My son let me pray with him last night.
It was the first time since March.
I am so thankful. He has witnessed so much that no five-year-old should ever have to see. He is as broken as I am and the only hope for full restoration is in the love of our savior.
And God has given me the responsibility of revealing that love to my children. This morning I woke up while they were still sleeping and began to pray.
I started thinking about my identity. What am I? Who am I? What is my purpose? As I continued to pray, I began to realize the importance of just one role I play. I am a mother. It is part of who I am. To my children it is my name: Mom.
I know many women who do not like to be identified as a mother. In today’s society, we are more than that. We have names and identities of much greater significance in our opinion. We say things like “I am a Christian first and foremost,” or “I am a woman first” This is true and good.
We are first and foremost identified Christ-followers. He has redeemed us and our identities should be wrapped in his righteousness.
But so often we deny the significance that being a mother holds. I feel that I need to truly realize the impact that I can make, just in my home and through my children.
One great example can be found in the biblical account of Timothy. Timothy was the son of a Jewish woman who was also a believer, Eunice, and a Greek father (Acts 16:1, 2). Though we don’t seem to know much about his father, we get some crucial information about his mother.
Timothy was a young pastor and Paul’s child in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul loved Timothy for his faithfulness to the Word and his friendship (2 Timothy 3:15, 10–11). When everyone had abandoned Paul during his imprisonment in Rome, Timothy remained faithful to Paul through prayers and tears (2 Timothy 1:3–5). Paul was greatly affected by the ministry and love of his apprentice. And Paul attributes Timothy’s faith and character to his mother’s and his grandmother’s faithful witness.
Paul references the legacy of these women in two places. First we see it when he is thanking God for Timothy and his faith. He reminds him that his sincere faith dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and then his mother Eunice and he says, “now, I am sure, dwells in you as well,” (2 Timothy 1:5). Later on Paul encourages Timothy to stay strong in the Word, not being deceived, and under the persecution that surely comes from those who follow Christ (2 Timothy 3:12–14). And yet again he reminds him that he learned and firmly believed the Word from a young age, “from childhood” (2 Timothy 3:15).
I hope the significance is sinking in. I hope that I can impact my children to “firmly believe from a young age.” I want to be sure that I invest in my kids the same way that Eunice and Lois invested in Timothy to teach him about God. The gospel was passed on to Timothy and from Timothy to other generations. And even more importantly, Timothy now enjoys the benefits of being with Christ, forever.
God has called me, us, as moms, to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). There really couldn’t be a more significant calling than to pass on the legacy of our faith. The Great Commission applies to us, in our homes with our children. Our Christ-identity is to be poured out into the lives of our children. We don’t need to shed this God-given title of “Mom.” We are called to maximize what it means for the glory of Christ. We can embrace our role without grumbling and with the full assurance of God’s sovereign goodness. God promises that as we shine light into this world (and that includes our kids) we will know that our labor was not in vain (Philippians 2:12–16).
We may never know the significance of our Mommy-title this side of heaven, but we know Lois’ and Eunice’s and we know that generations of people have been saved as a result of their faithfulness to teach just one child.