To love their children…

by frazzledmama on July 22, 2008

While I was hanging out clothes this morning I was thinking about  Titus 2:3-5. In this passage Paul is talking about the role of “older” women (not necessarily meaning older in age, but older in their relationship with the Lord) and the things that they can teach the younger women.  Verse 4 says “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children” (Emphasis mine).  Wow, I never contemplated that we need to be taught how to love our children.  We love them before we meet them.  But that is an emotional love. What happens when they are 3 and beginning to test the boundaries?  What about when they are 18 and run off with the boy next door?  How do we love them then?  Is it with emotional love or committed love?  So, I did some research and this is what I came up with “Philoteknos” is the Greek word used here for love, and the meaning?  From philos and teknon; fond of one’s children, i.e. Maternal. Philos -Properly, dear, i.e. A friend; actively, fond, i.e. Friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.) and teknon – From the base of timoria; a child (as produced); child, daughter, son.  According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary, this is the only place that Philoteknos is used!  Dang!  I was hoping for a cut and dry, like agape.  Now, I have to actually think this through.  Hmmm… fond. Here is the definition I found  

fond (fänd)

adjective

  1. Now Rare: foolish, esp. foolishly naive or hopeful
    1. tender and affectionate; loving
    2. affectionate in a foolish or overly indulgent way

    3.  cherished with great or unreasoning affection; doted on a fond hope

 

Um, what to do with that….I definitely love my children, but all of these definitions have or elude to a unreasonable affection…hmmm. I am thinking that covers the 3 year old and the 18 year old.  We are to love them without reason, with great affection, and be ever hopeful.  Which I see now ties into the definition for philos actively fond, friendly an associate.  I was thinking about what an associate does, helps, consults, advises, shares a burden.   So, I conclude that to love our children, philoteknos,  we need to be an utterly loving, affectionate, maybe foolishly naive, ever hopeful, associate to our children for life.  Now I am scared, that is a really big job!  I have heard from more than one mother statements such as these: “Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, but I don’t enjoy him”, or “I don’t enjoy those toddler years.”  We are wrong! I don’t think we can say “I don’t enjoy my kids”.  We are supposed to – they are to be cherished greatly with unreasoning affection.  They are not an accessory that we pull out when convenient.  They are also more than a “do-to” list (that finger is pointing squarely at me).   If my children are greatly cherished, they  are more important than “things”.  They are more important than how I feel, and all the things that need to be accomplished.  I know, here in this fallen world, in reality, I have a list of a million things to do today, but at the top of that list I need to make sure my children are cherished with great affection.  A dear older friend, right before she went home to Heaven told me to “Love those babies!”, maybe that is what she was getting at.  I didn’t understand at the time, I thought “I do love them.”  But there is more to it than I realized.

Thank you Lord for showing me this great and wonderful truth in your word!  Please give me the fondness for my children that I need. 

 

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