The Impact of Faithful Sisters

August 30, 2022

When Paul came to Derbe and Lystra on his second missionary journey, he met a young man named Timothy.  Timothy was a believer, and the scriptures say he was “well spoken of by the brethren…” (Acts 16:2, NAS95) Paul was so impressed by this young man that he wanted to take him along on his journey, and he did just that.

Isn’t that something we all desire for our children—that they would be full of faith, even in their youth, and that they would have a good reputation among the people of God?  Don’t we desire that our children, like Timothy, would grow to be dedicated to the Lord and His cause?  How did this young man grow such a faith?

We know a big part of the answer to this question.  Years later, Paul writes these words to Timothy, “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5, NAS95) Timothy’s mother and grandmother had a tremendous impact on his faith.  They must have been remarkable, strong, faithful ladies in the Lord.  When we read of Paul meeting Timothy in Acts chapter 16, it appears that Timothy’s father was not a believer.  It can be very difficult to raise faithful children when the father, who is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the family, is not a believer.  And yet, Eunice, no doubt through much sacrifice and dedication, raised her son in the Lord!  And grandma Lois had a tremendous impact, too!  Think of the influence these women had on the spread of the gospel of Christ.  Think of the souls that were touched directly through their ongoing faithfulness, and indirectly through the ministry of Timothy.

Praise God for women like Eunice and Lois!  Faithful women had a great impact on the world then, and they still do today.  Sisters, if you are a mother or grandmother, dedicate yourself to raising your children in the Lord!  You will never regret it.  It is the most important job that you have.  And know that if you do not have children, you too can have a tremendous impact on the brethren and on the work of the Lord.  What a blessing, what an encouragement our faithful sisters are!  You all have a special role to play in the body of Christ.  May God help you and strengthen your work for Him. 

—Scott Colvin

The Legacy of Ruth

May 7, 2015

The Book of Ruth is a genealogy with a narrative preface. The genealogy belongs to King David with David being the last word in the book. The narrative explains how a Moabite woman came to be in the genealogy of Israel’s king. Despite her nationality, Ruth was a remarkable woman, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

The book is never shy about calling her a Moabite. Her name occurs twelve times in the book and five times it is in the phrase “Ruth the Moabite,” and in the first occurence she is identified as a Moabite. Her nationality, however, did not determine her faith. Ruth was a convert: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16c). Boaz acknowledged that she had taken refuge under the wings of Yahweh, the God of Israel (Ruth 2:12). Ruth was a woman of faith.

We live in a culture that often emphasizes outer beauty, and the standards of that outward beauty are so unreal that even models are photoshopped. In comparison, we have no physical descriptions of Ruth, but we are told of her inner beauty. Boaz praised her as “a worthy woman,” and acknowledged that the community knew this as well (3:11). This is the same word used to describe the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31:10. The NET Bible’s footnote in Proverbs 31:10 explains the word’s use in this passage and in Ruth 3:11. It has to do with moral worth and virtue. Ruth was a woman of virtue.

The antithesis of Ruth is Orpah, Ruth’s sister-in-law. When given an out by Naomi to look out for herself, she took it and abandoned Naomi. Ruth, on the other hand, modeled loyal love. This was no sentimentality or fleeting feeling. Ruth demonstrated loyalty and unfailing kindness in her actions. When the decision was made to return to Bethlehem and leave Moab, Ruth went. When the two women needed food, Ruth labored in the field as a gleaner. When Boaz provided her with a midday meal, Ruth saved leftovers for Naomi. When talk of a kinsman redeemer took place, she trusted Naomi and then Boaz. Ruth was a woman of love.

Ruth was a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She is in the family tree that produces “a man after God’s own heart” — David. Raising children is a labor-intensive, hands-on project. Society will be blessed with mothers who also model faith, virtue, and love. This was the legacy of Ruth.

Happy Mother’s Day!