When I am cleaning or cooking, I often enjoy listening to podcasts.  One that I have recently been listening to often is put out by a mother of nine named Amy who blogs at Raising Arrows.  The most recent one I listened to was about finding purpose behind homeschooling (please stick we with me if you don’t homeschool, because this doesn’t have to do with homeschooling).  She based her podcast off of Titus 2, but particularly focused on Titus 2:4 which says, “and so train young women to love their husbands and children.”  Her main point was that before we are called to homeschool or sending our kids to school; we are called to love our children.  Therefore all we do for our children or with our children is to be rooted in love.

We often like to think of love as a feeling.  We could easily hear that we are to love our husbands and children and pass over it, because we think, “of course I love my husband and children.”  The question then would be, “if loving our husband and children is so easy, then why are we to be trained to love them?”  I want to  purpose to you that love is ultimately much greater than a feeling.

The morning after I listened to this podcast, my scheduled bible reading was from 1 Corinthians 13.  1 Corinthians 13 starts out by saying we can perform the greatest sacrifices in the world, but if we have not love they are nothing.  As wives and mothers I think that most of us feel a big part of our life is sacrifice and service.  We could think that we love our husband and our children because of all we do for them, but if our heart and attitude behind our service is not correct, then we aren’t doing it out of love.  As we look further into the passage and see what love is, we will all admit that loving our husband and children is certainly something we need to be trained in, encouraged in, and sanctified in.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Love is patient and kind.  Love for our husband and children and is having patience with them as we serve them.  Love is responding in a kind voice even when you are exhausted or asking your child to do something for the tenth time (yes it may need to be firm and with some discipline, but still kind).  Love is patient when we feel that our child should get something by now.

Love does not envy or boast.  Loving our husband and children, means that we don’t envy other people’s family situation or wish that our husband or children was more like there’s.  Love doesn’t boast at a great parenting success, because we know it is only by the grace of God  not by the work of our own hands.  Love doesn’t boast if we can do something better than our husband, but we are thankful if he does a chore even if it may have not been the way we would have done it.

Love is not arrogant or rude.  Love doesn’t look down on your husband or take the modern idea that men are idiots and women always know better. Love once again is kind and not rude in speech.  It is not responding sarcastically to  a child.

Love doesn’t insist on its own way.  By the grace of God we are probably very different from our spouse.  We probably would do things differently.  My husband always says that when we can’t agree there is a third option.  Love is humbly accepting your husbands way if at the end of the day we can’t agree.  We allow him to be the head of our household.  Love also takes time to listen to your children and their requests and considers if it may be an acceptable choice.

Love is not irritable or resentful.  Love pleas to God for mercy and patience when the children are loud and you are exhausted.  Love plees to not to get irritated at our children or find them annoying.  Love doesn’t resent the fact that your husband has more grown up time than you or gets to go into a quiet office and shut a door.  Love is thankful for your role as a mother and embraces it with joy.

Love does not rejoice with wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love doesn’t find our children’s stubbornness cute.  We don’t laugh at our children’s inappropriate comments.  Love corrects our children and points them in the truth.  Love gently corrects our husband on sin and sees this as one of our calls as a helper.  Love desires truth to reign in each member of our family.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love looks to Christ for the grace and strength and recognizes that we can’t do it in our flesh.  Love believes that Christ will help us bear our burdens and that his yoke is easy.  Love hopes in the resurrection and a life without sin or suffering, a life where each of our family members will be made complete when they see Christ face to face.  Love endures sleepless nights, tough financial situations,  a sick child, a rebellious child, martial difficulty.  Loves believe that Christ will redeem this sin sick world and restore us to an unshakable kingdom.

May we train and encourage all women to love their husbands and children.  I believe this passage will be my passage of the year.  I find it interesting that in Titus two the main command for women is not to love those in your community or the poor, although these things are necessary.  Women are encouraged to love their husbands and children; loving those we are around day in and day out is truly a challenge.  They are around us on our good and bad days, we work beside them and live with them.  True love will be perfected in us in day to day faithfulness to those we live with.

May God make us more like his son Jesus Christ, who considered others more important than himself and joyfully endured the cross. May we serve our families as if we are serving Christ.  O Lord, sanctify us we pray as our husand and children rub away the rough edges.  We thank you that Jesus’ blood has been shed and we are forgiven for our shortcomings.
In Christs Name,
Amen.

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