But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, what the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Titus 2: 1-8
Recently I was asked to share with the women in our church, and when asked a few weeks ago, I’ll be honest I thought what on earth could I share with these women? They probably know their bibles better than I; they have walked with God hand in hand much longer than I. Where does that leave me? So after praying and seeking God for a period of time I left my quiet place burdened by verses 3-5
That older women in the faith are to be likewise in behaviour… meaning they are to be sober minded, dignified, self controlled, sound in faith, love and steadfastness. For me as young girl walking into this church that is exactly what I saw. I arrived in Beersbridge Elim about 2 months before my 16th birthday. I was very emotionally damaged but excellent at portraying a strong and confident personality.
I knew how to be strong, what I didn’t know what how to be vulnerable. I stand before you a 27 year old woman who now thanks to God and many of you women I know what it is to be vulnerable in a safe place.
You see I know what it is to be broken to the point of only having God to lean on, to support me, to love me (because there were times that I was unlovable, and God gave my husband the grace and the strength to love me when there wasn’t anything left to love). I don’t plan on telling my testimony as there is some of it that I haven’t dealt with entirely but I want you to know I am not a naive 27 year old who has no life experience. I have dealt with the pains, and I know the joys.
As I pondered and prayed over these thoughts I asked God “what are you trying to say?” these women to my knowledge are these things… When I was hit with the words held in verse 4 “they are to teach what is good, and so train the young women.”
Ok I understand this is going to get a little deeper than I would like, but teach and train? Normally we ask our Elders, Pastors, hey even the pastors’ wife, but us? God wants us to teach and train the younger women? ‘Ok God’ I said, then I took to reading some more, and I noticed in Scripture that this made sense. Look at Ruth and Naomi for example, look at that relationship and you will see a God fearing, and God loving older lady willing to take this young girl under her wing, with nothing else to give her except some time to teach her all that she knew of Yahweh, and His laws.
However tonight can I be bold? Can I ask you have you younger women under your wing? I know many of you have children, and families, and life but is there someone from our youth, or Wavelength that you could take on as a prayer project? Someone you would be willing to go to and explain you want to pray into and over their life, that they would be willing to do the same for you?
You see to me this women’s fellowship is more than a Monday night meeting once a month, it is a community of Sisters, and Spiritual Mothers, friends, and acquaintances, it is family, and our Father is God. He is our common denominator.
The word of God says simply; If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together in 1Corinthians 12:26. Surely we should be that woman, individually and collectively? I know there are women in this church who have prayed hard over my life, who have dedicated their prayer time occasionally to me, and I am so thankful because without those prayers I could have easily walked away from my first love after, a heart wrenching break up, or having my daughter outside of marriage. I honour you for that.
I also know that there are women in this very room who prayed for my husband to be saved. I can guarantee you that my mouth could never voice the rejoicing held in my heart for those prayers. They literally changed the dimensions of life for my family.
But I also have two little girls, most of you know them, Emily who is 4 years old coming 50 and Ava Rose is 2 ½ years old unfortunately also coming 50! They are munchkins who I love deeply. However I would like to think when they are in their teens, their twenties and thirties that there will be women here who will fill in the gap where Gerald and I are insufficient. I am definitely not knowledgeable on all things, and the more I read these scriptures the more I was utterly convinced it was true for us as I would like their to be a process in place where our church has something special and that is women who stand together, who pray over each other, and who pray together!
Who empower each other, who grieve when one grieves, and who praises God, and rejoices in life. Women who will chose to be a community, God loving and people reaching. That we as the women of this church would put stepping stones in place that could see the dynamics of our community in Beersbridge changed, forever. That our young girls would know their worth, they would feel the love of others, and they would feel the prayers that will go forth for them.
Its funny recently I have been looking deeper into the meaning of some of the things I say (thanks to my 4 year old) and I decided I would look up the worlds definition of empower. Our English Dictionary has it defined as:
Giving (someone) the authority or power to do something.
Making (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
entitle, permit, allow, sanction, commission, delegate, enable, equip, give the power to, give the means to, unyoke, unfetter, unshackle, unchain, set free, give freedom to
Could you imagine our church if we as a group of women became empowering in our nature? Maybe then our young men would dream dreams and see visions, (Acts 2: 17) our sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams; your young men would see visions. Maybe we would find passions and purpose for God. Purpose is what drives us to live; our purpose is so vital to the life of our souls and to the lives in our church. Please see this as an opportunity to serve God.
Wouldn’t this church look so different if we were encouraging each other and enabling each other to be more, to go deeper in God.
You know I want to explain that I am not asking you to become these ‘Super Holy’ people who have no time for earth, but I am asking that maybe we as a group of women could be purposeful, be creative in how we approach one another, Be a good listener, BE Honest, teach and preach in practice as well as in words.
I guess in brief for me, for you, I would urge you be the stepping stone, to get on board with this new idea, birthed from Scripture itself. That as you take your next steps in God, as you walk with Him in His light that you would leave me behind you a stepping stone for other women to walk in. That you would help us young mams when our kids are playing up and advise us on the ‘old ways’, because sometimes with sleepless nights, screaming children and a busy life it is hard to see the wood for the trees. We desire that you would show us loving marriages, that we would not be swayed by the world’s version of love, of relationships and of sex. Talk to us and let us know that it is possible to live by a different standard. If all we as young women see and know is what the world throws at us then that is the standard we will live by. Talk to us about scripture, let us know about this life that is abundant with God. You know every one of your faith stories of the days gone by stirs up our souls to desire the same and more.
I understand this is a huge ask on your part, but I also believe that it is a big ask on my part to. I have to let my guard down, which as anyone who knows me will say is not easy done, I have to stay quiet (again a sore spot) and sometimes be chastised in love by you. But also to learn so that someday not that far down the line I will be in your position, a person who should be teaching, a person who should be leading our younger women into the ways of God, that they would love their husbands in purity, that they would feel they are valued. You see what I pass onto the generation that is coming behind should be build on top of what you have built onto my generation.
However there is also another responsibility on the young women of our church. For me that is to Pray for our older women, for strength, and courage, to step out of the box of the normal and to become Titus 2 women. Look for women of God and ask them to show you what they have learned and how they do it. Be the one who breaks the gap.
So many younger women yearn for older women, who are deeply wise, to share the wisdom God has taught them over the years. And I am sure the older women have overflowing stories of Gods hand in their life that they could be bursting to share with us.
While the older women in the faith, or the Titus 2 role models had the responsibility of training the younger women how to be successful wives, mothers, and housekeepers the younger women had the responsibility of listening and obeying.
We are a team, we work hand in hand. We compliment each other, and I believe if we worked together we could see our Church changed for Gods Glory.
As I close I wanted to read you a quote I had read recently that said:
Every young lady and woman in this church should have as their highest desire the goal of being a Titus 2 student of some godly older-in-the-faith woman. And, in the highest honour, the greatest goal in the life of every older woman in this church is to have the honour of being that older-woman-in-the-faith.
Oh how glorious it would be to have placed on the obituary of my life, of our lives as the community of women in our church, that not only have we sought the lover and saviour of our souls but that we chose to bring other young, old and middle aged women with us. That they would see in my life the radiant love of the Father, and know the piercing truth of how sinful we can be mixed with the comfort and peace of the blood of Jesus washing all of the sins of the present and the past into the sea of forgetfulness.