Continuing our series on best deals for mothers of teenagers we turn to Titus 2:4 for a priceless nugget of mothering wisdom. It tells us to “love [our] children” tenderly. This may not appear to be a new and novel parenting tip, but J.C. Ryle insisted that this biblical principle is “one grand secret of successful training.”
This tender love he described as “a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys—these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily—these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to their heart.”
Similarly, Paul Tripp encourages us as parents to “remember what it was like to live in the scary world of the teen years.”
A simple test of the effectiveness of tender love requires only a moment of self-reflection. Don’t we all respond better to a person who takes an interest in us and expresses affection than to someone who tries to force or manipulate us to comply with their wishes?
Our teenagers are no different. Discipline, correction, and training are ineffective and even detrimental when void of tender love. But these same tools are more readily welcomed if they come with a kind and gentle hand. The biblical maxim to treat others as you would like to be treated most certainly applies here.
And wasn’t it a tender love that the Savior showed to us when He granted us salvation? He leads us with “cords of kindness” (Hos. 11:4), and “He does not deal with us according to our sins” (Ps. 103:10.
So the most important reason to show tender love is because it displays Christ’s love to our teenagers.