Friday, November 16, 2012

Fill Your Plate!

Thanksgiving is just a week away.   Recipes are popping up everywhere for pumpkin pies and cranberry sauces and mashed potatoes and the perfect lump-free gravy.   Grocery store shelves bulge with ingredients for the perfect meal.   Time to talk turkey!

Do you eat three meals a day?   Do you get enough fruits and veggies to fill your daily requirements?   Are you careful about calories, cholesterol, carbs, and fiber?  Do you pop a vitamin to be sure you have all your alphabetic needs covered?   Do you make sure that your body is well-nourished?

Would you consider it realistic to put yourself on a diet where you only ate one meal a week?  Or only took one swig of water a day?   Would your body suffer from such a regimen?   Would your ability to make decisions be affected?

Personally my ability to think clearly is affected if dinner is an hour late never mind only one meal a WEEK!   Spare me!

One missing meal and our stomach turns into a whiny toddler--growling, grumbling, cramping with pain:   "Feed me!  I'm hungry!" It's hard to ignore, and becomes a driving need to fill that empty belly.  To fuel our tank.

So, let me ask you this:  Do you nourish your spirit as carefully and as regularly as you do your stomach?   Do you take any spiritual vitamins?  What are you doing to make sure your spirit's daily requirements are met?  How do you keep your spiritual tank topped off?

In other words:   Do you read your Bible every day?

Are you starving your spirit?

The signs of an under-nourished spirit are manifested in your daily choices--are you numb to evil?  Desensitized to sin, accepting of immoral behavior, and unperturbed by lascivious living?  

Does graphic violence or repulsive language make your cringe?  Do sexually explicit lyrics or humor cause you to change channels?   Do you tell or pass along dirty jokes?   Do you tolerate behavior that once made you wince with disgust?

A starving soul will believe that whatever it wants, it can have.  Skipping church or not sticking around for Bible class or ignoring pleas for help with church projects--YOUR stuff is much more important, so you slap on an excuse and walk away.  

An under-nourished or starved spirit sees nothing wrong with wasting money or time on ungodly activities.  Never mind tithing or surrendering to the Lord's will.

Lord, help me change!

As important as eating is to the physical health of our bodies, so, too, is nourishing our spirit and our faith with good solid Soul Food, the kind that is only available in the Bible.

In the spirit of the season, here is a recipe for feeding your soul:
  • Find a quiet place to read and minimize distractions.
  • Ask God to send his Holy Spirit to bless your reading of His word
  • Read through a section with your mind engaged!   If you go blank or don't understand a section, re-read it.   Make an effort!
  • Answer (or try to!) the following questions:
    • Who is the writer?  To whom is this passage directed?
    • What do these verses tell me about God? about myself?
    • What does the passage really say or NOT say?
    • What does it tell me to believe or stop believing?
    • What does it tell me to do or stop doing?
    • What ministry does this passage urge me to have with others?  
    • How can I apply this to my life?  
    • How does this equip me to work in God's kingdom?
  • Pray again and ask God to help you live out what He has shown you here.
  • If you like, jot notes in your journal of specific points to remember or ponder.
  • Live out the principles the Holy Spirit has revealed; get to work in God's kingdom!

and often!

Four verbs from St. Paul (with a bit of cheerleading from me) explain this best:
and inwardly digest

(get the book out, 
highlight or journal, 
practice and do, 
'til God's Word becomes 
a part of what makes you YOU)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Faithful Instruction is On Her Tongue

Dear Friends....

It's been awhile since I last wrote.  And I apologize for neglecting you, but I think I have a good excuse.

My dearly beloved wrecked his motorcycle (no other vehicles involved) in early September.  Ten days later our youngest son and his girl friend were side-swiped by a panel truck, totalling our vehicle.   The end of that week, my dearly beloved found out that once his disability/recovery period is up, he will likely join the ranks of the unemployed (two other guys were let go the day after his accident).  

Hubby's last "follow-up" appointment is mid-morning on Monday.   Tomorrow.   He has to visit his supervisor afterwards....and will find out if he still has a job or not.    

I could put off posting this article until after his appointment tomorrow--when we know for sure, but I honestly think there's a greater lesson than "moving."


We are conflicted.   We'd love to stay here.  We have a nice home (thank you, Lord!), an excellent church, and great neighbors!    I love our homeschool co-op, and I love the ladies' Bible class and the Teaching Tips class I'm leading.   Most of all, I love the people the Lord has brought into my life here in WV.   

Honestly, I'm not afraid of moving.   Since we've done it MANY times over the past 33 years, I know there's an adjustment period.  What I hate is the stuff that has to be done BEFORE the move takes place.   Sorting through all our stuff.  Getting rid of stuff.   Getting boxes to put stuff in.   And packing stuff again.  Ugh.  Again.

