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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Apr. 28, 2008

  • 2008 Apr 28
  • COMMENTS
 

Titus 2 Women Love Their Children

 

God wants men and women that will mentor, nurture, and coach godly living for His church. These individuals believe that God has called them to touch one life at a time for His glory.

 

v. 4c “to love their children” (7) Mothers energized by grace love their children.

 

Mothers energized by grace are secondly “lovers of children”.

 

This characteristic is also one word in the Greek text, philoteknos and it means to be a lover of children. As we see in 1 Timothy 2:15, this is a woman’s highest calling. “God doesn’t want all women to be mothers or they would be. Those women who have no children mean a great deal to God’s kingdom because He has given them freedom to serve in unique ways. God wants women who are mothers to love their children, which involves making personal sacrifices for the benefit of their children. Remember, loving your children is not merely expressing love your children can feel, it is also pouring yourself into your child’s life so that he or she grows up to love Christ”. [1]

 

Almost all mothers in the world have the same maternal instinct of love, nurture and protection for their babies. It causes great and widespread public indignation when a mother is found abandoning, or even worse, harming her child. That is built into almost every mom. But there is also an equally widespread reality from time to time it becomes so very hard to take care of children that a mom no longer “feels” positive feelings towards her children.

 

In the Roman world those feelings arose from having to bear children as a “duty” for the husbands, or from having no life outside the home being acceptable so there was never a moment of rest from the constant demands and pressures of the children, or even more prevalent, the Roman world’s sweeping women’s liberation movement had infected many women with the sense that they should get out and make a place for themselves in a male-dominated world.

 

Things haven’t changed much in twenty-centuries, have they? Those same pressures that were brought into homes and marriages in Paul’s day, are still in various degrees with us now. And, the basic emotional make-up of people is pretty similar around the world, as well as throughout history. So how did God instruct Paul to prepare Christ's church for these great social challenges and family pressures? Again, Titus 2 has the solution. God says that the way that tired, burned out, and depressed mothers get relief is from the faithful army of Titus 2 grace-energized role models.

 

In new marriages or when children first come to a home, busyness and activity reach a high pitch as the tasks of homemaking and child care increase. Is it possible that being loving can get crowded out? Don’t forget the love that motivated the marriage and the desire for children. Don’t let all the tasks (even though some are very irritating) ruin the love relationship.

 

Within the church today, older women rarely become active role models for the younger women. In fact, the honor due our elders in the church is often absent. Age groups are isolated from each other, causing people to feel that little can be learned from one another. It is unfortunate when patterns in society become patterns for the church. The church must encourage intergenerational caring and sharing. There are times when the kitchen provides an eloquent pulpit for the application of biblical truth! [2]

 

What are some of the lesson these in Spirit-prompted in-home mentors would teach? Just a few might be:

1.      Explain to them that negative feelings towards your own children in some circumstances is normal, even for a mature and godly woman.

2.      Remind them that God planned for younger women in His church to need the mentoring of older women.

3.      Show them how families are vulnerable to cultural trends that seep in slowly, and how these trends can devastate a Biblical family life.

4.      Teach them the Biblical perspective of motherhood with children being gifts from the Lord and our highest duty to raise for the God’s glory.

5.      Assure them that we do not have any unique challenges, just the same old struggles that God's Word has clearly said would need to be faced and dealt with God’s way.

 

Why did Paul stress that young Christian women should love their husbands and families? While such teaching may appear too obvious for mention, there are forces at work in today’s world that undermine even that very basic part of family life.

 

Women are being told that their interests or desires come first, that they must seek what makes them happy before they can be good wives and mothers. While women should be encouraged to use their gifts and abilities, each Christian woman must align her priorities with God’s wisdom, not the world’s values. She must love her husband and her children, accepting the sacrifices that love brings. God will honor those who value what he values.

 

Women who were new Christians were to learn how to have harmony in the home by watching older women who had been Christians for some time. We have the same need today. Younger wives and mothers should learn to live in a Christian manner—loving their husbands and caring for their children—by observing exemplary women of God. If you are of an age or position where people look up to you, make sure that your example motivates younger believers to live in a way that honors God. [3]

 

The Bible clearly explains and illustrates this love that was modeled by Christ. This special phileo love is demonstrated by Jesus Himself. This type of close, companionship and friendship, emotional love is how Christ's relationship is described with Lazarus (John 11:3) and with “the disciple He loved” named John (John 20:2). This is also the word used in Revelation 3:19 for Christ's love for true saints in His church.

 

Jesus demonstrated His love to Lazarus and all who saw that friendship knew how close they were. The same was seen in Christ's closeness to the Apostle John. That is how Jesus loves us, and wants us to know He loves us, feeling His closeness, and enjoying His friendship.

 

And that phileo love that is emotional, close, and visible is what the Lord asks from grace-energized mothers towards their children.

 

Here are ten practical “love gifts” that mothers energized by grace can offer love that can be felt; in other words practical ways a Titus 2 mentor encourages a younger mother in loving her children.

 

1.               Give them a heart that prays.

2.              Give them a heart that serves and meets their needs with love: a regular schedule of nutritious meals, clean clothes, clean bodies, adequate sleep and rest.

3.              Give them a heart that rejoices and is filled with happiness. Psalm 113:9 describes a “joyful” mother.

4.              Give them a heart that gives like Christ's (Mark 10:45): because love gives (John 3:16); because love is generous (II Cor. 9:6); because love expects nothing back (Luke 6:35).

5.              Give them a heart that plays and is full of fun.

6.              Give them a heart that celebrates all their special days (Matthew 5:41); and since we have to do all those things in the family, why not make them special!

7.              Give them a heart that prefers your family first (Titus 2:4 says they are your first priority).

8.              Give them a heart that is focused (Matthew 6:24).

9.              Give them a heart that is present and attentive (Psalm 119:10 ‘my whole heart’).

10.          Give them a heart that trusts in the Lord (Isaiah 26:3 ‘perfect peace…trusts’).[4]



[1] John MacArthur, Different By Design, (Wheaton,: Victor Books) Marriage and Divorce (electronic edition), Logos.

[2] Barton, Bruce B; Veerman, David; Wilson, Neil S.: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 1993 (Life Application Bible Commentary), S. 265

[3]MacArthur, John: Titus. Chicago : Moody Press, 1996, S. 82

[4] Adapted from Elizabeth George, A Woman after God’s Own Heart, Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1997, chapters 7, 10, and 11.

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