Good morning dear sisters, I’ve got a question that I’d like you to ponder. Are you comfortable with being or preparing to be a Titus 2 woman and all that that implies? Do you get excited when reading through Titus 2, realizing that the commands to be reverent, pure, self-controlled, among others, and to teach those things to the younger women are meant for you? Or does the whole thing overwhelm you?
It is overwhelming sometimes, isn’t it? Have you prayerfully considered all that Titus 2: 3-5 demands of older women? If not, read it now:
Titus 2: 3-5, Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (ESV)
God is asking a lot of us. Well, actually He isn’t asking at all. These are commands, not suggestions. God isn’t asking us to do these things; He’s commanding us to. Why then do so many older Christian ladies fail to obey Him?
I believe that part of it is that some of us just don’t feel qualified to teach anything to anyone. Perhaps no one ever taught us how to cook, clean or organize. Maybe we struggle to love our husband and our children as we are told “a good wife” ought to. Maybe our houses are a mess, our banking account something out of our nightmares and our family has worked through every single flavor of frozen pizza available.
Or maybe we’re afraid of questions that we can’t answer. Maybe we don’t have a good grasp as to why God commanded thus and so or why He did some things He did. Perhaps we don’t know the difference between hermeneutics and exegesis. Maybe we’re shaky when it comes to apologetics. How in the world can we “teach what is good” when we aren’t so sure of things ourselves?
For others of us, it isn’t just what we don’t know, or that we don’t feel qualified to teach, but that our lives are lived outside of what some might consider the Christian norm for adult women–maybe we’re married to a man who isn’t a Christian, or we’re a single Mom, part of a blended family or have never been married. Or maybe we’re unsure of our place or our place overwhelms us: all of our children have flown the nest or we’re right in the throes of the busiest part of motherhood.
Or maybe it’s just us. Maybe the word introvert was invented to describe us and we’re intensely uncomfortable calling attention to ourselves. Whatever it is, maybe because of these reasons–or some others that we consider equally compelling–many of us have decided that God’s mandate to “teach the younger women” doesn’t apply to us.
Our excuses don’t cut it. The command applies to any mature Christian woman. If you are young in your faith or immature in your faith, then you are the one needing guidance and God not only understands that but has made provision for you by commanding others to teach you. But if you are a Christian and are mature in your understanding, then you’ve got no option: a teacher of what is good you must be.
It’s not as hard as we might think. This isn’t about making a list and working through it. It’s not about having answers to every single question a younger woman might have. It’s not about keeping a perfectly clean house, raising children who are well behaved every single moment of the day or always being “on”. It doesn’t mean we have to deny who we are and put on a mask in order to please others. We do need a deep and growing faith and the things that are important to God must be important to us or we have no business teaching anything. But the rest can be worked on. While step-by-step instruction is part of what younger women need, it’s not meant to be the starting place. It’s not the finishing line either. The “good things” you are commanded to teach flows from knowing and obeying Jesus. If you know Him and you can make Him known, then you are giving younger women the most important thing they need.
If we approach Titus 2 as a list of things to teach, we’ll quickly fall into legalism or find more excuses to not obey; after all, if it’s a list to work through and we don’t know how to do this or that, no one can blame us for not doing it. But we needn’t worry; it’s not about what we know, it’s about Who we know. The most important thing for us to teach the younger women is to know Christ. We don’t have to be university taught to be able to teach that. Our Mamas didn’t have to teach us anything either. We just have to know and love Christ enough to want to make Him known to our sisters.
And remember, ladies, there’s a lot of value in just being there for younger women as they walk the paths you’ve already tread, a lot to be said for being a listening ear or offering smiles and hugs at opportune moments. Most of all, there’s a lot to be said just for wanting to be pleasing to our Lord and serving those He has put in our paths. I encourage you to join me in striving to be the woman these words from Proverbs can be said about:
Proverbs 31: 30 – 31, Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
What are your suggestions? How can we encourage the older women to teach the younger women? What do you think younger women need most of all from older women? Are you willing to step up to teach those willing to be taught?