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.