“that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,” (Titus 2:4, NKJV)
Today is February 14 – Valentine’s Day – a day to fondly and affectionately acknowledge the person you love. Today’s verse calls attention to the work of older women to admonish (“to make of sound mind, to discipline or correct: -teach to be sober,” Strong’s Dictionary) young women to “love” their husbands. Interestingly, “love” in this verse is not agape (active goodwill), it is a variation of phileo (warm affection). So then, God’s word says young wives must discipline themselves to be affectionate toward their husbands. Without a doubt (and to their shame), some husbands make this a difficult task! A loving husband helps his wife develop the affectionate quality of love by living with her “with understanding” and giving her the honor she is due (1 Peter 3:7). Still, today’s verse reminds a wife of her responsibility. When it is easy (like on Valentine’s Day) and when it is difficult, the godly wife does not withhold warmhearted affection from her husband. A husband’s understanding and a wife’s affection help secure and strengthen marriage – every day of the year.
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1–5, NKJV)
Please read this list carefully. Let it sink into your heart. The “last days” and these dangers have continued since the first century (Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 John 2:18). Troublesome, difficult, stressful times exist as people turn away from God with selfish and sinful demands, expectations and actions. Christians are called to be God-loving, while those who press, stress and persecute God’s people love everything except God. They do not love good and they do not love God (v. 3, 4). They are hostile and heartlessness – they are without natural affection. Yet, they are warmly fond of some things. They “love” 1) Themselves (they are selfish and self-absorbed), 2) Money (they are materialistic and covetousness), and 3) Pleasure (they are fond of sensual delight). These obstructionists may even be religious (they appear godly), but their lives negate the power of true godliness. Satan’s angels still appear as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Be warned, and turn away from such (Ephesians 5:11).
If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come! (1 Corinthians 16:22, NKJV)
One might expect the apostle to use agapao here to describe one’s love for the Lord Jesus Christ. But, instead he uses a form of phileo, for he wishes to drive home the presence and value of one’s warm affection toward Jesus. Paul’s statement is full of emotion as he yearns for the coming of Christ. If anyone does not have personal love for Jesus Christ – a warm affection of loving devotion – then that person is “accursed” before God (devoted to be cursed with destruction). Faithful Christians longs for the coming judgment of Christ (“O Lord, come!”). Examine your personal love for Christ. Do you anticipate His return out of your deep devotion and affection for Him? If so, then your life will be showing your love through your obedient faith.