|Volume 24 Number 7 July 2022
Mothers have a great influence. Twenty-nine times in the Old Testament, we find the phrase “…his mother’s name was…” (Leviticus 24:11 to Jeremiah 52:1). Timothy’s mother, Eunice, had a great influence on her son, who became one of Paul’s most trusted coworkers (Philippians 2:19-22). There are just a handful of verses that highlight Timothy’s mother and grandmother. From these verses, let us note how Timothy’s mother influenced him.
First, Eunice exemplified submission to God. On Paul’s second missionary trip, he met Timothy, “the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek” (Acts 16:1 NKJV). Despite being in a religiously mixed marriage, Eunice was able to instill spiritual values in her son. Incidentally, this shows that Christians being married to non-Christians is not inherently sinful (1 Corinthians 7:12-13), although unwise (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-2). In the first century, marriages were often arranged long before the husband and wife knew each other. Nevertheless, wives are to “submit” to their own husbands, “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22), even if those husbands are not what they should be spiritually (1 Peter 3:1-6). In showing proper submission, Eunice showed her son a life patterned after God’s will. Mothers today must properly fulfill their God-given roles. This will teach their children from a very young age the first steps to godliness!
Second, Eunice enriched genuine faith. Paul was filled with joy when he wrote to Timothy and recalled “the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). The word translated “genuine” (“unfeigned,” KJV; “sincere,” ESV) is from a word that literally means without hypocrisy (found also in Romans 12:9; 2 Corinthians 6:6; James 3:15; 1 Peter 1:22). Children can read their parents. They know if their parents are sincere in their Christianity. Mothers’ attitudes and actions certainly speak louder than their mere words. A child can both see and experience his or her mother’s faith or the lack of it (Proverbs 23:26). If Hebrews 11 teaches us anything, it is that genuine faith is action! Mothers today must model genuine faith way before their children are old enough to read, and they must continue modeling that faith throughout their lives!
Third, Eunice educated Timothy with God-breathed Scripture. Paul exhorted Timothy, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Although Paul would certainly be among those who taught Timothy the Scriptures, it all started with Timothy’s mother and grandmother! Eunice knew her son needed to learn the Scriptures (Romans 10:17). Eunice knew the Scriptures were of essential spiritual value (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). Mothers today must also view education in the Scriptures as essential to their children’s well-being. After all, God’s Word is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
We thank mothers who, like Eunice, exemplify their God-given roles, enrich genuine faith in their children and educate them in the Scriptures! May the Lord provide us with many more in the mold of Timothy’s mom, Eunice!
Reasons to Go Visiting
Our time is limited. We live in a busy world with plenty of demands on our time, and we are constantly being pulled in different directions. No matter how much we need to get done, there are only twenty-four hours in each day and seven days in each week. Paul taught Christians to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). As Christians, we need to make the most of our time and use it in service to our Lord. One thing that each Christian should build into his or her schedule is visiting. There are several individuals who we should visit: sick and shut-in members, wayward members, visitors and new converts. However, for the purposes of this article, let us consider a few reasons why we should visit the sick and shut-in members.
Jesus Expects It
In one of Jesus’ famous judgment parables, He spokes of sheep and goats. Jesus said that both groups would be surprised on the Judgment Day. One group will be surprised because they did not realize they were serving Jesus. Another group will be surprised because they did not realize they were neglecting service to Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus spoke of being sick, and those who are righteous visited him while the wicked did not (Matthew 25:36, 43). We should remember that whenever we visit the sick, those who are in nursing homes or in other facilities where they cannot get out, we are serving the Lord (John 12:26). If we love Jesus, we will do those things that are pleasing to Him (John 14:15; 15:14). If we call him Lord, then we should do the things that He said (Luke 6:46). Visiting those who are separated from the regular assembly due to physical limitations is one way to serve our Lord.
The truth is that many people who are sick or shut-in are lonely. Many times, once someone’s health fails, so do friends and family. When Job was prosperous and wealthy, he had many friends and visitors, but when he was suffering, he found himself alone (Job 19:14-19).
When one is a shut-in, initially the visitors come around frequently, but as the time goes on, there are often fewer visitors. People tend to forget about those they do not see (Genesis 40:23). Christians must be those who can sympathize with others and who can feel what others are feeling (Romans 12:15). If you have ever been in the hospital for even a short time, you know how it feels to have visitors. Or to miss service due to illness and have brethren check on you is uplifting. We should visit so that those who are unable to assemble with us will know that they are not forgotten but are still a part of our family in Christ, and we love and care about them.
Time is Short
We should visit because time is short. We may plan to stop by and see someone, but then they may no longer be there (Hebrews 9:27). Good intentions are only good if we put them into action. We need to be sure that we make the most of our time and check on brethren while we can. Paul told Timothy to hurry and come to see him because he knew he was running out of time (2 Timothy 4:21). We do not know if Timothy made it, but hopefully, he did. I know we are all busy, but if we are too busy to dedicate time to the Lord’s work, we need to restructure our schedules. Take one day a month. Go and visit a member at home or in an assisted living facility. It may be a short visit or a longer one depending on the rapport that you have with him or her. Invest time in others and you invest in eternity in the process (Matthew 6:19-21). See if there is anything shut-ins need with which you can help. Take someone with you so that conversation will flow more easily.
Go and visit someone when you can. Do not wait until it is too late!