This week, leading up to Mother’s Day, we are looking at Seven Magnificent Mothers from scripture who exhibited characteristics to be admired, imitated, and praised.
Magnificent Mother #6: The Lone Witness
Scripture doesn’t tell us much about the sixth of our “magnificent mothers”, whom I call “The Lone Witness”. But if we look carefully, we can surmise some important things about her. What we do know, from II Timothy 1:5, is that this woman’s name was Eunice, and that she was the mother of Timothy. But if we look back at Acts 16:1, we also learn this: “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.”
Timothy’s mother was a believer, but his father was a Greek. Here we have a household where one spouse is a Christ-follower, but the other likely is not – a very difficult situation. How is the money going to be spent? The believer wants to honor God with His tenth of the income, but the nonbeliever thinks money given to the church is a waste. And then there are some of the vices that the nonbeliever wants to spend money on that the believer feels are immoral. What about the social scene? The nonreligious spouse is uncomfortable around church folk, and the Christian spouse doesn’t want to hang around the pagan friends of the unbelieving spouse. Then there’s the question of the children: will little Timothy go to youth group like mom wants, or will he be at the chariot races and Olympics training camp like dad wants? Not an ideal situation for a believer to try to raise a child in the way he should go.
The Bible is very clear that a believer should not marry an unbeliever. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be joined together with unbelievers, for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common.” Too many young people have created difficult home situations, like Eunice experienced, because they thought they could worry about their boyfriend or girlfriend’s spiritual life later. They think, “Oh, I can change him (or her).” Many end up losing their own faith in the process. There is nothing more important to consider in seeking out a dating relationship than that person’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
But Eunice truly does make the best of a tough situation. Scripture tells us that. In I Timothy 1:5, Paul says to Timothy, “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.” Despite the conflicting forces in the household, Eunice provided a strong example of a Spirit-filled mother; and that faith, Paul says, continued strong in Timothy. Timothy would grow up to be one of the great leaders of the early church, all because of the Godly example set before him by a magnificent mother who was the Lone Witness in their household.
~ Matt Kinnell,
NHIM Board Chair