today, we will meet Timothy’s mother, “Eunice.” That name might sound funny to some of you, but it’s really a great name. It comes from two Greek words - “Eu” meaning “good” or “happy” and “nike” meaning “victory” or “conquering.” Her name is “Eunike”: “good victory” or “happily conquering.”
In mythology, Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. The Roman name for that winged goddess was Victoria. So, if you don’t like the name Eunice, then replace it with Victoria.
God gave us this mother’s name to give us some insights about some important principles necessary for victorious motherhood. Do you want to be a victorious mom? Here are three insights.
1. A victorious mother gives her children roots of faith.
Eunice had a sincere faith.
For 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.
I want us to focus a little on three word in this verse: “sincere,” “dwelt,” and “faith.”
“Sincere” is a great word. It literally means “without hypocrisy.” It means that she didn’t play act. You didn’t see one woman at church and another one at home. There was a consistency in her life.
“Dwelt” comes from two words in the Greek: “in” and “house.” Who’s “in the house?” When a victorious mom looks inside her life, she doesn’t see hypocrisy. She doesn’t see fear. Who’s in the house? A non-hypocritical faith is in the house!
“Faith” was deeply rooted in the life of this victorious mother. The demonstration of that faith so deeply impacted Timothy. Her faith was a primary tool that God used to touch Timothy’s life.
Do you have faith? Hebrews 11 defines it for us.