Are you an older woman or a younger woman? If you’re not sure, you’re older. Truth is, whatever our age, we are older than some women and younger than others. In today’s episode of All God’s Women, we look at our role as older women and how we need to set an example for younger women.
I don’t generally talk about myself, but today’s passage in Titus 2 holds a special place in my heart. Back in the day when I was a newlywed, an older woman in our church started a Bible study for younger women and spent six weeks tying in the Titus 2 woman and the Proverbs 31 woman. It was full of practical as well as spiritual advice and truly impacted me as a young wife. I decided that someday when I was in a position where I knew a thing or two, I wanted to make sure that I passed along any wisdom I might have acquired so that I could help others the way that woman helped me. That study also launched my interest in women in the Bible, which, of course, eventually led to the launch of this podcast. Now, let’s get on with our story.
Titus was an uncircumcised Greek Gentile who traveled with Paul, working with Gentile converts in early Christian churches. In this letter, Paul was telling him what to teach the new believers.
Paul opens chapter 2 by addressing older men saying they should be “sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” (NKJV) then continues in verses 3-5 with, “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
The Rest of the Story
So let’s look first at the audience. Paul was speaking to new believers who hadn’t grown up in godly homes and were still learning what it meant to be a Christian. Obviously, they had a lot to learn, and Paul recognized that the missionaries and apostles couldn’t do it all themselves. So Paul was teaching the importance of discipleship and mentoring.
Although he starts by addressing the men, you’ll note he continues with “the older women likewise…” In other words, the qualities mentioned in the list to the men applies to women as well, plus he continues on with a list targeting the women.
We all need to be “sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” And to make sure we understand exactly what he meant, he clarified it in his address to women saying we should be “be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.
In other words, we need to be sober, temperate, not getting drunk.
We need to be reverent. Webster defines reverent as worshipful.
We need to be sound in faith, in love, in patience. We should be teachers of good things. There’s so much out there that is not godly. We need to make sure that we base everything on the truth.
Then, once the older women have our lives in order, it’s important to pass on wisdom to the next generation. We are to “admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
Being a young wife is hard. There’s the pressure to succeed without knowing what you’re doing. Every young wife and mother needs someone who’s been there and done that who can guide them in the right direction.
It’s tempting to want to life a life of independence and selfishness, but as Christian women, we need to love our families and take care of them. It’s completely opposite what the world teaches, but if we do that, the world notices.
I’ve found that young women are hungry for mentoring. They have so many questions and are so afraid of doing something wrong. But they don’t know where to turn.
So I have a challenge for each one of you. If you are young and seeking, look around you for women who exhibit godly behaviors. Observe how they treat their families, and how their families treat them. Then select a woman and just ask her if she would be your mentor. Chances are, it might throw her at first, because most women are intimidated by the term mentor. They don’t feel qualified. But just explain that you’d like to get together for coffee or an occasional lunch, and just talk. Ask them questions, and listen to their answers.
If you’re an older woman, make yourself available to younger women. Invite them to lunch. If nothing else, they’ll probably jump at the offer of free food. Or maybe offer to come over and watch the kids while mom takes a nap. And then when mom wakes up, make conversation, sharing those little tidbits of helpful wisdom you wish you’d known when you were her age.
Whatever your age, gather together with other women of all ages to pray and study the Bible. It’s amazing how much you can get out of studying together.
Lord God, thank You for this reminder of our roles as older and younger women. Thank You for the gift of multigenerational friendship and the opportunities to pass along wisdom learned. Thank You for the blessing of allowing us the privilege of being able to pour into the lives of others. I ask a special prayer today for those women who are feeling alone right now, like they have no one to turn to. Please provide other women in their lives, godly women who can fill in the gap and help draw them nearer to You. Be with each of us as women as we strive to grow into the women You would have us to be. Forgive us those times we fall short. Rid us of the overwhelming shame and despair we feel each time we fail. Give us the courage to get back up and use those failures for Your glory. We love You. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Tune in next week for the Women of Christmas series reprise. I’ll be replaying last year’s Christmas episodes.
Their Story: Titus 2
Bible Study Review
- Who was Titus?
- Who was Titus teaching?
- What was Paul’s advice for older women?
Thoughts To Ponder
- Why is it important for older women to set a good example?
- Why should older women teach younger women?
- What is required to be a mentor?
- Do you meet Paul’s guidelines for older women?
- Do you have younger women in your life who look up to you?
- Are you helping to guide younger women?
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