Equipping for Life through Words and Examples
The purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart. 1 Timothy 1:5
Teresa and I had been married almost ten years and had two children. I was reading and studying everything I could find on the Christian life. I tried every way imaginable to get my family as excited as I was. Then I heard a conference speaker adapt a familiar saying to the Christian home: "Your wife and kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I slowed down on trying to "know" everything and focused more on caring.
That seems to be a part of what the apostle Paul is reminding Timothy in this verse. Paul reminds us, too, that the whole reason for the truth of the gospel is to point others toward a love relationship with God. The purpose of the Word is to promote God's love among His people.
With the background of 1 Timothy, as I try to meet my wife's need for instruction I must first examine my own heart. Are my words of instruction for her benefit or for mine? Are my words of instruction going to point her toward a more loving relationship with God or one of His people? Are my words of instruction coming from a pure heart, with a good conscience and a sincere faith?
Keeping this kind of standard has helped me hold my tongue on many occasions. But keeping this standard has allowed me to avoid hurting my wife and has brought her instead to a stronger love for me and our Lord. As we have truly applied the guidelines of the apostle Paul, Teresa and I have helped equip one another for life with our words and our example.
Have you thoroughly examined your heart before giving instructions to your spouse? Have you looked at God's instructions and looked closely for evidence of His loving heart toward you?
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