Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A life that agrees with true teaching

You, however, must tell everyone how to live in a way that agrees with the true teaching.... Teach the older women to live the way those who serve the Lord should live. They should not go around saying bad things about others or be in the habit of drinking too much. They should teach what is good. By doing this they will teach the younger women to love their husbands and children. They will teach them to be wise and pure, to take care of their homes, to be kind, and to be willing to serve their husbands. Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us. (Titus 2:1,3-5)

Here Paul, the great teacher, was teaching another teacher, his son in the faith, Titus. Thus this instruction is not only for the teacher but also meant to be a blessing to the Christian community where Titus ministers. 

It shows an important principal: It is not only about us.

As we mother, as we care for our family, our daughters watch us and they
learn.  We can tell them things, but in the end, they learn more from observation than from anything we say.  

They watch how we treat each other, how we talk about each other.  Are we critical, mean spirited, condescending, quick to spread a nasty but oh, so interesting tale? Or are we kind, generous and loving?

Do we numb ourselves with little pleasures?  Not only drinking but shopping,  mindless TV or internet browsing, or other non-productive pastimes that lure us away from the business of loving and serving our family?  Or do we willingly and joyfully serve our husbands and children?  Are we wise and pure?

Living a life that honors God and agrees with true teaching is the goal.  It passes the baton of faith because our children see faith being lived out.  Plus our children feel the affects of our love for them.  Our service to them produces good character, strong self-image, and confidence to face life's difficulties.  It enables them to love and serve their own families because they have seen how it works and that it works.

But let's be honest: it is hard to continue to serve others, to put their needs ahead of our own, especially when often what we do is unseen and unappreciated.  That is when it is advantageous to be a Christ-follower, because Christ did this so well:  

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus knows how we feel.  He felt how we feel.  Except He did it perfectly all the time.  And He has sent His Spirit to live inside us so that we can live this life that agrees with true teaching.  

I can't do it, really.  But He is faithful, He will do it. 

Jesus, I don't know how You did it.  I struggle day by day still, but I want this, I know it works.  Beloved make me better tomorrow than I was today: avoiding gossip and frivolous pastimes. Help me lovingly serve my husband, daughters and grandson with a pure heart like You did. Thank You that when I fail, there is Your grace to catch me!  My gratitude is beyond words.     

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