Hello dear ones! Please join me for a word study on motherhood. Even if you are not a mother, you can use what you learn in other relationships. You are an example to the children in your life, whether that is a niece/ nephew, or kids in the youth group at your church. Also, I encourage all Godly women to find a young girl to pour into. I, myself, was richly blessed by Godly mentors as a youth. Any who, let’s dig in to Titus 2!
Titus 2:4-5 KJV
“ 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 word “love” (5388) is the Greek philoteknos. It is only used once in the Bible, and it means “maternal” love, to be fond of. It comes from the root word philos (5384) which means “friendly, dear”. I don’t care what tradition says; this verse and many others, tell me that I should be friendly to my kids. I can be a friend with my child and still discipline them. I know children are supposed to have a close relationship with their parents. Do you know how I know? God is the perfect Father and He wants a close relationship with His children. God breaks down the barriers and asks us to come to Him. We see this when the disciples tried to keep children from “bothering” Jesus.
Matt 19:14 Amp
“But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
How do we love (philoteknos) our children?
- We love our children by listening to them and being available.
The whole teaching that children should be seen and not heard isn’t Biblical New Covenant parenting. God calls us to “like” our children…to be fond of them. I praise God that the Heavenly Father isn’t just a strict disciplinarian. God the Father doesn’t sit on His big heavenly couch and snap at us if we interrupt his television time. God the Father is the kind of Daddy that gets out and plays with His kids. He always has time to listen to His children. Dear Mother, do you listen to your children? Oooo, I feel conviction here. We spend so much time caring for our kids’ physical needs that we forget to just hold them and play with them. May God remind us that the dishes can wait. Extracurricular activities can wait. Sometimes we need a vacation from all the things we think our families need, and we just need to be available.
I pray that God will remind me when I am so caught up in being the Mother I want to be, that I should be the Mother I need to be…present. No matter your schedule you can be available. Remember, it’s about quality not necessarily quantity. Maybe your kids are grown and in another state/ country? Write to them. Call them. My Dad put little love notes in my lunch each day. He’s dead and with Jesus now, but I am still encouraged by those cards.
- We love our children by respecting them and treating them like human beings. We do this by showing grace, and not breaking their spirits.
The next verses are to Fathers, but they can teach mothers too.
Eph 6:4 AMP
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Col 3:21 AMP
“ Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].”
Sometimes we can be right, but so wrong. Recently, I got in a spat with my eldest son, and it took everything I had not to spew my anger. I felt like throwing my hands up and saying the heck with this parenting thing. It was one of THOSE days. You know the day…your child back talks ad misbehaves the whole time. The baby screams while you’re trying to get groceries. Your hair is frazzled and you look like a psycho ready to murder someone. Yes, maybe you drink coffee on those days? I eat chocolate in a corner. This time I knew I had blown it. I was not a nice mother. I had a choice though. I could become meaner, or I could surrender my right to being right. I could put my relationship above being right. I could step down from my parental throne, and get messy.
My son wasn’t talking to me. In fact, he had said some mean things himself. So I said a prayer and grabbed the tennis rackets. Michael was hiding in his club house. I held up the rackets and challenged my boy to a duel. If he beat me in tennis I’d give him back the money he had lost in acting up. I told him we were both obviously angry, so let us settle it with tennis. At first he refused, and my heart wilted…I had really gone too far on my gracelessness. But when I asked if he was afraid of getting beat by a girl, he finally gave in. So, of course, I let Michael win the tennis game. This was after all, really about saving our relationship. He smiled and gloated. The tension was broken, and we both hugged and apologized for our words. I’ve had this type of situation come up many times in parenting. How about you?
Are you so focused on being right and in charge, that you’ve sacrificed your relationship with your child? Here are some sayings that actually work: Don’t make mountains out of mole hills. Choose your battles. As cheezy as that sounds, those sayings are true! Your kids left their socks out again…that’s a mole hill. If you focus all your time on the trivial you will miss the real battle going on for your kids’ hearts. Whew, the Lord is really convicting me. If this is getting to you, don’t feel bad. I’m feeling it too. I pray right now that we will fall on Jesus’ grace, and that He will whisper to our hearts when we start to trivialize. I pray He will convict us when we push so hard that we are on the verge of provoking our kids and breaking their lil spirits. How often do I forget that my children aren’t grown yet! They don’t have the maturity and experience of an adult. I should not judge and try them as one!
