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Engraved Lives

In 1994, an engagement ring fell into the sea of the west coast of Sweden. It was consumed by a mussel that turned up in a load of shell fish caught by fisherman, Peder Carlsson. He was able to return the ring to its owner, Fire Chief, Bengt Wingstedt, because Wingstedt’s far-sighted fiancée, Agneta, had made sure her name was engraved on the inside. As we celebrate mothers on Mother’s Day this weekend, we honor those who biblically engraved godly convictions on the lives of their children. They see beyond the present and the problems to future potential.

Like the engagement ring, some children seem to face difficult circumstances. Let me share two examples of mothers who overcame challenges in order to have a high impact on their children. Consider Jochebed, the mother of Moses. Needless to say, she lived in far more difficult times than we have experienced. She faced an Egyptian Pharaoh who was definitely not pro-life, but was cruelly anti-Semitic. She refused to put Moses to death (Exodus 1:15, 16; 2:2-4). God honored her faith not only by preserving the baby, but also by arranging circumstances that allowed her to serve as his nurse (Exodus 2:5-10). She obviously shaped his character and his sense of unashamed Hebrew identity. He knew the God of Israel regardless of his connections to royalty (Hebrews 11:24-26) and exposure to idolatry. Moms, you need not give in to the prevailing culture of death, hostility, and immorality or give up the fight for faith.

According to 2 Timothy 1:5, Timothy’s mother, Eunice, was Jewish. Apparently her father was not very orthodox, since he violated one of the clear commands of the Law when arranging a match for his daughter with a Gentile (Acts 16:1). However, she was clearly a believer (Acts 16:1). Later, when Timothy was born, he was not circumcised in the Jewish custom (Acts 16:3). So neither Eunice’s father nor husband were observant Jews. However, she was influenced by Lois, her mother (2 Timothy 1:5), and had “genuine faith.”

Eunice imparted her mom’s inheritance and influence to her son, Timothy. This genuine (“sincere”) faith always manifests itself in “a pure heart and a good conscience” (1 Timothy 1:5). Mothers, commit to training your children as she did, “in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed” (1 Timothy 4:6). Pray that your children will be like Timothy who, “Make the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” in believer’s baptism (1 Timothy 6:12). We thank God for you and pray that “the Lord will grant mercy to your household” (2 Timothy 1:16). It’s not too late to start the engraving process.

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