Passage: 2 John 1-13

Speaker: Steve Hands

Series: Mother’s Day

Raising Children In Love And Truth

What do you want your children to be when they grow up? Do you want them to be smart, healthy, responsible, secure, or accomplished? If you don’t have kids, what’s the most important way you are developing right now? The apostle John looked at the church as a household. In his second letter he delighted to find the spiritually young members of a particular church learning to walk in love and truth (2 John 4). For John, growing himself and the church in these two attributes was his life’s work, and seeing people grow in them was his greatest joy. As we participate in the household of faith, and as we lead in our own households, how can we spur each other on to grow in love and truth?

First, we can remind each other of the commandment of Jesus to love one another, and exhort each other to act out that love concretely (2 John 5-6). The commandment to love may seem obvious, and it is. But the trouble we all eventually recognize is that actually being loving and acting in love is much harder than acknowledging that we ought to love. We gripe at each other, complain about our situations, act selfishly, and demand payback, when we should be building each other up, giving thanks in all circumstances, honoring others above ourselves, and forbearing and forgiving wrongdoing. We need to participate as members of the community in pointing each other back to the way of love, again and again and again. The acknowledgement of love is easy; doing it is impossible without the help of the Lord and the community he has provided us. Likewise, in our homes may we care most that our children grow in their capacity to love.

Second, we continually reorient each other to the truth of the gospel of Jesus (2 John 7-11). Love is our cardinal virtue as followers of Jesus, but Jesus’s kind of love does not include unlimited tolerance of competing ideas, especially about who Jesus was and what he accomplished for us. We daily wade through a quagmire of competing ideologies and worldviews, and it’s easy to pick up ideas about who God is and how he operates that conflict with what God has revealed about himself through his Word and his Son. We cannot protect and prevent ourselves or each other from encountering all these things—even if we wanted to—but we can reorient each other to the truth, working together to hold fast to what we’ve worked so hard for, so that we may together win a full reward (2 John 8).

So this Mother’s Day, may we learn as a household of faith to prioritize love and truth, and together spur each other on to grow more and more into the likeness of our savior Jesus.