Having just celebrated Mother’s Day this past Sunday, I have been reflecting quite a bit on the impact that mothers have on their children. My own mother died in 2020, so this is my 4th Mother’s Day without her. Each year on this day I feel keenly aware of the void her absence has left. In particular, this year I’ve been thinking about the impact my mom made on my life. In what ways did she shape me? I mean, I know I love her and she loved me, but how did she impact the person I am today?
to mind. Of course, she took care of me, providing for my basic needs (and a few of my wants) and taking care of things like dinner and laundry. I also really appreciate the way she loved me unconditionally and was always my biggest fan. But the thing I keep coming back to is the way she shaped my faith. In fact, it reminded me of a few things the Apostle Paul says about his protege Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice.
First, Paul says that the same sincere faith that lived in them also lives in him, (2 Timothy 1:5). Think about what he’s saying here. Essentially, he’s saying that Timothy’s faith is not his own creation as much as it is the continuation of the faith of his grandmother and mother. And all the more, in a patriarchal society, such as you find in the ancient middle east, his declaration is not that Timothy is carrying on in his father’s faith, but that of his mother and his grandmother! Wow! This is a profound statement of the impact a mother can have.
Second, Timothy is charged to continue in his faith because he “knows those from whom he learned it,” (2 Timothy 3:14). This is a fascinating concept. Paul is telling Timothy that his knowledge of his grandmother’s and mother’s lives of faith will drive his own perseverance in the faith. This means that motherhood is about way more than just doing the laundry, putting dinner on the table, and running the kids around from one event to the other. The life of a godly mother can drive persevering faith in a son (or daughter).
Mothers, here’s the charge (and it applies to parents of either gender). The biggest impact you can have on your children is the quality of the faith life you pass down. When you feel yourself bogged down by the minutia all around you, remember to fight the good fight of faith because the quality of your faith has the power to shape the faith of the generation to come. If you feel like you’ve failed, it’s not too late. You can have another go. Remember, persistence pays off. Go get ‘em!
Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors, and guest laypeople, of area churches.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.