Our kids love to play a version of what we used to call hide-and-seek. The difference? They love to play it in our attic… with all the lights out! There is no skill to this game – it is pure chaos, pure chance, and pure darkness! After crawling, dodging furniture, and luckily finding one of our kids in my first try at the game, I vowed to never play again!
Let’s be honest, at times, parenting feels sort of a luck-of-the-draw, give-it-your-best-shot, cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best adventure. It can feel an awful lot like crawling through the dark. Have you found yourself believing the myth that Motherhood is just luck-of-the-draw? Maybe you’re not entirely sure what you should be doing or even how to do it.
The good news is that God has not left us moms in the dark. We don’t have to parent by chance or stumble through motherhood without guidance. God has called us to do far more than take care of our kids, feeding them, keeping them safe, and raising them into independent adults, meanwhile keeping our fingers crossed that we’re doing it right. Motherhood is not luck of the draw, where we parent by luck and chance and just pray to survive the day.
Instead, mothering is a calling to shape our children. And shaping our children requires intentional action. One of the primary ways we can do that as moms is through teaching our kids to know God and love God.
This kind of action and intentional effort we see communicated in various places in the Bible. But one of my favorites examples is the story of Eunice, Timothy’s mom. Timothy was a young pastor in the important city of Ephesus during the first century, and he was a co-laborer in the gospel and an important source of support to the apostle Paul. But before that, Timothy grew up in a divided home, with a Jewish mother and a Greek father (Acts 16:1).
Eunice was the real deal, but apparently she was also intentionally teaching her faith to her son, Timothy. We know that Timothy was learning the Scriptures from a very young age. Paul makes this observation about Timothy, but ultimately it is commentary on Eunice as a teaching and shaping mom. Notice what Paul says:
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)
Paul makes some staggering statements in these two short verses. Not only did Timothy learn from his mother’s teaching, Paul says he became “convinced.” This was not a complacent, comfortable, channel-changing faith. His faith, because of his mother’s teaching and sincere faith, became a conviction and a calling in his life and ministry. Eunice did not live aimlessly, controlled by the whims of fate or the chance of circumstance. Rather, Eunice lived faithfully, in obedience to the will of God for her life. Eunice was a mom who understood that her role wasn’t just luck of the draw and hope for the best. The thing is this….I want to be like Eunice. I really do. And many days it is hard, but hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is a daily battle to follow God wholeheartedly and spur our children on to do the same. If we want our children to be disciples of Jesus than we must be one first. We will pass on what we possess.