In Titus 2:3-5 Paul gives a significant list of what the older women of the Church should be teaching the younger women. Included in this list is the command to teach the young women to love their children:
- Older women likewise… are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5
It may seem odd that someone would need to teach us to love our own children; doesn’t that come “naturally” the moment they are placed in your arms after birth? Well, in some ways, yes it does. In other (very significant) ways we really need to be reminded what it means to truly love our children - thus the command in Titus 2.
Loving our children can mean cuddles and words of encouragement. It can also mean discipline and allowing pain to occur. It can mean giving or withholding; gentleness or a hard line. All of these can be expressions of love from a parent to a child.
What is the single most important way to love your child? Tell them about Jesus. Tell them about who love is and why there can be no love without Jesus. Read through the book of 1 John with them, especially Chapter 4, which contains lines like:
- In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (10)
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (7)
- We love because he first loved us. (19)
If you hate your children, then withhold this from them. And understand if you do this, you cannot love them, it is impossible. Only those who actually love their children will introduce them to Christ. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8.
With this knowledge we should SHOWER our children with true love; sharing with them the knowledge of who God is. Love them as much as possible by teaching them more about him and reading his Word to them.
Train them up in love to love him who is Love.
No material gift, “quality time”, or spoiling holds a candle to the eternal significance of this vital information. Do not withhold it, lavish it on them as the Father has on us “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1.
If your heart has been claimed by God, this is pure and simple obedience:
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Soak your children (and all children you love) in experiencing and learning God’s designs, plans, promises, commands, and his justice, grace and mercy. Teach these attributes diligently to your children as commanded. There is nothing greater! Mothers, I enCOURAGE you to LOVE your children!