Titus 2:4 makes a strange statement about older women teaching younger women to love their husbands and their children. Admittedly, sometimes men can make loving a husband quite a challenge but don’t mothers automatically love their children? Why would they need to be taught to love their children? We speak of a mother’s love being the closest thing on earth to God’s love. (I’m sure I read that on a Mother’s day card somewhere.) So what is it talking about when it says young women need to learn to love their children?
I heard a serial killer’s momma say her boy “wouldn’t hurt a fly”. As a school principal I repeatedly had to discipline children whose mothers refused to believe their child could have done what they were accused of – obviously the teacher was just out to get their precious innocent one. Is that really how God loves us …. blind to our faults, denying the evidence of our fallen nature? Obviously not and I think that is a key to understanding this passage.
God’s love doesn’t sugar coat our depravity, doesn’t overlook the vileness that permeates our nature nor deny our total guiltiness and capability of all manner of evil. On the contrary, His love compels us to face our fallen nature, see ourselves accurately, admit our depravity and depend upon His mercy as our only hope. (That was the purpose for the entire Old Testament law.)
True love is not blind. God knows our depravity even better than we know ourselves. He has no false illusions about our innocence and basic goodness. Yet knowing us thoroughly He still loves us completely. God’s love for us is not a testimony of our great worth or value but of His great kindness in spite of who we are. He does not loves us because of who we are but because of who and what He is. God is love.
1 John 4:10 MSG
This is the kind of love we are talking about-not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.