Give the Priceless Gift of Love to Your Children
Do your loved ones in your family feel your love?
Just as many husbands think that their wives admire other men more than them as they relate how, “So-and-so’s husband does this and that with his children or for his wife…”. Those men do not feel the respect and admiration of their wives.
Likewise, many wives feel that their husbands think other women are either better at caring for their husbands, prettier, or better at caring for their families than they are. Those women do not feel the love of their husbands.
But most importantly for Titus 2 mothers energized by grace, we need to consider that many kids hurt because they sense that their parents don’t even like them. Some ways a lack of love can harm our child.
- A struggling student watches his parents gloat about his sister’s straight A’s.
- A boy strikes out in a softball game and notices his father’s disappointment.
- An overweight daughter is told, “Stop snacking so much if you even care about your looks.”
This absence of loving approval, can lead to untold pain; whereas loved ones who feel approval and love face the daily challenges in their world with eagerness and confidence. Look with me for a moment at how Paul cultivated this type of love with a needy young man named Timothy. The mighty pastor of the church at Ephesus was also a young man with many physical, and emotional needs. Paul discipled Timothy with love that could be seen and felt.
Paul Loved His “Son” Timothy
Paul loved his “son” in the faith. So as our example, how was his “love” for Timothy his “son” in the faith expressed? One of the most beautiful testimonies to the power of encouragement (or affirmation) in the New Testament is in the life of the Apostle Paul. If you turn to I Timothy 1 listen as Paul explained to Timothy that he was:
- ‘a true son’ (I Timothy 1:2); “To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (NKJV);
- he told Timothy he was ‘an example to the flock’ (I Timothy 4:12) “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (NKJV);
- that he ‘had a gift’ (I Timothy 4:14) “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” NKJV and needed to ‘stir it up’ (II Timothy 1:6) “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (NKJV).
- and he reminded him of his incredible spiritual heritage ‘and that from a child’ (II Timothy 3:15) “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
- Paul was careful to not ‘belittle Timothy for his weaknesses’ (1 Timothy 5:23) “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities” (NKJV), and ‘his frequent tears’ (2 Timothy 1:4) “greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy” (NKJV).
- Rather, he told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him (I Timothy 6:20) “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—(NKJV), and that he should never stop no matter what lay ahead because he was ‘gifted’ and that God was ‘going to use him and reward him’ (2 Timothy 4:8) “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (NKJV).
So Paul loved Timothy with love he could feel. Paul “affirmed” Timothy, and used tender and encouraging words to help him as his son in the faith Timothy. These exhortations were tenderly given to a struggling man. We also can affirm our children and encourage them with tender words. We can love them with a love that can be felt.