That they may teach the young women
Obviously, this thinking is a problem and needs to be overcome. First, you must work in your own heart and ask God to help you to overcome your fear and help you to be able to reach out in love to help others. You cannot cause the younger woman to respond in a right way, but you can pray that God will work on her heart and make her teachable.
If you find yourself being approached by someone who wants to help you, pray that God will give you a humble and teachable heart. Do not respond with a proud haughty spirit but in humility.
To teach involves many things. It can also mean to admonish, to warn, to exhort, to spur on, to encourage in the way. All these things are involved in teaching and are important in the relationship of the older woman with the younger woman.
Contrary to popular opinion today, reproof and admonishing are Biblical and right. How do you give a loving, Biblical reproof? The Bible says in Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meeking; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
In Matthew 18:15, Jesus gave us this instruction: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
No one likes to be reproved or admonished. If you must reprove a younger woman, do it in private. DO not approach her in a self-righteous manner, such as, “How could you do that?” or “I would never do that.” Be gentle and speak in a kind tone of voice.
Your motive should be to restore her to a right relationship with God and others. It is for God’s glory, not for proving you are right. You are not “nailing her to the wall” but loving her, desiring what is best for her. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to gather more information before you approach her. You might find out that a reproof is not in order at all.
If an admonishment or reproof is necessary, wrap it in hope. Use Scriptures such as First Corinthians 10:13, Romans 8:28-29, and Proverbs 27:5-6. Remind her that God can and will forgive, and that He can use this in her life to mold her character.
If you are working with a new Christian, pray for wisdom. God’s standard is the same for all Christians but give them time to grow in the Lord and time for the Lord to work in their life. Don’t overload them but pick out the one major area and tackle it first.
Suppose you talk with a new convert that has been missing several services. When you ask why she tells you that she is having problems with the children and with getting organized. You could give her a few tips such as: Making sure the clothes you need for Sunday are pressed and ironed by Friday. On Saturday night, stay home, and get to bed early. Lay out clothes and accessories needed in the morning. Set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier just to accommodate last minute emergencies, like spilled milk.
The next Sunday at church, look for her to be there. If she shows up, praise her and encourage her to keep it up. If she doesn’t show up, don’t assume the worst. Call her and find out what happened but be sure to do it in love.
Teaching not only involves reproof but it also involves exhortation and encouragement. Give the younger woman appropriate praise when she does right. Teaching involves praying for her. Sometimes it might involve babysitting for her, checking on her to see if she needs anything when her husband is out of town. It might be a small, “I was thinking about you” gift for her. It is remembering her birthday. It is being a model before her, and an example she can follow.
What is the older woman to teach the younger woman? God gives us several guidelines.
To be sober
What does it mean to be sober? The dictionary says that sober means marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness; showing no excessive or extreme qualities; realistic, well-balanced. In other words, it means to be moderate, calm, steady, thoughtful, serious and earnest.
Soberness comes from having a right assessment of ourselves—our strengths, our abilities, our weaknesses. Therefore, we, as God’s older women, are to teach the younger women—by our mouth and by our example—to live in a manner that is characterized by moderation, restraint, and self-control in all things and in all areas of life. We are to be lacking in extremes and extravagance, controlled in our actions and words, mild and calm in our emotions, mentally and emotionally balanced, and serious in our behavior.
If you look at other verses in the Bible that talk about being sober, you will find that it is often linked together with watchfulness. As Christians, we need to remember the dangers that we face—the world, the flesh, and the devil—and seek to live a balanced, disciplined life of soberness and vigilance. Instead of being distracted with the allurements of the world and the devil, we need to diligently focus on the job at hand. Rather than sitting and waiting for Christ to come, we are called to be in a watchful and vigilant as we strive for holiness.
How can you practically teach soberness to a young woman? Well, first of all, you must have conquered this area in your own life, for it certainly does no good to try to teach self-control if you have none yourself. Remember, you teach by your example as well as by your mouth!
Look for areas of excess, extremes, or addiction in her life. These will signal some areas where soberness is needed. In her physical life, consider her habits in the areas of food, drugs, spending, possessions, hobbies, sleep, television viewing, internet and telephone use, just to name a few. These are all good things, when they are in their proper place, but can take control of our life if we let them.
In her emotional life, watch how she responds in different situations, and look for areas of stress and strain. How does she react to her husband and her children? Is she honest and truthful? How does she respond when confronted about things in her life? What causes her to fall apart?
In her spiritual life, is she growing as a Christian? Does she faithfully attend all the services at church? Is she concerned about the salvation of others and sharing her faith with those that are lost? Is she consistent in her devotional life and in prayer?
As you see areas of her life where soberness, self-control, and discipline are needed, point these out to her, one at a time, and help her work through these areas. Don’t give her the whole list at once, or she will be discouraged and quit. Recommend good books on self-control and life management for her to read.
Self-control is really a spiritual issue, for Galatians 5:22-23 teaches us that it is one of the manifestations of God’s Spirit working in our life. If we are walking by the Spirit, then we will exhibit self-control. But self-control is also an act of the will. God’s Spirit will convict of sin in your life, but He will not force you to live a godly life.
He will not lock your jaw every time you begin to overindulge in eating. He doesn’t automatically seal your mouth so you don’t yell at your children. Instead He gently leads you as you read, study, pray and seek to apply God’s Word to every area of your life. So you need to teach her the necessity of having a daily quiet time for studying the Word of God and praying! Help her find Scriptures that apply to her situation that she can memorize and work into her life.
What is the value of teaching soberness, and of having this quality in our own life? First, you will be more like Jesus. And isn’t that our ultimate goal as Godly women?
Second, you can enjoy a lifestyle without excesses—in food, in drink, or in any other indulgence in your life. Imagine the trouble you will bypass when you get your tongue and speech under control! Think of all the money you will save when you stop spending it on all those things you really don’t need!
Third, you will have a more peaceful lifestyle, as you learn to walk through each day and each trial with balance, with calmness, with a sober mind, and a serene heart.
Fourth, you will be able to impact the lives of others. Think what a blessing you can be as a wife and a mother. Your home will be a haven of rest, rather than a battleground of screaming, fits of anger, lashing out, blowing up, stomping, and slamming. How much better to be steady, calm, rational, reasonable, cool, calm, collected, and under control!
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.