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Titus 2 Women Part 3

What Is the Goal of This Teaching?

The goal of all this teaching is the honor of God and His Word. "...so that no one will malign the word of God." When our lives fail to line up with what we teach, the world brands our entire basis of belief as invalid. Therefore, the outcome of not following this teaching in Titus 2 is that the Word of God will be dishonored. What does that look like? Time magazine printed this letter from a woman in November 1996: "I'm tired of hearing about what God said in the Bible. Who can prove that God has ever said anything? The Bible is simply a storybook written by scribes. Too many bloody wars, genocides, crusades, missionary atrocities, and persecutions have taken place because of 'God's word.'" (Time, 11/18/96)

What if any kind of modeling do you suppose this woman has seen?

The result of good training, on the other hand, is far-reaching blessing. If it is faithfully and consistently done, the result will be that the opposition will be put to shame and ultimately silenced--2:8b. That younger women would live lives of praise to God is another goal of spiritual mothering: God's glory the ultimate purpose; us desiring to make Him look good. "Once God's glory is our purpose, then we have a center point to which we can relate each decision and each situation.... When a woman is absorbed with God's glory, she will interpret her life according to His truth." When it all comes down, it's all about moving from a "me" world view to a biblical world view. When God's glory is our purpose, we will desire to serve Him, and Paul is helping Titus and us see how women will be best equipped for service in the kingdom. It takes partnership between generations; coaching; an older woman coming alongside a younger one to hold out a hand on a dark path. There is great potential for a revival of faith and virtue among women which would profoundly impact a watching nation. Susan Hunt explains, "When we reach women, we will reach the spiritual tempo of our culture." Mary is a great model for the younger women amongst us: it appears she milked every moment, and was teachable. She sought out Elizabeth. "Often older women are willing, but they feel it would be presumptuous to approach a younger woman." So don't be shy, younger women. It may take your initiation. It has been said that "giving birth and nurturing are two of the most profound and noble ways God enables women to glorify Him. Not every woman can give biological birth, but every Christian woman can enter the high calling of spiritual reproduction and motherhood."


APPENDIX A:

 

What are some of the obstacles to spiritual mentoring?

Older women aren't willing to be classed as "older."
A Woman's Day article last November pegged it, "Unlike many other cultures, America scripts no celebrated role for senior generations to follow. That's why some grandparents today shirk conventional images of the job. They ask to be called by their first names rather than "Grandma." And don't ask them to babysit: 'I've done my time, I'm through with all that,' they say. Others feel too young and too busy... to play the idle, venerable sage."

Paul is not asking older women to be idle or act "elderly"... in fact, just the opposite. Younger women will see them as vital resources, by virtue of their years walking with Jesus.

Older women may think younger women aren't mature/interested enough to receive instruction or input. Sometimes, however, younger women are underestimated. Don't give up on them! If you don't like the way the younger generation of Christians is shaping up, evaluate your concerns in light of Scripture, not your opinion or religious traditions... then if you're honestly convinced your concerns are valid, share them gently in the context of a loving relationship. Finally, look for things young women do right, and express approval!

The infamous "generation gap" is also a problem sometimes. One older women commented that she and her friends talk about how the younger generation speaks the "dot.com language." True, the generations' methods and their ways of communicating are vastly different; however, at heart, they as people are the same. They desire, fear, and struggle with the same basic things.

Many younger women, by the way, are returning to things such as afternoon tea, garden parties, baking, actually writing letters by hand, etc. to recapture some of the wonderful simplicity and grace they've seen in their mothers' and grandmothers' lives. What a neat thing it would be for a group of older women to invite a group of younger women over for a tea party or a dinner you would cook together!

Another problem is that younger women aren't often enough pursuing the wisdom and love of older women; they tend to think they can do everything better, smarter, faster.

Some older women, on the other hand, have succumbed to being what Susan Hunt calls a "dragon." They believe their calling in life is to criticize, pick apart, correct, and complain about everything and everyone. Women are afraid of them! If you see these tendencies in yourself (no matter your age!) strive to be a Dorcas instead, who was a powerful component of the church in Joppa because she "was always doing good and helping the poor." She was extremely influential (when she died, the disciples sent for Paul to raise her because she was so vital to the church), but she threatened no one.

Some older women give off the impression that they're too busy, or seem moody. Young women will go to those who tell them by their attitude and words that they are glad they have come.

What about biological mothers and daughters? Obviously, there's a huge mentoring role inherent in that relationship. However, the biological connection sometimes blurs the mother's vision. Sometimes mother-love just gets in the way. Mothers should encourage their daughters to have spiritual relationships with many older women.

 


 

APPENDIX B

 

The Way to Walk: How Does This All Play Out?

How are older women to train younger ones? That word, "train," means literally to bring them to their senses... (in other words, older women are to recall their own "insanity" of younger days and gently help the younger ones see long-term). It has been reported that 85% of those going for marital counseling are young women, and most often this counseling is with a man. What would happen if we practiced the method advocated by Paul in Titus 2? The pastor would train the older women to be effective in their counseling by helping them to develop the character and content to be good trainers of young women. The mature women could in turn use the backdrop of their lives and experiences to translate the teaching to the younger women. This relationship would help the young women to have a more available, knowledgable and personal counselor and greatly impact the load and ministry of the pastor/counselor. Here are a few guidelines for such a relationship:
  • Women should always be steered toward obedience.
  • The spiritual mom should not attempt to take away the obstacles, to mother to the extent that she clings, pampers, or indulges. The idea is to hold a woman's hand as she walks through the difficulties and joys in her life, constantly equipping her to live for Christ.
  • It is primarily a ministry of encouragement. Younger women need to intimately know someone who cares about them, their families, their growth. Many women find it easier to share their fears and insecurities with an older woman than with their peers. Moreover, they need to see that Christian principles applied, work! This doesn't mean a mature woman's life or family has been perfect, but that she's seen God's faithfulness and can attest to His work in her life.
  • Just invite a younger woman to come over and watch you do what you do (gardening, leading a Bible study, disciplining your children, baking bread, caring for a sick parent) while you chat. Show her how you fed a growing family on a tight budget; how to organize her home and "de-clutter," etc.

