My Spiritual Matriarchs

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). A grandmother and mother ignited and nourished Timothy’s faith in God. Mentoring by Paul focused Timothy’s faith, but it began in his family of origin.
Like Timothy, my faith took root and grew because of the influence of faithful Christian women in my family. My great-grandmother, Nora Ennis Taylor, widow of a gospel preacher, taught me that illness and age need not handicap one’s obedience to Christ. She also taught me to know what I believe, and to defend it, even when others disagree or attempt to place words in my mouth. I will always remember her sitting in our living room with her Bible in her lap. My father’s mother, Bertha Summers, took corporate worship seriously. She expected singing when that was appropriate, and reverent silence during prayer and sermons. During a night service at Bonner Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee, I opened my eyes to discover that, should God’s all-seeing eye not be watching me, Grandma Summers’ eyes definitely were. My mother’s stepmother, Edna Taylor, taught me to love reading. When I attended a seminar to learn to conduct a series of classes called “Adventures in Christian Living,” the instructor told of an elderly Christian woman who had attended a recent session in another state. Despite her advanced age, she had inspired the rest of the class with her enthusiasm and faith. Yes, the instructor confirmed to me later when I asked, my suspicions were correct. Her name was Edna Taylor. My mother, Rosemary, demonstrated faith and passion in living for Christ. She impressed numerous young women as a camp counselor and a speaker at “Ladies Inspiration Days” and the Freed-Hardeman Bible Lectureship. The night before I preached my first two sermons at age sixteen, she made me rehearse both sermons to her until she was satisfied that I knew them. Even now, in her eighties, she goes with others to visit “shut-ins” who can’t make it to church services because of illness. These four spiritual matriarchs lived a sincere faith which survives in me.

#discipleship, #mothers-day, #spiritual-formation