Profiles in (RE)Purpose-Eunice

By on June 17, 2013

By Cheri Cowell—

We first hear of Eunice during Paul’s second missionary journey. We don’t learn about her directly, but indirectly through Paul and her famous son, Timothy. In Scripture we read that a young man named Timothy “who was the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but [whose] father was Greek” caught Paul’s attention because Timothy “was well spoken of by the brethren”(Acts 16:1, NIV).  Because of Timothy’s character and his ancestry, Paul decides to take Timothy with him on his missionary journey. Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, commends his character and great faith, which he traces to “your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice” (2 Timothy 1:5, NIV). In closing that letter Paul encourages Timothy to continue in the lessons of faith from his childhood, “knowing from whom you have learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14, NIV). Although this is all we know of Eunice, don’t be fooled. For within these nuggets, a lot is revealed for us today.


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We know that Eunice came from a Jewish family because she is referred to as a Jewish woman. We also know she violated the rules of her faith by marrying outside of Judaism. In fact, she is known as Eunice, which is not a Jewish name but a Greek one, signifying the extent she was willing to go to set aside her faith for the man she chose to marry. Perhaps she thought she could win him over to her faith. We simply do not know why she married an unbeliever. It is worthy to note that by the time Timothy met Paul, her husband had still not converted.

(re)Purposing Lessons

Whether rebelling against the faith of her family or simply believing in her own ability to persuade her unbelieving man to come to faith, with the birth of her son Eunice returned to her faith. We know she raised her son in the faith while staying loyal to an unbelieving husband. We also know when Paul chose to take Timothy on his missionary journeys’ he had Timothy circumcised. Having raised Timothy in the Jewish faith but not having him circumcised only leads us to believe her Greek husband must have objected. Eunice could have gone around her husband’s back, but she did not. She chose to remain faithful to both her Jewish roots and to her marriage vows, even though at times it must have been difficult.

(re)Purposing Steps

Are you married to an unbelieving spouse? Are you the main source of biblical instruction in your home? You can learn from Eunice.

  • Whether married at a time when you wandered from your faith or perhaps you believed you could win him over, if you are unequally yoked (married to an unbeliever), God still has a plan to use you and your marriage. Have you dedicated your marriage to God?
  • Eunice could have given her husband reason for divorcing her by going behind his back or becoming defiant. Instead she chose to be loyal to her husband, while also adhering to the tenets of her faith that did not go against his wishes. How are you walking this tightrope? Are you glorifying the Lord by remaining loyal in your marriage and to your faith?
  • Finally, Timothy’s faith and character were the result of years of faithful sowing without the support of Eunice’s husband. If you are training your children without the support of your husband, know that God is your partner and he will bring a harvest from your faithfulness.

Originally posted on My Purpose Now.

About My Purpose Now

Deb is ‘wife’ to her high school sweetheart, mom to three incredible sons and Gigi to two perfect grandboys. She is a former Californian who now lives in the Dallas area. She is excited about the next stage of life and what God has for her now. An author, speaker, and executive coach, Deb travels extensively and is always seeking a quiet place to write. Read Deb at:

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Profiles in (RE)Purpose-Eunice