Are you fond of your husband? The Bible calls wives to a special love for their husbands. It goes beyond that of a Christian sister. It goes beyond sex. Join me as we dig into the meaning of “Love” in Titus 2 concerning husbands.
Because the Greek word we are studying is only mentioned once in the Bible, I will not only be pulling from my Lexicon but also the dictionary and thesaurus to expand my research.
Titus 2:4-5 KJV (Following an exhortation to older women to teach the young. I’ve only did a study on what the young women need to know.)
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to LOVE their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
The Greek word for “Love” here is philandros (5362) according to my lexicon and Strong’s dictionary, it means “to be fond of, affectionate” and it is only used as a wife loving her husband. It is a different love than the love for children.
Philandros is only used here in Titus. So there are no correlating verses. I find it interesting that we are told to love our husbands, when most passages tell HUSBANDS to love their wives, and WIVES to respect and honor their husbands. I also find it interesting that this exhortation has nothing to do with Eros (sexual) love or Agape (Godly/ sacrificial) love. The root of Philandros is Philos (5384) which means “friendly, fond of, dear”. This love has to do with feelings…fondness. Liking our husbands….seeing them as a friend. And the word denotes a deep friendship. Are you friends with your husband?
Sadly I’ve seen marriages that had a lot of honor and duty, but no friendship. I want Chris and I to be that old couple that still kisses and enjoys each other’s company. This verse reminds me that my husband is NOT the enemy. He is mean’t to be my friend, my dear ally. My husband isn’t my slave master either, or just the bread winner. Chris is my best friend, and a blessing from God. When I forget that, I know we need to reconnect. Sometimes I think I know my husband, but we are always changing. After almost 12 years of marriage, we still need to date and learn about each other. The pursuit should never end. Back to Philandros.
So what does “fond” really mean anyways? It means to be affectionate, to have warm regard, to be tender. Is your attitude towards your hubby warm these days? Or do you give him the cold shoulder? Tender means to be very loving and gentle. Other meanings that I think apply here: delicate, soft, sensitive, yielding.
This paints such a lovely word picture for me. I see a woman that is a safe place for her husband. He can lay his head in her lap and tell his troubles. He doesn’t worry that she is going to tear him down. As she strokes his head gently, he is glad to be home. She creates a warm atmosphere, a quiet and gentle strength that wells from within.
She is NOT however, cold and overbearing. She does not emasculate her man. The antonyms of “Fond”, “affectionate”, and “tender” are: “Cold”, “hating”, “Hostile”, “unfeeling”, “unsociable”, “aloof”, and “callous”. I think of a bitter hateful woman I once met on a Grey Hound bus. I pity her. She hated men so much that she cursed them loudly the whole trip. She told me that she hoped I didn’t have boys. This was before I got pregnant…with boys. Clearly the woman had pain. She may have been abused. This sad woman developed a calloused heart…instead of being healed and having soft “flesh” if you will. This hurt her more than the people around her. Yes, the men on the bus were annoyed. I had a hard time being near her, but she has to live with herself. It was embarrassing for females everywhere, what an awful representation of our sex.
God created femininity to show the gentle heartbeat of who He is. Our “softness” is a strength that can bring the harshest of kings to their knees. It is a gift, but sadly the world has convinced many of us that to be humble, to be yielding, and to be gentle is to be inferior…to be stupid. The world lies. A bitter and harsh woman is NOT strong. No one wants to be around an “iceberg”. What man would love a snow queen?
It is a part of the sin nature to put up walls and close ourselves off when we feel hurt. How can we overcome this tendency? Abiding with Christ. God is in the business of healing and softening hearts. If you are struggling to be warm towards your hubby, I urge you to ask God for help. I give this advice as one who struggles to be open when I’m hurt. There are times when I don’t have any affection in me because I am so angry. In those times I pray hard. I repent for my bitterness and ask God to give me a supernatural affection. He answers my prayers! One minute I can be fuming at my husband and the next I just want to hold him. That is a God thing for sure!
So my challenge for you this week is to be your husband’s best friend. Pray for God’s help if you struggle with this. Whether your husband is worthy or not isn’t the question. We obey Christ because we love and trust God. God will deal with our husbands if they are not in the right. We can only stand accountable for ourselves. Life isn’t fun as the snow queen…it’s lonely.
If you feel disconnected from your hubby, then get to know him again. Make your marriage a priority. Get a sitter and go on a date where you can actually talk. Do you know his likes and dislikes? What’s his favorite color? Favorite candy? Those seem simple, but how many small things do we forget about? A Best Friend knows all the secrets, and they are sworn to keep them. It is a special bond. I believe we can have that with our husbands.
I leave you with two good links to help you get to know your hubby better:
Chris and I filled out these quizzes over a year ago. We’ve known each other since we were kids, but we were still surprised by some of our answers. The sexy survey was an eye opener too. It was a little uncomfortable, but I feel like we know each other’s needs now. I highly recommend doing these. I keep these as a reference as well, when I want to give Chris a gift. It’s probably a good idea to do these every 3 to 5 years, because people change.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~ Amber Dover
*As a side note, the word for “love” in Ephesians, where husbands are to love their wives, is “Agapao”. You guessed it. It is related to “Agape” (God’s love). It means to willfully find joy in something.
Sources: The Complete Word Study New Testament KJV
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
KJV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible
The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words
Webster’s Dictionary online
The first Titus 2 post:
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