On the other hand, every move we've made has been a pleasure (after the initial culture shock subsides, that is).   Every place we've ever lived (Montana, Washington, Wisconsin, and now West Virginia) has been a wonderful excursion of Life.   The Lord has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.  Plus the new people He has brought into our lives.

Interesting to think about the circle of my friends between church, square dancing club and homeschooling co-op.   There are a few women who are "older" than me, a handful who are my age, and a LOT who are younger.   Given that I'm 55 y.o. that makes sense.   

Anyway, when I shared with my gal pals here in WV that there is a strong likelihood that we may be moving, these dear ladies--ah, to have friends who will miss me!!!--expressed their sorrow to think of me leaving them!   

Oh, my sweet friends.    
I hope you know the feeling is mutual!    And how honored I am when you ask for my advice.   Really.    When you say you "need" to pick my brain or when it's MY shoulder you want to lean on or  MY hand on your shoulder---ah, you honor me with your respect and love.   I am truly TOUCHED by your affection.

One thing I've learned is that each of us is building a legacy.   It cheers me to realize that God has bound our lives together in such a way.    Even though you're all grown women, I still want to gather you like my own children and hug you close and never let you go.   

But I know from experience that God wants us all to become spiritually mature, too.    And that is part of our legacy as mothers:   we train a new generation.   We leave a legacy.  Of one kind or another.

I had been happily sitting at the feet of my mentors many years ago when hubby's new job took us half-way across the country.   I despaired of finding someone else to replace these Titus Two Friends.   And ooh, there were a couple of very lonely, mentor-less years for me.


I found out that I COULD learn to stand up on my own.  Ah, yes.   Wobbly.  Baby-steps.  

AND...looking back from a space of years, I can see THAT is when my faith put on pounds!!! In a good way, of course!

So, that to say, The Lord sends blessings sometimes in very strange little packages.   My blessing FORCED me to start looking at "my own ministry" in my own home and also at church.   And I noticed that God had plunked me right down in the middle of a field and given me the tools and told me, "Get to work!"

I was always busy.  Up to my eyeballs in family stuff with homeschooling three kids and cooking healthy meals and canning vegetabls from our garden and raising animals on our little farm and hanging out laundry and being a wife & mother and juggling a 4-H club and coaching softball and volleyball and teaching Sunday school.   

And one day I woke up and realized I was mentoring young women!   Very scary, the first time someone ASKED ME FOR ADVICE.   Kind of like, you look around to see who she's talking to, then looking back at her, "You're asking ME?"   And this young fresh face with the eager eyes gives you this look like, "Well who else would I ask?"

Ah, but there's the blessing in disguise, too!   

You know...that whole "prayer of Jabez" thing fits in here, too. God has increased the circle of my influence tremendously. In ways I'll never know until I get to heaven. Sometimes, when I get an email from a young woman who reads my blog or FB, I am astounded at how far away the ripples on the pond truly spread. 

God is doing this in your life as well.   One day at a time.   One life at a time.

My encouragement to each of you...whether you know me personally or are readers of my blog:   I've been in your place--sitting at a mentor's feet--and the feeling of having the rug pulled out when I had to leave that comfortable spot when God moved us across the country for hubster's new job(s).   

He will give you the tools, He will give you a field to harvest, He will give you what you need at exactly the right time.     

Take heart--the Lord does not leave us alone.   Friends may come and go, but He is always with us.   

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; 
she can laugh at the days to come.   
She speaks with wisdom 
and faithful instruction is on her tongue....
A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised....
Give her the reward she has earned
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

Proverbs 31:25, 30 & 31

Friday, September 28, 2012

What REALLY Matters?

The month of September 2012 will probably go down in my personal history book as the most extraordinary month of my life.   Un-bee-leev-ah-bul!   Hubby crashed his motorcycle at the beginning of the month; the bike is fine, the hubster was life-flighted to a DC-area hospital and ended up with five broken ribs, a broken scapula and a lacerated spleen.  Owweee!   

Ten days later, our youngest son and his girlfriend were side-swiped in a hit-n-run (the cops caught the guy!); the car was totaled, the son had amnesia, the girlfriend whiplash. 

Five days later, we learned that Hubby might be out of a job once his disability time runs out. 

And the month isn't quite over as a I write this blog post. you can imagine...I've been feeling just a bit overwhelmed--with a recuperating hubby at home who is chomping at the bit over this enforced "down time"--and I've added a few extra hours to my work schedule to help with the finances.

On top of homeschooling my youngest daughter and my son's girlfriend, I work as a virtual executive assistant to a CEO in Austin, Texas.   The  main thing I do is read all his email and set up tasks for him based on the emails.   Oh.  And I file his emails all neat and tidy.   Every day--not one single email left in his inbox.  
So, you might think "Wow, she's so organized!"   And I am.  Except with my own "personal" email.   A few months ago, I tasked myself to be as ruthless with my own inbox as I am with the Boss.   

