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Who Were Lois and Eunice and How Do They Encourage Today’s Christian Moms?

I think it goes without saying that parents play a pivotal role in the development of faith in the lives of their children. I don’t know if there is a greater joy as a parent then seeing your children carry on the mantle of faith that you have established in your life and in your family. What excitement it is to know that the tradition of faith will continue from one generation to the next. 

There are many examples of the tradition of faith in the Old Testament. God calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which represents three generations of faith. In the New Testament there is another example of three generations of faith that were seen in the lives of Lois, Eunice, and Timothy.

If you search through the scriptures, you are not going to find a lot of information about these two women. What you will discover is that these two women had a genuine faith which didn’t just live in their lives but also in the life of Timothy. So, who were Lois and Eunice and what if anything can we learn from their faith and how it shaped young Timothy’s life?  

Who Were Lois and Eunice?

When you search for Lois and Eunice in the Bible, you don’t have to search far because there is not a lot of information to gather. What we do know about them and where they are mentioned is in the book of 2 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).

As we see, Lois and Eunice were sincere in their faith and they were able to pass this down to Timothy. If you simply follow what was written here, it would imply that Lois was the first one to be converted. She then was responsible for the faith in Eunice and that was eventually passed down to Timothy. Though we don’t know how these women lived specifically, we do know these were women of sincere faith who lived and modeled the Christian life in front of Timothy. If there ever was an example of training up a child in the way they should go, then Lois and Eunice are perfect examples of this.

What Did Lois and Eunice Do?

We don’t know exactly when Lois or Eunice were converted, but many speculate it was during the time when Paul and Barnabas were on their missionary journey through Lystra and Derbe. Lois was either Eunice’s mother or mother-in-law, and Eunice was a Jewish believer who was married to a Greek man. 

“Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him” (Acts 16:1-2).

As it is so often, when there are people in the spotlight, they are usually standing on the shoulders of others who may be less prominent. This is true of Lois and Eunice. 

Paul writes his letter to Timothy, who he considers his son in the faith. Some have speculated that Timothy’s father may have died when Timothy was young and could be part of the reason Paul took a fatherly role in his life. Lois and Eunice were instrumental in Timothy’s upbringing. What we lack in input as far as who Lois and Eunice were, we make up for in output in the life of Timothy. Even though we don’t know exactly when Timothy was saved, we know he was saved at a young age and was taught the scriptures from youth. 

“But as for you, 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 Timothy 3:14-15).

It makes sense to assume that it was Lois and Eunice who were teaching these scriptures to young Timothy. In addition, as a young believer, Timothy traveled with Paul on some of his missionary journeys and eventually he became the pastor of the church in Ephesus. 

Why Is Lois and Eunice’s Faith So Powerful?

When you consider the faith of Lois and Eunice, what is it about their faith that makes it so powerful? The answer to this question is found in 2 Timothy 1:5. Their faith was sincere. Here is the verse again as a reminder.

“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).

One of the meanings of that word sincere is without hypocrisy. Other translations use the word genuine. When people model genuine faith, other people take notice. This does not mean that they will always follow in your footsteps, but when your faith is real, it can inspire others, especially those in your household, to inquire. It can even spark a desire in their hearts as well.

What Do Lois and Eunice Teach Us about Passing Our Faith down to Others?

There are two lessons we learn from Lois and Eunice that are critical to passing down our faith to our children and grandchildren.

1. Teach Them What You Believe

Your children will not know or learn your heritage of faith unless you teach them. We as parents have a responsibility to teach them in the way they should go. This is not the job of the school, the church, or the Sunday School – this is our job.

Some may feel like they don’t know the Scripture well enough to teach them to their children. If this is your situation, then teach what you know and learn together. It’s okay if you and your children discover the truth in God’s word at the same time. For Lois and Eunice, they taught Timothy the scriptures from infancy. Clearly what they taught made a huge difference in his life and led to his conversion at an early age.

2. Live What You Believe

As important as it was for Lois and Eunice to teach Timothy, it was of equal importance that they lived what they believed in front of him. When it comes to matters of faith, the old adage “do what I say and not what I do” simply does not work. We cannot expect our children or grandchildren to imitate a faith that they don’t see lived out in our lives.

It is critical that what we profess with our mouths gets lived out in front of our children. This is especially true because if kids can spot one thing for certain, they can spot someone who is not genuine.

I guess the most important thing when it comes to a legacy of faith is to first make sure your faith is genuine and secure. From there, take the time to pass it down to your children. This will take work and as a parent I know it feels likes sometimes your children aren’t getting it, but keep planting those seeds anyway. As you plant the seeds and live the life in front of them, they may not always like it, but you must know that they are paying attention. Aside from that, you must pray often for your children and hopefully we can do as good a job with our kids as Lois and Eunice did with Timothy.

Related articles
What Do Our Children Learn about Faith from Us?
4 Tips to Build a Foundation of Faith with Young Kids
How to Teach Difficult Bible Stories to Your Kids

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PIKSEL


Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.

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