I have asked myself over and over the question that Silver Threads, by Kate Megill of Teaching What Is Good, opens up with: "Where are the Titus 2 women of today? Why have today's young wives and mothers been left to figure out for themselves how to raise a godly family and how run an efficient home?"
I believe that this lack of true discipleship has not only left a gaping hole where Paul's instructions have been ignored and pushed aside; it is also, I believe, one reason why we see such a rise of "mommy wars," preoccupation with celebrity gossip and a misunderstanding of the true value of our role as stay-at-home moms. I also believe that it is one reason why moms are so lonely today. There are no older women teaching younger women what it truly means to love their husbands and children, "to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored" (Titus 2:5).
While this may seem to some to be unnecessary, the fact is that as a wife adjusts to married life and the role of motherhood, while she is battling sleep deprivation, toddlers' self-will and her own insecurities as a young wife and mom, suddenly what seems so logical isn't very logical any longer; and behaviors that she thought were conquered long ago suddenly rise to the surface. This is where an older woman becomes invaluable!
Kate has written a comprehensive book on what the role of the older woman whom Paul addresses in Titus 2.
She correctly points out that while we can attribute that role to spiritually older women, or anyone who is older than the one they are discipling, the Bible clearly defines this woman as a physically older woman whose children are grown.
Kate goes on to outline the qualities this older woman should not only teach, but model in her own life.
She says about obedience: "Too often in our churches today we focus on obedience and leave out faith, joy and love. Please know that I'm a huge fan of obedience. But when obedience flows out of duty or legalism rather than out of faith and love, it has no lasting effects in our lives. Worse, it leads to a critical spirit, hopelessness and failure."
I was blessed to read this because I have seen repeatedly what happens when Christians obey out of duty or a desire to earn the favor of God. They adopt superior attitudes and begin examining the lives of others who do not live up to their personal standard of holiness. Even worse, they usually don't keep quiet about it.
And this is something Kate addresses in her book that made sense to me. She explains what Paul meant when he talked about the younger women going from house to house, and why he found this damaging. I wont ruin the surprise for you. If you want to read what Kate said (and really, you need to!) you need to buy the book. I promise, it will make that part make sense for you too!
The part I really loved the most was her instruction on how to become an older woman, or how to effectively disciple (and she explains at the front of the book the difference between life coaches/mentors and disciplers).
She brings up mistakes I often see in ministry in general, such as creating "mini me's," determining what God's plan is for the person you disciple, or trying to become the Holy Spirit's voice for them.
I was immediately reminded that my dad once shared with me how when I was still a baby that the Lord spoke to him what my purpose in life was to be. Yet, as I grew older, my father could see my tendency to be a pleaser and rather than try to be the voice of the Holy Spirit to me, chose to teach me how to hear His voice for myself—trusting that as I learned to hear the Lord's voice, the Lord would tell me personally what He had told my dad so many years ago.
This is so important. In our desire to see people grow in the Lord, sometimes we get ahead of the Lord's plan—yes, even get in the way of His plan—by being too swift to speak. There is a reason why God's timing is often slower than our own. He understands that it takes time to cultivate a heart that needs to be ready to hear certain words. And while it may not appear to us that He is working in their lives, most often He is doing a hidden work we cannot see.
This last section of Kate's book is vital for every Christian worker—young and old. By taking these words to heart, we will avoid many of the pitfalls that lead to the disillusionment and oftentimes exodus of young believers.
Are you an older woman? Do you ask yourself whether you truly fit the role of the older woman in Titus 2?
Are you a younger woman? Perhaps you are a new wife or mom. Are you looking for an older woman to disciple you in this role?
You need to purchase Silver Threads. I promise you, it will encourage, inspire and challenge you in whatever role you are in.
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their two active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +, where she can be found on a regular basis.
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