“The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5
Many times I have been asked the question, “What is the role of women in the church? What should we be doing?” When I am asked these questions, I always point to Titus 2:3-5. These three verses are short, but they contain a lot of good information for women who are seeking to please God.
They were written by Paul to Titus who was the pastor of the church in Crete. It is evident from the description in chapter one that the people of Crete were very ungodly. Therefore it was very important for the members of the church in Crete to live godly lives to show to the world that they were different. Beginning in chapter two, Paul begins to outline God’s plan for these believers.
We are going to specifically look at verses 3-5. These verses outline God’s plan of action for us as women. His plan is found in older Christian women being a Godly example and in turn teaching or mentoring younger women. It is seen in older women living lives of holiness, obedience, submission, self-control and love, and then intentionally being involved in the lives of younger women and teaching them these things. It also involves younger women being open to being taught, seeking and receiving help, and recognizing the value of having friendships with older women.
So what is an “older woman”? To be able to function in the role as an “older woman” or a mentor, you do not have to be a gifted teacher or a theological expert. I don’t think the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke here about teaching younger women. You don’t even have to be ancient—just older and more experienced than those you are teaching.
The only qualifications listed to be an older woman are the character qualities outlined in verse three, basically that you are living a Godly life. As an older woman, you have gained knowledge and insight as you have lived. You have walked further down the road than those behind you and have hopefully learned much. Your godly wisdom in relation to life in general, to husbands, to children, and to the home is needed.
It is helpful to younger women to know that there is a listening ear and helpful advice ready when they are facing the frustrations of life—things like dealing with an uncommunicative husband; knowing how to cook a 25 pound turkey; what to do when your two-year old throws a temper tantrum; or how to stretch $100 worth of groceries to last all week. Sometimes the teaching involves just your daily example. Sometimes it involves time spent with the younger woman. Sometimes it involves you reaching out to help her—things like you taking time to pray with an anxious mother, staying with the kids while she runs to the store, or cooking a meal for her.
The most important mentoring relationship among women is the one between a mother and her daughter. Those of us who have been blessed with daughters have the opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to teach to them the character qualities found in Titus chapter 2. We need to teach them, with our mouth and by our example, to be self-controlled, to be pure and kind, how to be a keeper at home, and how to be submissive. We need to instruct them, and show by our example, how to love a husband and how to love children, in case God has that plan for their future.
We live in a society that emphasizes preparation and education for everything but marriage, motherhood, and homemaking. For some reason, those things have been left out. But I think it is because in the past daughters just naturally learned those things at home from their mother. Today, in our modernistic society, we have moms who work all day and don’t have time to teach their daughters anything. We have single moms who must earn a living. We have unwed teenage moms who have never known their father or their mother and have no idea how to keep a house or raise a child. Therefore, we have a whole generation of women who have never learned these things.
As Christian women, we must prepare our daughters for the future. If you are single, now is the time to prepare for being a wife and a mother. Even if you never get married and remain single all your life, the character qualities listed in this passage will be of benefit to you in all of your life. Then, as you grow older, you can still be used of God to train the younger women in your life.
Every woman in our church family needs to see the value of being mentored and being a mentor. It is possible for you to be taught, even while you are involved in teaching others. We are never too old to learn!
If you are a younger woman, you need to ask yourself some questions. Who are you learning from? Who are you looking to for advice? Are they mostly your peers or online blogs? Are you allowing the celebrities of the world to shape your identity and your values? Do you have a teachable spirit, or do you have the attitude that there is really nothing that an older person could teach you? I urge you to seek out an older woman who can be your mentor. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help. Ask God to give you an open heart, to help you learn from her wisdom and experience.
If you are an older woman, you need to prayerfully consider the younger women that God has brought into your life—whether it be your own daughter or some other young lady in the church. Ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those around you and help you to be willing to give of yourself in order to encourage and support them. Ask the Lord to help you to be a good Godly example to them.
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.