You know us as Kathie and Becky, but we have a new designation these days. In recent months, my daughter and I have begun to refer to ourselves as Lois and Eunice. You may not be familiar with them because they are only mentioned once in the Bible.
Timothy was a young minister under Paul’s mentorship. In a letter written by Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 1), Paul mentions Lois and Eunice. It is the only reference to them, but it is impactful. He writes to Timothy:
” I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”2 Timothy 1:5 NIV
Timothy’s father was Greek and may or may not have been a believer. Paul attributes Timothy’s faith to the example of faith shown to him by his mother and grandmother. They get the credit for raising a young minister of the New Testament church.
As my daughter shared with me concerns for her children, we have agreed together in prayer for each of them, like Lois and Eunice.
In the KJV, James 5:16 teaches us:
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much.James 5:16 KJV
The Message Bible says it this way:
The prayer of a person (mother/grandmother) living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.James 5:16 The Message
Mothers are a force to be reckoned with, and a mother on her knees for her children is powerful, as are grandmothers. A mother and grandmother together? Lois and Eunice.
I am fortunate that my daughters and I can agree in faith.
I know so many parents whose adult children are not walking in faith, and they tell me how they especially worry about their grandchildren.
If this is you, first, stop agonizing over if you didn’t do enough to raise your children in faith, and the same goes for those of you who fear you did too much and turned them off the church. You did the best you could, and what’s done is done.
Some of you are still raising your children now. When I was a young mom, I not only prayed for my children, I prayed about them. Kids don’t come with an instruction manual, and we all worry if we are doing it right! God knew my children better than I did. God knew the plans he had for their lives. I wanted to be in agreement with God and work cooperatively with his plans for them. In order to do that, I had to rely heavily on that wisdom that comes from above.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.James 3:17 NIV
My wisdom was not always full of mercy or considerate of my children’s feelings when I wanted to bend them to my will. I believe my desire to be led by God helped me become a better parent. God often led me to be stern when I wanted to be lenient and lenient when I wanted to be stern.
Only God knew the outcome of every decision my husband and I made for our children.
There’s another point. Parents not only share the responsibility and decisions, but parents who pray together about their children more often come to an amicable agreement on how to proceed with the challenges our children create.
There’s always Lois and Eunice. If you don’t have a believing spouse or are raising your children alone, you might find a friend or relative to be a Lois to your Eunice, to agree with you in prayer, and to advise and support you in raising your children.
Lois and Eunice don’t get a lot of attention in the Bible. Their most significant contribution to the growth of Christianity was the influence they had on young Timothy.
Lois and Eunice laid the foundation of faith in Timothy. From there, Paul mentored Timothy with the intention that he would be Paul’s successor. He was Paul’s scribe and, as such, co-authored the books of 2nd Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and Philemon. He accompanied Paul on his missionary journeys, and when Paul was in prison, Timothy represented Paul at Corinth and Philippi.
Timothy played a crucial part in advancing the New Testament church and the message of salvation through grace. After Paul’s death, Timothy served as bishop of the church at Ephesus until A.D. 97 when he died a martyr’s death at the hands of an angry mob.
No matter where your children or grandchildren landed on the issue of faith, you have a rock-solid promise from God to stand on. It is an effective tool if you know how to use it.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.John 5:14-15 KJV
God wants your children and grandchildren to come to faith in him even more than you do! Instead of begging God to bring your children to faith, or trying to make it happen yourself, pray in agreement with God that his will would be done. Pray that God would show you your role in that and for wisdom and discernment, so you will know when to speak and when to be silent. Pray that God would bring others alongside your loved ones to help them find their way to faith.
Lois and Eunice created a legacy of faith in Timothy and in generations yet to come. So can you.
Be Lois. Be Eunice. Fight the good fight of faith on your knees for your children and your children’s children. Your prayers are the beginning of a legacy of faith in your family.
If you weren’t praying for them, who would? No one will pray for your child with the passion and love you pour into those prayers. Keep it up. Keep your children under the protection and provision of your prayers until they come to their senses. The effectual and fervent prayer of a faithfully devoted mother availeth much.
Instead of FYI, I choose FFS= For Further Study. 1 Corinthians 4:17, Philippians 2:22, 1 Timothy 6:20