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Character of the Older Woman, pt.2

In our last article, we looked at the importance of the older woman having a godly character. If she is going to be a help to the younger woman, she herself needs to be a good example of godliness. We now want to look at two more qualities she should have.

Not given to much wine

The word given here has the idea of being a servant to, enslaved by, be in bondage to. The pagan religions that existed during the days of Paul, and especially on the island of Crete where Titus was located, centered on drunken worship. To commune with their false gods, the people would first become drunk with wine. Consequently, their “worship” turned into lewd dancing and sexual orgies. Paul made it clear that no Christian woman was to be involved in this kind of behavior. They were not to be enslaved by or in bondage to wine.

Contrary to popular notions today, drunkenness is still a sin. It is listed as a characteristic of an unrighteous person who will not inherit the kingdom of God in First Corinthians 6:9. It is also listed as one of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:21. It is condemned all throughout the Word of God, especially in the book of Proverbs, and is something that should not be a part of our life as a Christian.

Most of us don’t have a problem with drunkenness. (At least I hope not!) But the principle taught here, of not being in bondage or enslaved, could be applied in every other area of our Christian life. If you are a Christian, there should not be any worldly thing in your life that controls you. You are to be controlled only by the Holy Spirit. 

All day long every day you make choices about what you will think about or what you will do. The choices you make determine who or what is in control of your life. Some Christians choose to obey the Lord and serve Him. However, others choose to obey and follow their fleshly cravings and desires. Romans 6:16-19 declares that you are a servant of whatever you are serving in your life—either your own sinful flesh or the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Think of it as a matter of obedience. If you obey God, you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (See Galatians 5:17). If you choose to follow His will, you will not make provision for the flesh (See Romans 13:13-14). To make no provision for the flesh means to keep these enslaving things out of your life. Your flesh desires them, your sinful nature runs to them, but as a godly woman, you should run from them. Don’t allow your fleshly desires to run your life. 

There are many things in your life that you can be enslaved by: television, food, romance novels, Internet surfing, talking on the telephone, spending money, possessions, shopping, or prescription drugs. In their proper place, all these things might be considered OK. But just because something is “lawful” it does not mean it is profitable. We need to be sure that these things do not control us, but rather that we are in control of them. Being mastered by anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ is sin.

Teacher of good things

So far we have seen that the lifestyle of the godly woman is to be characterized by holiness, kindness, and self-control. The next qualification in our list says that she is to be a teacher of good things. Most of us cringe at the word teacher because it sounds like a lot of work. But whether we realize it or not, we are constantly teaching, every day, all day long, even if we don’t want to. The question is: what are we teaching? We need to be sure that we are teaching good things. How does a godly woman do this?

First, by her example. We spoke earlier of the importance of character. Others can watch her life and learn the right way to life. She has godly character and is concerned about pleasing the Lord with her life. Her actions speak of godly character. She is a good example to her children, and to others around her. 

Second, she teaches by her words. She is involved in discipling younger women and helping them to understand the truths found in the Word of God. She teaches her children the Word of God and leads them to Christ.

How do you become a teacher of good things? First, you must know those good things yourself. You obviously need to know the Word of God well. Second Timothy 2:15 admonishes us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” We spoke earlier of the importance of knowing what you believe and why you believe it. It is so important that women study diligently so that they will not be ashamed and will not be carried about by every wind of doctrine. 
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The first step in becoming a teacher of good things begins with you becoming a student of the Word of God. You need to read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and apply it to your life. When a younger woman comes to you with questions or to ask your advise in a situation, she doesn’t need your opinions, or some advise you read in a secular book. 

You need to be able to open the Word of God, teach her what God says, and show her how she can apply it and make a difference in her life. If you don’t know the Word of God for yourself, you won’t be able to do this. Don’t depend on the preacher or your husband to feed you spiritually. You need to be feeding yourself and growing in your spiritual life if you are going to be able to be a teacher of good things.

You also can teach good things by your example, as you model right living before others. This is especially important in your home. Actions definitely speak louder than words, and no matter how “holy” you may act when you are at church or around other Christians, your children and your husband see how you live at home. They know the real YOU. The opposite is also true. A holy life has a voice that speaks, even when the tongue is silent.

What “good things” should you be teaching at home? The top on the list of good things to teach is the Word of God! Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us that we are to be teaching the Word of God to our children all throughout the day in every situation of life. Since you, as a mother, are home all day with the children, a lot of that responsibility falls on you. Do you have a consistent plan for teaching your children the Word of God?

As mothers, we should be teaching our sons by word and by example the characteristics of a godly woman. Some day they will be looking for a wife, and if we as mothers do not teach them the godly characteristics to be looking for in a wife, and model those characteristics before them, they will not know what to look for.

We should be teaching our daughters how to be a good, Godly wife and mother. We need to teach our daughters that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty, and the importance of a meek and quiet spirit, and how to acquire that in their lives. We need to teach them the importance of keeping themselves pure in heart and body.

Our teaching should include the character qualities to look for in a young man that will make a good husband. We also need to teach them good house-keeping skills, how to cook and clean, how to shop for food, clothes, etc., and keep within a budget. We need to teach them good relationship skills and how to get along with people. We need to teach them how to be a servant, and how to meet the needs of others, putting them first. We need to teach them how to have good discernment and how to make wise choices.

These are also things you may need to teach to a young woman in the church that you are discipling. In our society today, with so many broken homes, one-parent families, women in the work force, and latch-key children, girls are not being taught these basic things at home. If these young women are saved and a part of our church, it is our responsibility as older women to take them under our wing and teach them in these areas. If we don’t do it, who will? 

Paul admonishes us to be sure we are teaching good things. This implies that the flip side is also true: it is possible to be teaching bad things. We need to watch the things we say and the things we do and ask, “Am I teaching good things or bad things?” We can do that without even trying. We need to be sure that the things we are teaching our children and others we are discipling are good things, founded on the Word of God.

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Comments 1

  1. I appreciated your article, Bev! I’m one of those “older women” and hope to pass on to the younger ones some of these important principles. Thanks!

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