- We love our children by praying for them.
In the book of Samuel, Hannah dedicates her miracle son, Samuel, to the Lord’s service. She knew her son was a gift from God and truly belonged to God. May we be like Hannah and remember that our children belong to God first. We worry about their safety and character, but we need to realize that God cares even more than we do. He is the best and only perfect parent. Sometimes God may allow hardship in our children’s lives, but He has a plan for them that we can’t even imagine. I homeschool my eldest son, and both my kids have a very stable home in all ways. I, on the other hand, came from divorce, and grew up around drug dealers…gypsies and pirates I say. My Dad came back to God when I was a teenager. I went to public school. When I went to my grandma’s I watched whatever I wanted on t.v. I was sexually abused for years without my parents knowing. I say all this not to make my parents look bad. They were protective as they could be in their situations. I say this, because I met Christ at age 13 and became a committed follower of Him. Although I struggled with depression etc… God made me a leader in my school, and I taught other kids about Christ. I started a depression group for youth, and ministered in the community. The poor and drug addicts in my community didn’t intimidate me because I grew up around that. God gave me a heart for the homeless and hungry. I was bullied bad in school. Kindergarten was hellatious and it went downhill from there til graduation. But God used that to give me a love for other outcasts. God used leaders in the church to influence me to save myself for marriage. I never got into drugs, because I saw what it did to those close to me. I say this, to show that despite my lack of sheltering most of my life, God had a plan for me. God was my greatest parent. So know this sweet mother, and I’m preaching to the choir, commit your kids to God, and watch Him work, in spite of you. You will fail at times. God is bigger than your failure. Even if your worst fear happens to your kids (and I’ll admit it scares me to say this out loud), God can turn it for their good. So press on Dear Ones!
May we lay our kids at Jesus’ feet and trust Him. Prayer for our kids is more important than financial security, food on the table, and even whether or not we slip up and curse around our kids. We can be the most clean cut family, and our kids the most obedient…but if they don’t know Jesus…none of it matters. Clean cut, nice children, can grow up and go to Hell. Likewise, dirty, foul mouthed kids, can grow up and win the world for Christ. Don’t be deceived, sweet mother, by appearances. I’ve known church kids that had no regard for God. Pray for your children’s hearts. That is the most loving thing you can do for them. Point your kids to Jesus…the real…raw…Jesus, who heals the bleeding, and deals with the darkness in the world. Jesus got His hands dirty, and loved the world. Our kids need to know that Biblical Jesus. I praise God that my Mama and eventually my Dad, prayed for me. There were times they couldn’t reach me, but God did through their prayers. May this also be a humble reminder that the “goodness” of our children isn’t all because of us, but rather by divine providence.
Matthew 7:9-11 AMP
“ Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will[instead] give him a snake? 11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.”
- We love our children by being an example. Our relationship with Christ speaks volumes. I did not say our works, or our church attendance. I said our relationship with Christ. Even when we fail, our children will learn when we fall at Christ’ feet and accept His grace. They will see how to be real and go to Jesus. We see how the Godly example of a Grandmother influenced a Mother and then her Grandson, Timothy in this next verse.
2 Timothy 1:5 AMP
“I remember your sincere and unqualified faith [the surrendering of your entire self to God in Christ with confident trust in His power, wisdom and goodness, a faith] which first lived in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am confident that it is in you as well.”
I leave you with a story I heard recently on Christian radio. Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist church, had 17 children, ten of which lived. She spent an hour each day in prayer, and she made sure she spent one on one time with each of her children during the week. This Godly woman’s legacy impresses me. I also, think of Steve Saint and the Godly wives/mothers that reached the Huaorani tribe after their husbands were speared to death by the same tribe. These ladies entrusted their kids to God. They put God’s agenda above their own. May we live in such a way!
Dear ones, here is a passage to take to heart this week. I love and pray for you all!
“Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord, The fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed [happy and fortunate] is the man whose quiver is filled with them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies [in gatherings] at the [city] gate.”
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
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
The Amplified Bible
Other posts in this series:
More Grace Based Parenting: