“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.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
The word “feigned” means to pretend or to be unreal. It is only “unfeigned” faith that wins the day. Faith, like the kind pictured here, that spans generations, and is marked by reality. I am convinced that this kind of faith cannot be disputed nor ignored indefinitely. Children will overlook many things, but hypocrisy is probably not one of them. They instinctively know what (or who) is important to us, and whether or not the God we espouse is truly real to us.
It has always been assumed that Timothy was raised by his mother (and presumably his grandmother) without the benefit of a father being present. What was probably rare in those days is commonplace today, even in our churches. We have no way of knowing what kind of help, financial or otherwise, young Eunice may have had, but we can be sure it did not come from a government program. We do know, however, that her faith in God, which came down to her through her own mother, was so real that it enabled her to raise a man for God. The same generational faith that sustained a mother and grandmother sprang forth in the life of a son and grandson; man of God whose faith impressed even the great apostle, Paul.
By the way, this is not just a Bible story; it’s a life story I have seen played out in our own family. In this case, it was not only a “Timothy,” but also a “Joseph” and “Nathan.” It’s not the ideal way to do it, as the Word of God has told us, but it can be done. It does not require great faith—just faith that is the real thing.
Faith makes things possible, but not always easy.