Lois and Eunice
Passing Down a Godly Heritage
There is not a lot
of information in Scripture regarding Lois and Eunice, but what
we do know is an encouragement to all mothers who want to raise
their children to love God. Lois and Eunice were a mother/daughter
team that raised up a man of God, Timothy, who was the Apostle
Paul’s most trusted companion and disciple. It is only in Acts
1:6 and 2 Timothy 1:5 that we find record of these women, but
what a strong commendation the Apostle Paul gives to them.
In 2 Timothy 1:5, the Paul writes: “ I have been 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.”
These women were responsible for passing their faith on to the
First, lets look at
Lois. The name Lois means “agreeable” or “desirable”.
And she appears to have lived up to her name! The Apostle
Paul praises her in his second letter to Timothy as one
who passed on the mantle of faith to both her daughter and her
grandson. While their are numerous grandmothers mentioned in the
Bible, 2 Timothy is the only place where the term “grandmother”
is actually used.
Lois was a devout
Jewess who had obviously instructed her daughter and grandson
in the Old Testament Scriptures. The Scripture is silent
about Lois’ husband, yet we do know that she gave her daughter
a Greek name, which might indicate that he himself was Greek.
The family lived in Lystra, among a people who worshipped the
gods of Greece, yet she faithfully raised a daughter who loved
God and helped raised a grandson who shared that love.
As we can tell, Eunice
was also a devout Jewess before coming to Christ. She has a Greek
name that is derived from the name Nike, which was the Greek goddess
of victory. Her name actually means “conquering well” and
was a name expressive of a good or happy victory. Eunice,
too, lived up to her name. She had victory over the immoral
society in which she lived by raising a devout son. We learn
from Scripture, in Acts 16:1 that Eunice had married a Greek man,
a gentile, therefore an unbeliever. To them was born a son, whom
they named Timothy. Nothing else is said about him, so many
assume that he was dead by the time Eunice met the Apostle Paul.
The family lived at
Lystra, and it is likely that during Paul’s first visit to that
city that Lois, Eunice, and Timothy were all converted
to the Christian faith. There is no doubt that their devout
Jewish faith and knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures prepared
their hearts to hear the words of Paul regarding eternal life
through Jesus Christ.
Coming to Lystra on
his second missionary tour, Paul found the young man highly spoken
of by the little group of Christians in that city. He was
of such evident ability and promise that Paul made him a missionary
helper. When years later, Paul lay in the prison at Rome
awaiting trial and likely execution, he writes his second letter
to his beloved helper, calling to remembrance the faith Timothy
had shown, and reminding him that this same faith was first in
his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Again, he says, to
Timothy, “From a child, you have know the holy Scriptures”.
The compelling feature
of the Scriptural record of Eunice and Lois is their religious
influence on Timothy. Since his father is not mentioned
in connection with Timothy’s faith, it is apparent that these
two godly women trained him up so that he both knew and loved
God’s word. The name Timothy means “one who fears God”,
a name obviously picked by his faithful mother. Grandmother
and mother had no doubt been the teachers of his youth.
His fitness to be the companion and co-worker of Paul’s finds
its explanation largely in the home training and pious example
given him by these two noble women. It was from them also
that the young Timothy derived his first impressions of Christian
truth; for Paul calls to remembrance the earnest faith which first
dwelt in them.
The record of Timothy
demonstrates the value of positive Christian training in the home.
Lois and Eunice took the responsibility to pass on their faith
very seriously and as a result they raised up a young man
to become a servant of Christ. For this, they have gone
down in history as outstanding mothers and great women of faith.