Titus 2:4 “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children…”
I feel like we should get first things first. When reading a blog about how to love our families, many different expectations populate our minds. Since the advent of things like blogs and Pinterest many years ago, I believe that many wives and moms struggle with never feeling good enough or like they’re not doing enough for their families. Here’s the deal: love has very little if nothing to do with acting the part of the perfect home mom, class mom, working mom, doting wife, etc.—in essence the “appearance” of being a good wife and mom. In Christ, loving our husbands and children has everything to with first being fully submitted to Christ and His call on our lives and second being fully committed to walking that out in loving obedience to the Lord and the authority He has placed in our lives. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (a very popular verse) says, “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” There are many keys in this scripture to help us walk out the principles of Titus 2:4 to truly love our husbands and children well.
As women who have given our lives to Christ, our first priority is as a daughter of the King. Our new identity is first grafted in Him and not even to whom we are married (or not married). This establishes the proper levels of authority in our lives and helps us to be women living in proper alignment and submission. For those of us who are married, we are next wives to our husband. This means that our husband carries a place of authority in our lives, and our hearts should give preference to his needs and desires, many times even above those of our children. We are to be kind—to treat him with honor, gentleness, and respect. We are to be humble not assuming our ideas are automatically right or the best way. And we are to not envy. We love him by walking in the grace God has specifically given us to carry things within (and without—if you work outside the home) the home and not to envy our perception of his life and his schedule. We are to seek to serve in every way possible and respect the role our husband carries.
And then, if we have children, we are next mothers to our children. Their needs are vital and many, so it is very easy to get caught in all the ins and outs of their days and give our husbands the leftovers. But this isn’t proper alignment, and it’s not where God’s grace is most abundant. But when we walk in proper alignment, there is plenty of grace to parent in the way we are called to parent and love our children well. As 1 Corinthians 13 says, we are to be patient. We love our children by giving them essentials that they need: food, safety, and nurturing being paramount but also by closely listening and watching to see how we can stir up the gifts God has placed in them and help guide them closer and closer to Jesus. This takes time. It takes conversation. It’s inconvenient. And it takes lots and lots of patience.
So after we consider the necessary time in the secret place and place our families in proper alignment how can we practically love them well? While there are a multitude of ways, the word the Holy Spirit brings to mind is “stop.”
Stop what you are doing and be with your husband. In the busy days we live in, it will communicate “I love you” when you lay down everything you may have going on just to be with him. You may watch him work in his workshop or watch him play the piano, you may have conversation or you may just sit quietly.
Stop what you are doing and be with your children. In the busy days we live in, it will communicate “I love you” when you lay down everything you may have going on just to be with them. Listen to them explain a Lego creation or share a funny story that happened at school, ask them questions about a drawing or how they felt about their soccer or football practice.
Do all of this without distraction. No screens, no busy work. It doesn’t have to be for an hour or even 30 minutes. Sometimes it just takes 30 seconds for your child to explain the play-dough sculpture, and they feel thoroughly loved because you valued them enough to focus on them. Sometimes sitting with your husband for five minutes reminds him that he is not only not forgotten in the midst of all the day’s demands, but he is worthy of your undivided attention.
Just as we need to spend time in the secret place daily without distraction, we also need to do this with our husbands and children. It requires little to no prep, no worries about presentation and your appearance matters not.
By Bethany Roe & Abbie O’Neal