Adam called his wife 'Eve', because she was a mother. In the pure light of God's presence, in Eden, he knew clearly what his wife's ministry was. Eve knew it as well. Sin and human traditions (influenced by Satan) have now, however, clouded women's understanding, so that she no longer sees her glory as a mother. Children are now called by the Satanic name of 'accidents', when God calls them 'gifts' (Psa. 127:3). They are also considered to be a 'nuisance', when God considers them to be a 'blessing' (Psa. 127:5; 128:4). This is but another indication of how far even so-called Christians have drifted away from God and become Satanic in their thinking!
Timothy's mother, Eunice, however, was quite different. She had seen her calling clearly. Even though her husband was an unbeliever (Acts 16:1), it did not dampen her faith. She was a woman with a 'sincere faith' (2 Tim. 1:5) and who knew the Word of God. She taught God's Word to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:14, 15); and more than that - she imparted her sincere faith to him as well. Timothy's home was one where his mother enabled him to breathe the pure air of 'faith' in the midst of a world full of the poisonous fumes of unbelief. He probably saw his mother frequently in prayer, frequently praising God, trusting God in difficult situations and never nagging or complaining - for these are but some of the characteristics of a 'sincere faith'. It is not surprising then that Timothy grew up to be an apostle and a close co-worker of the apostle Paul. His mother's labours finally bore fruit.
That should be a challenge to all 20th century mothers. Eunice, Timothy's mother, did more for the Lord and the church by being a first class mother at home for 16 to 20 years than she could ever have done if she had travelled the world as a preacher for 100 years! In more recent times, we have heard of Susannah Wesley, who was the mother of 15 children. Poverty stalked her home and some of her children died in childhood. But she brought up the others in the fear of God, personally instructing each one of them. One of her sons, John Wesley, grew up to be a mighty instrument in God's hands. Millions throughout the world have been blessed, during the last two centuries, through his labours and his writings. Susannah Wesley could never have done even a small fraction of what her son did if she had neglected her home and gone to work to make more money or even travelled the world as a Bible teacher or evangelist.
In talking about the ministries of men and women, Paul tells Timothy that although women cannot have either the ministry of teaching or eldership, they can have the ministry of motherhood (1 Tim. 2:12, 15). In the context of the letter, it is obvious that Paul considers motherhood to be a ministry in the church. This is a ministry that God calls women to - to be a God-fearing mother to her children. Timothy had seen the glory of this in his own childhood home. He was now to teach that to others in Ephesus.
Men excel women in all professions in life. In one area alone do women stand out as unique - as 'mothers'. This, by itself, indicates what God created a woman to be. Mothers who have neglected their children either to go to work to earn more money (to live in greater luxury) or even to be preachers have invariably had the sad experience, later on in life, of seeing their children suffer in one way or another, due to their being neglected in their early years. They can do nothing but regret now. This should be a warning to the younger generation of mothers. If a mother goes to work, for the sake of her family's financial survival, God will certainly give such a family extra grace. But where the motive is luxury and a higher standard of living, she can only expect to reap corruption, for God cannot be fooled (Gal. 6:7,8).
May the eyes of all mothers be opened to see the glory of their calling!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon