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How to Love Your Family According to Titus 2
What Does It Mean to Love Your Family?
On top of all that, she maintains herself and always has a pleasant air about her. Doesn’t she just drive you mad?!
Her home life is the picture of perfection while yours is barely holding together. For you, completing housework is a Sisyphean punishment, you are constantly at odds with your husband, and your children remind you an awful lot of gremlins.
When you have a moment to yourself, all you can do is cry or dwell on the growing resentment in your heart.
Life was never supposed to be like this!
And the idea of ever turning things around seems like nothing more than wishful thinking. You begin to question whether you were ever meant to be a mom…or a wife. Sometimes, you even think of throwing in the towel altogether.
Before you write off happy housewives as some sort of anomaly and before you give up on achieving the peace and order in your own home that you so desperately crave, it’s important to remember this fact: there isn’t a woman on earth who hasn’t had to learn how to love her family.
Loving your family is as much of a skill as is driving, reading, or cooking. In order to develop any skill that you wish to learn, you must follow tried and true procedures and engage in lots of practice.
As with everything, the Bible provides us with practical wisdom regarding how to fulfill our special roles within our families. In Titus 2:4-5, we are given a snapshot of how we are to love our families. These lessons are to be taught by older, more experienced women to younger women who are early on in their homemaking careers.
At the time of this writing, I’m in my mid-thirties. I’m not quite an older woman, but I do have nearly a decade of marital experience under my belt. As I age, I gain more and more wisdom regarding how to be a better wife and mother. I’m sure my understanding of both these roles will evolve significantly in the years to come.
That being said, I’d like to share my personal reflections on these life-giving instructions in Titus 2:4-5 according to the understanding I have at this time. My prayer is that they will be of use to you if you are struggling to love your family well.
Love Your Family Through Your Self-Control
In order to love your family, you must first look
The most important discipline to practice is prayer. Ask G-d daily to help you draw closer to Him, to fill you with His Wisdom, and to give you the strength to care for your family. Study the Word of G-d and pray through the promises of Scripture for yourself and your loved ones.
Develop discipline in the area of self-care. You may feel that neglecting yourself in favor of serving your family is the right thing to do, but it is actually a disservice to them and to you. Our culture may like to joke about the slovenly and frazzled housewife, but don’t let yourself embody that tragic stereotype.
Prioritize your sleep so you have the energy you need. Take time to shower and dress every single day. Eat a nutritious diet and have your meals at the table. Exercise for 20-30 minutes a few times each week, if not every day (a brisk walk and simple bodyweight strength training can be enough to keep you in reasonable shape.)
It won’t always be easy to stick to your discipline habits because your family may not yet be used to your new, disciplined way of living. There is also the matter of dealing with schedule altering emergencies.
In time, you will train your family to support your self-discipline by lovingly and firmly reminding them of your new boundaries. And when it comes to emergencies, remember they are temporary. Pick up where you left off as soon as you can.
“Being a good wife and mother requires discipline.“
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Love Your Family Through Your Purity
When you think of purity and the Bible, you may immediately think of sexual purity. While sexual purity (especially in terms of fidelity) is important within marriage, there are other ways to keep yourself pure as a wife and a mother.
The first way to keep yourself pure is through reading the Bible (Psalm 119:9-11.) Reading Scripture helps us to keep our hearts pure by showing us how not to sin against G-d.
Another way to keep yourself pure is to think on things that are pure (Philippians 4:8.) Do you spend time entertaining yourself with television programs, publications, or social media groups that poison your thoughts and attitude towards your marriage and children?
When you get together with your girlfriends, does your conversation turn to complaints about your family?
Are you busy daydreaming and playing the “What-If” game surrounding the choices you’ve made in your life? More to the point, do you regret choosing to be a homemaker rather than climbing the corporate ladder?
These activities are detrimental to your purity. Train yourself to think better thoughts by avoiding these activities and cultivating fruitful habits instead.
You can live without toxic forms of entertainment. You can visit with friends without indulging in gossip regarding your homelife. You can want better things for yourself without regretting the past or considering your husband and children as a barrier to good things (so long as what you desire isn’t at odds with your present role as wife and mother!)
It’s so much easier to love your family when you control your perception about your family life and when you practice discretion.
