By Andrew Davis, Senior Pastor
One of the primary goals of evangelism with adults is to get them to a humble, simple, childlike state in which they are able simply to trust a strong Savior who alone can meet all their needs. This is so because Jesus challenged his own disciples in this way: “I tell you the truth, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt 18:3). But little children are already there! Therefore, the beauty and strategic value of the Christian home is clear, since Christian parents have years of daily opportunity to lead their children to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Both mother and father have a vital role to play in this, but it is beneficial for us to look at the evangelistic life of a mother based on 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:14–15. For a mother can and ought to have a profound influence on the eternal state of her little ones, first leading them to Christ then discipling them day after day by the Word.
Timothy’s mother was Eunice, and his grandmother was Lois. Both had a “sincere” faith before Timothy possessed it: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim 1:5). The word is literally “un-hypocritical,” meaning that their faith was genuine, not merely a show of piety to impress others. Obviously it didn’t mean that they were sinless; it just that they were true believers in God.
These women were Jewish ladies living in the Dispersion in Lystra, far from their place of ancestry. They were surrounded by paganism (see Paul’s experience in Lystra when the people tried to offer them sacrifices, thinking they were Greek gods!), and Eunice had married a Greek unbeliever. But they loved God with a genuine love, and they came to faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, when they heard the message. And years before Paul came to complete their Old Covenant faith with news about Christ, they had been training young Timothy “from infancy” through the perfect Word of God: “But now continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:14–15).
The Scriptures are fully able to evangelize a young boy, but they must be explained and applied skillfully by a believing teacher. Such was the evangelistic life of Eunice. She lived out her “un-hypocritical” faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in front of her boy, Timothy. She did this apparently without any help from Timothy’s Greek father (Acts 16:1). She began from Timothy’s infancy to lead, guide and nurture him in the Scripture, saturating his mind with the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. When the message of Christ—the fulfillment—came, Timothy was ready.
Eunice stands as a godly example of the evangelistic life of a mother. If you are a mother of growing children, are you praying and teaching and living faith into your children? Are you actively seeking to bring them to salvation in Christ? Is your faith “un-hypocritical”? (Again, not that you are perfect, but that your faith guides every area of your life at all times—even when you sin, by trusting in Christ’s blood for cleansing.) Is the Bible constantly open in your lap, flowing from your tongue, richly dwelling in your heart? Is your goal to stand someday before the throne of Christ with all your children around you, eternally praising the same Savior? May God make it so in the lives of all mothers! For then will her children “rise up and call her blessed” (Prov 31:28) for the most blessed of reasons!