I am reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, this passage in chapter 2 stood out to me this morning. “The Lord has created a woman to love. Her whole approach to nurture, her sensitivity, love, and compassion are all part of her very nature. In short, God designed the woman to love. He’s not going to command her to agape her husband when he created her to do that in the first place. God is not into redundancy. Let’s go a little further with this and skip over to Titus 2:4. Here, older women are told to encourage younger women to love their husbands and children, but in this case, Paul is not talking about agape love. In Titus 2:4, he uses the Greek word phileo, which refers to the human, brotherly kind of love. The point is, a young wife is created to agape her husband and children. Ultimately, she will never stop unconditionally loving them. But in the daily wear and tear of life, she is in danger of becoming discouraged – so discouraged that she may lack phileo. A kind of impatient unfriendliness can come over her. She may scold and sigh way too much. After all, there is always something or someone who needs correcting. She cares deeply. Her motives are filled with agape, but her methods lack phileo.”
I’m sitting here on the couch at almost noon trying to read this book. I’m apparently the Queen of England today. The little ones are baking cakes, making tea, fixing chili (w/watermelon even), steak, pancakes, and more. All are being served up on tiny little plastic plates with lots of noise. I’m told I will miss this…
I sit here watching them, wondering if there are things I have missed out on because I just didn’t feel like the Queen. KWIM?
As a mom of teens & littles, I can say there are things I miss from the little years with the older kids and there are things I do not miss. And as a mom of teens & littles, I can honestly say that I look forward to watching my little ones grow into teens and I look forward to watching them all grow into adults with their own families.
At a Bible study being taught by Sally Clarkson a few weeks ago, I wrote in my notes “*i want to be like S.C.*”. I totally did not mean that I want to write books or speak in front of groups of women. I meant that I long to be a Titus 2 women that speaks encouragement and life into other women. I once heard Lisa Bevere speak about longing for a Titus 2 woman to come in to her life and asking God to please send her one, He told her that she needed to be to others what she longed for. That really made me think. I didn’t really feel like I had women in my life at the time. My mom and MIL were on the East coast, so were my Grandma’s. It’s difficult to speak into someone’s life from so far away. I didn’t really have friends here either. I have come to realize over time that I am a Titus 2 woman training the younger women, my daughters.
None of this is totally what I was thinking when I started writing. LOL I was thinking about agape and phileo love. I was thinking how true it is that my intentions can be filled with agape. And how true it is that my actions can lack phileo.
It’s funny to me that the kids called me the Queen of England while serving me a feast of plastic and wooden food. Since the recent birth of the new Prince, I have often wondered if she (the Queen) gets to really enjoy being a Grandma and Great Grandma. Is she able to be a Titus 2 woman and really speak into the lives of her daughter, daughters in law, and granddaughters in a way that truly enriches their lives?
When my daughters marry I want them to know their husbands need for respect and how to show them respect. I am the one to teach them this. I also want my sons to understand loving their wives.
Goodness, back to agape and phileo! And my feast too. I LOVED that the kids were playing together and getting along and that they wanted to include me. I wasn’t wanting to play though. I wanted to read my book and take notes so I can discuss it with My Man, who is listening to the book on audio (hopefully before the little one are teens! LOL). And while I know that I can not always stop what I am doing to play with the kids or go out with My Man because I am fulfilling agape duties (you know the thing we wives & moms do because we love our families – laundry, fixing meals, paying bills, etc.), I can respond with phileo and not aggravation that “they don’t appreciate what I’m doing for them”, that “they should be helping me so I can have time to sit and enjoy them” because, quite honestly they are really just showing their human, brotherly love for me (you know, loving me – that’s what I want from my husband and children right?!?). Agape seems to to be written into my DNA, phileo is a choice. WOW! I soooo want to choose phileo all the time (actually, I wish it was written into my DNA too!). I have noticed lately that I am doing better with this, I am praying that practice does indeed make perfect in this instance! And, I am noticing when I sigh. I am noticing that sometimes I do sigh to make the someone notice that they inconvenienced me! OUCH! Now, to catch myself and stop that before I do it again…
How are you or how can you choose to show phileo love to your husband and children this week?