Paul gives Titus a list of things that young women and men are to strive for. We cannot just hope to be good people as we age. We have to actually work at it. Notice a few things that Paul instructs…
Love your own husbands and children. Seems odd that Paul would want this to be taught, doesn’t it come naturally? A quick look at our society will show what a great need, this is. Divorce and abortion are as prevalent as marriage and raising offspring, if not more. Putting the needs of someone else above your own takes determination. The love Paul is speaking of is the kind of love that wants what is best for another person, even at your own hurt.
We can’t just love our spouse when it is convenient. We must love them even when they are not easy to love. Remember the old wedding vows where couples promised to love, honor, obey, and cherishing each other, preferring one another above all others, in sickness and health, during good times and bad, richer or poorer. These things are choices that demand losing a piece of yourself in love for another.
Loving a child takes ones complete surrender for many years until they can make it on their own. Putting their needs above self. I can remember many times my mother going without so we (her children) could have whether it was clothing or the last piece of pie. Dedication and care are part of learning to truly love spouses and children as God instructs.
Marriage is not an easy undertaking. Paul’s instruction calls for self-control, purity, working in the home, kindness and submission. None of these things allow self to come first.
Young men need to learn to control their being. Which indicates all the things needed to put the Lord, wife, children, and self in proper order. A husband cannot live for himself only. He cannot live to fulfill the callings of the flesh. He cannot let fleshly pursuits come ahead of his love for his wife and children.
It is interesting that Paul calls for Titus to teach these things to the young. This is the time that we are setting the pattern for life. Just like the Proverbs writer said, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” (Eccl 12:1). Much of what it takes to be a husband is learned as a faithful son to mother and father. One does not learn fidelity, self-control, protection and providence all at once after marriage.
There are a few things in which youth has the advantage. You have time to learn, you can make mistakes that can more easily be corrected in youth than after adulthood. In youth, you have fewer commitments allowing for time to serve the Lord fully without having to look out for wife and children.
Thank God for preachers and parents like Titus, who will accurately teach the will of God in the lives of their children.