APPENDIX C

 

Gates for a Woman's Words

James 3:5-6 seems to indicate that the tongue not only needs a better source than the fires of hell, but the tongue also needs a rudder, a bit, special guides or gates, to ensure our words have maximum impact. Prov. 16:23 verifies this: "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction." This need is particularly related to our words to others and not as much to our words of praise.

With the need for a way to guide our tongue in mind, and because a rudder and a bit are hard for us to relate to, I would like to suggest:

The Placing of a Fence with Seven Gates or Guides around Our Heart The good guides/gates that a women's words should pass through are as follows:

 

  1. Is it true? Before you speak, ask yourself: "Is what I'm about to say true?"-- Eph. 4:25; Prov. 12:19,22.
  2. Is it needful? Eph. 4:29; Prov. 15:31-32; 17:10; 25:13,25; 26:23-24; 27:5- 6,9,17; 28:23; 15:30; Is. 50:4.
  3. Is it kind, loving, gentle? Why do we need to let kind and loving words go through this gate?
    Because truth spoken in love helps us to grow--Eph 4:15.
    Because a kind word lifts an anxious heart--Prov. 12:25.
    Because it is difficult to be angry with a gentle and kind person--Prov. 15:1.
    Because even a rebuke is often love's clearest expression of kindness--Ps. 141:5; Gal. 6:1; II Tim. 2:24-25a.
  4. Is it appropriate/fitting? Prov. 10:32; 15:23,28; 17:27; 25:11. The next three gates deal with our conversation with non-Christians, as well as Christians.
  5. Is it filled with grace? Col. 4:5; Eccl. 10:2.
  6. Is it seasoned with salt? Col. 4:6. Ask yourself:
    Is my conversation dull and tasteless?
    Is my conversation affecting the corruption and ugliness of the world's environment?
    When I speak, does it restrain evil?
  7. Is it preceded with prayer? Col. 4:2-4.
Those are the gates/guides of the heart. Make sure you use them. But there are other gates that should not be used:
II. The words of our mouth should never pass through the following gates - they are closed.

 

  • If your words are a confidence, keep silent--Prov. 17:9; 10:19; 11:13-20; 19; 16:28.
  • If your words are gossip, keep silent--Prov. 26:20-22; 10:19.
  • If they are words of praise for yourself, keep silent and let someone else do the praising--Prov. 27:2.

APPENDIX D

 

What are some of the areas where a Titus 2 woman might train a younger woman?

The passage says: "Then they can train the younger women"--that is, if they are living as they should, they will be able to communicate effectively. Not only will they know God's Word, but they will know how biblical principles apply to specific situations. What situations?

 

Here's a beginning list for one-to-one and/or group training times:

  • finances/budget
  • how to lovingly and wisely discipline a child
  • domestic skills—cooking, gardening, sewing, shopping, decorating on a budget, etc.
  • how to build good and nurturing relationships with in-laws
  • how to deal with intrusive and negative relationships with parents and in-laws
  • how to be a soccer mom who keeps all her priorities in balance
  • helping your child to choose good friends and how a mother can contribute to that process
  • how to relate to a child's peer group teacher at church and his/her teaching
  • building a life of meaningful hospitality
  • appropriate social graces for all occasions
  • how to grow a caring heart in a child
  • how to help a child to lovingly respond to the needy of the world and our own town/neighborhoods/schools/church.
(See "A C.A.R. For All Generations"—Proverbs 31 by Robert C. Stone.)

 


 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever had a "Titus 2" relationship with someone? What kind of experience was/is it?
  2. What is the value to a young woman of having an older woman in her life, as opposed to simply relying on peers for support and wisdom?
  3. What, if anything, about this type of relationship is intimidating for you, either as the older or the younger woman?
  4. What are the cultural messages you have most easily bought into? (see page 2) How could an older woman help a younger one to see the deception in that message?
  5. Which of the older woman's qualifications (teach what is good, be reverent, not be a slanderer, not be addicted to much wine) will need the most work in your life? What would be your first step in allowing God to change you?
  6. What should always be our ultimate goal in pursuing a mentor relationship, according to verse 5?
  7. Which of the mandates for younger women most needs to be trained in you? (see pages 8-13)
  8. How would you go about initiating a Titus 2 relationship? What are the obstacles you face personally to doing so?

Bibliography

Getz, Gene A. The Measure of a Christian. Regal Books: Ventura, CA, 1983.

Getz, Gene A. The Measure of a Woman. Regal Books: Ventura, CA.

Hocking, David. "Titus: Memo to a Godly Leader." Biola University: La Mirada, CA, 1989.

Hunt, Susan. Spiritual Mothering. Crossway Books: 1992.

Kraft, Vickie. Women Mentoring Women. Moody Press: Chicago, Il, 1992.

Kent, Homer A., Jr. The Pastoral Epistles. Moody Press: Chicago, IL, 1982.

Draper, James T., Jr. Titus: Patterns for Church Living. Tyndale House: Wheaton, IL, 1978.