This particular post is one of my favorites because it talks about one of primary parts of my "profession." The next phrase in Titus 2:4 is "to love their children." There are times when this is hard because our children may be driving us crazy. However, when this happens with me, it's usually because I'm trying to get something done for myself, and my children are unoccupied. Many times selfish motives on my part are involved.
Involved . . . now there's what I need to be doing. How can I involve my children in my life? I mean in the everyday tasks, chores, "to do's" that need my attention. Just the other day, I thought of a way to keep my daughter busy with me in the kitchen . . . since she is always asking me, "Can I help?" I certainly don't want to say no, but then I end up tripping over her. So I decided that I would get out some "plastics" and let her wash dishes. I tried this, and she was busy for 20 minutes taking care of something for Mommy. WOW! Did I get a lot done!!
What about my oldest who is now five? Even though I want my sons to grow up to be strong and capable men working on manly things, I also want them to have a first-hand knowledge of what it takes to run a household. There is a two-fold purpose for this way of thinking: (1) They will be able to be out on their own someday preparing to have a wife and children, and (2) they will be able to sympathize and even help their wives when they are married and caring for a family.
Of course, then there's a man who can cook . . . now that is a special treat! :)
I think the most important thing I can be doing during all that "involvement" is what God's Word tells me to do in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 - "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our god is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and wit hall thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (here's the key) And thou shalt teach them diligently (that word means it takes effort, time, and hard work) unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." As each activity is enjoyed, I can be talking to my children about the Lord in every aspect of our lives.
Some of my favorite verses the Lord brings to my mind when I think of my children and the incredible responsibility I have to teach and train them, evangelize them, and disciple them when they come to know the Lord are as follows:
Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Some people say that this is not a promise, but I believe it is based upon the wording in the text. If we do our part to train our children, the Lord will keep them there for us. The phrase "he will not depart from it" just seems that simple to me. It doesn't say he may not depart . . . it says he will not depart. Pretty clear, IMHO.
Ephesians 6:4 - "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Nurture is training, and admonition is the discipline that happens when they choose to disobey the training.
III John 4 - "I have no greater JOY than to hear that my children walk in truth." (all-time favorite) I think what I love about this verse so much is that it says the children will walk in truth, not just believe the truth. That is just so powerful to me. My children, when taught the truth, can make it a part of their lives such that it (the truth) becomes a part of the the very fabric of who they are as individuals. They will remain strong, never wavering from following the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh, this has been one of my favorite posts. I love my children so much!!! I so want for them to be everything the Lord wills for their lives. I know they will find great JOY in knowing Him and doing His Will! As I obey the Lord, and my children see my example, I know that I am "loving my children," even in the daily parts of life. :)