The Woman Behind the Man

MotherWhen most folks think of youth ministry, their minds picture kids wearing jeans, boys without socks, girls giggling over the guys, and a young man sporting a baseball cap and a whistle desperately trying to gain some semblance of order.  What a picture!  (and it’s not too far from the truth.)

Young Timothy, the spiritual son of the Apostle Paul, was a youth when he entered the ministry; in fact, he may have had the first “youth” ministry in the history of the church (whether he wore a cap and a whistle is still unknown).  But when Paul mentioned Timothy’s name, guess what came to his mind?  Not campfire services, not broken down busses on the way to activities, and not cookie crumbs mixed with crushed potato chips and Coca Cola spills staining the floor of the youth room.  Paul thought of one thing first:  Women.

Lest you take that the wrong way, let me hasten to say that it was Timothy’s mother and grandmother whom Paul thought of when he thought of Timothy.  Interestingly enough, Paul was reminded of the consistent, faithful lives of Eunice and Lois, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, respectively, when he would remember his spiritual son in prayer.

In the life of young Timothy, it was the training and discipline of women, in teaching Timothy the Scriptures at an early age, that helped lay the foundation for a life-time of genuine service and commitment.  Timothy’s roots were grounded in his mother and grandmother, two women who were known, not for their public display in designing a program, but for their private contributions in building a life.

It will be interesting to see who gets the rewards in Heaven, won’t it?  I suspect that for every great public man, receiving his rewards for service, there will be great women — mothers and grandmothers — who will receive, perhaps to a larger extent, their rewards for faithfulness, consistency, and perseverance.

Commit to being the woman God can use as a foundation for a truly great minister.  Be the prayer backbone of a young life, the roots to which he or she can cling when all else seems like shifting sand.  Be the spiritual support beams for a life that so desperately needs structure and form.  And someday, when the pages of time are opened and the records of history are read, you will be known as the rock upon which a young man built his life and ministry.

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”

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