Love Your Family Through Your Homemaking
Maintaining a calm and organized home is important to the health of your children. Research has shown that chaotic homes have a negative impact
No one expects you to keep your home like a museum, especially if you have small children. But a reasonably clean and neat home that is managed with schedules and routines provides a suitable environment for raising healthy and happy children.
Unsurprisingly, homes with too much clutter can impact your marriage, too. Do you get annoyed by your husband’s constant complaints about the laundry, the overflowing sink, or some other aspect of your homemaking? Or perhaps he doesn’t say anything, but you can see his displeasure in his face.
Rather than resenting him, why not make a change? If it’s bothering him, surely, it’s been bothering you!
If laundry is impossible to keep up with, it’s time to sit your family down to discuss giving away excess belongings or divvying up the laundry responsibilities.
If dishes are piling up, maybe it’s time to reduce the number of dishes you have circulating. Simply pack away extra plates, bowls, and cookware for a time and see whether that improves your situation. Take it a step further by teaching your children to help with the dishes and other
Love Your Family With Kindness
Showing kindness isn’t simply a matter of saying the right things nor of being considerate towards others. Kindness begins in your heart.
Have you ever had to deal with someone who you knew couldn’t stand you, even though they did their best to mask their true feelings?
It wasn’t their words or even their actions that gave them away. Rather it was subtle tells in their body language or in their tone of voice that betrayed their true feelings.
Have you considered that your husband and children may be aware of deep-seated resentment you’ve let build up in your heart regarding your role as a homemaker, even though you’ve spent time pretending everything is fine?
If your heart’s attitude is sour, it will be revealed in everything you say and do. If you have learned to say and do the right things, but you’re still feeling double-minded about your life as a housewife, you must deal with this issue so that it stops hurting your family.
Through prayer, reading the Bible, and receiving sound counsel from a trusted older woman in your congregation (a woman whose own marriage and home are intact!), you can work through these matters of the heart and renew your attitude towards your honorable roles as wife and mother.
Love Your Family By Submitting to Your Husband
Does the idea of submitting to your husband make you cringe? The idea of submission isn’t popular in this day and age of third wave feminism. However, submission is a timeless and blessed Biblical principle.
The fact is G-d holds your husband responsible for how he cares for you and your children, period. He is expected to protect you, provide for your needs, and to be the spiritual leader in your family. Because of this high-calling upon his life, your husband ought to have the ultimate say when it concerns the affairs of your household.
If you’ve married a man who is mature in Christ, trusting His leadership should not feel like a burden nor should it inspire fear in your heart. On the contrary, his watchful leadership should bring you peace and a sense of support.
If you’ve married a man who falls short in his G-d-given role, this isn’t an excuse for you to take the reins. Pray for him, show him respect, and concern yourself with fulfilling your role in a way that brings honor to Christ (1 Peter 3:1)
In time, if your husband has his heart set on following G-d, He will grow into His role. Don’t frustrate this process by becoming lazy in your role, criticizing him (whether to his face or behind his back), or trying to take over his position within your home.
Perhaps your issue with submitting to your husband has to do with past experiences you’ve had with men. Maybe your father wasn’t a good provider. Perhaps you’ve only encountered men who were harsh or misogynistic.
If this is the case, discuss the matter with your husband and pray together that you would be able to accept him as he is rather than filtering his behavior through the disappointments of the past.
A good husband knows that his role as a leader is to serve his family. Since G-d holds him accountable in his role, he knows his authority is not something to lord over you and your children.
You’ve already got enough to do in your role as wife and mother. Keep yourself from unnecessary stress and leave the task of leading your family to your husband.
Loving Your Family Takes Practice
If loving your family came naturally to women, there would not have been a need for Scripture to instruct experienced wives and mothers to pass on these skills to the next generation of women.
If you’ve been longing for a better reality in your marriage and motherhood, take heart! You can turn things around.
The next time you are tempted to compare yourself, your family, and your home to that of another woman’s, just stop!
You are not at the same place in your journey as any other woman and you don’t know how long she has been working to develop her skills as a wife and mother (nor how hard she’s worked to do so!)
Focus on tending your own garden and in time, you will reap a harvest.
By following these sound, Biblical principles, you will cultivate a beautiful home life.
What steps can you take today to improve your marriage and motherhood? Let’s discuss them in the comments!