And I was actually making headway.   Until September hit.  Then there was all this OTHER stuff going on.  

Guess what?   I didn't feel overwhelmed so much by the 100-mile trips to the hospital to visit Hubster--altho' DC traffic can be daunting!  Nor was I overwhelmed by the all-nighter in the ER with my son and his girlfriend.   Nope.  Because I know that God has our times in His hands.   

Where I feel stupidly overwhelmed is in the little things that have fallen by the wayside, and my email is like this big NEON sign:  PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

And technically <wink!> I know that email is waaaay down on the list of things that really matter.  But it bugs me.    Mainly because I've always enjoyed correspondence, writing letters and greeting cards.   And letting things sit and simmer is just NOT my personality.

All THAT to share with you a Reminder List that arrived in today's email.   As I was reading through it, I felt this weight lifting--it was such a good reminder to me of "What Really Matters." is the list--with a few tweaks and edits to personalize for moi and to make it Titus Two Friends friendly.  

Remember What Is Really Important

1. Pray continuously.
2. Read my Bible daily.
3. Go to bed and quit falling asleep on the couch.
4. Get up on time so I can start my day un-rushed.
5. Say "No" to projects that don't/won't fit into my time schedule.  Even if it's something "fun."  Get OFF the computer.

6. Delegate tasks to capable others.  Train the kids!  Let them do it their way.
7. Simplify and un-clutter my life.  New stuff in? = Old stuff out!
8. Allow extra time to get things done.  Quit missing deadlines & making excuses!  It's so lame.  I'm NOT a lame person.  Plan ahead!

9. Allow extra time to get to places.  No more being late!  Five minutes is usually all it takes.  Geeze!
10. Spread out changes and projects over time (break into smaller chunks).  Baby steps!
11. Take one day at a time.  God has Tomorrow handled.  And Yesterday, too, for that matter.

12. Separate worries from concerns. Read my Bible and pray.  God will make it clear.  If I can't do something about a situation, then forget it.
13. Live within our budget.  

14. Have a backup plan and important "extras" like a car key tucked in my wallet, a house key in the garden, extra stamps, cash on hand, package of toilet paper, see?
15. Keep my big mouth shut!  Having the last word or being "right" isn't always the most important thing.  Listen more!
16. Do something fun everyday - look forward to it!  Motivation, too!

17. Carry a book to read while waiting in line or stuck in traffic.
18. Eat right. Eat more veggies.  Don't be tempted to bring junk food home from the store!
Write down thoughts and inspirations.  Have a "capture" book handy. 
20. Listen to uplifting books or music while driving or exercising or working.
21. Get organized so everything has its place.  Set aside time daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally.
22. Make friends with Godly people.  Stay in touch with them.
23. Keep a notebook of favorite scriptures on hand.
24. Laugh.
  Often.  Heart-felt.  Uproariously.   Giggle.  Smirk.  Chuckle.
25. Take my work seriously - but myself not so much!

26. Most people are doing the best that they can.  Be more forgiving.  Let it go.
27. Be kind to unkind people.  My children see what I'm doing and are learning from my example. 
28. Sit on my ego.  I don't need to brag.  My life is visible to others.
29. S-l-o-w down. Waaaay down.  I am NOT the general manager of the universe.
30. Every night before bed, think of one thing I'm grateful for that I've never been grateful for before.  Thank GOD!

"Now may the Lord of peace himself 

give you peace 

at all times and in every way.  

The Lord be with all of  you."   

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Check out Titus Two Friends on Facebook

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Exercising on a Slippery Slope

I have a lovely young friend who is a strong Christian, a good wife and mother, and she is very big into healthy living and exercise.  In fact, she used to be so into exercise that she became a yoga instructor.   That is, until she started digging deeper into the philosophical ramifications of yoga.   She recently asked her Facebook friends to follow a link to a Q/A article about Christians participating in yoga.      

Many friends left comments.  The really interesting (to me) comments came from "Christian" friends attempting to defend their participation in and enjoyment of yoga.  Their explanations included "there's nothing wrong with yoga as long as you steer clear of the religious aspects." Others theorized that instead of meditating or emptying their minds, they focus instead on a Bible passage or "only" do yoga for the healthful aspects of good exercise. 

My friend was right, and she was out-numbered.   And you know me well enough by now.    I HAD to get into the discussion.  So.

Here is the (slightly edited) response I added to discussion.   My dear friend told me she would like to give me a TRIPLE "like"--because my response hit home.   Others were offended.    I do come off pretty strongly, I'll admit that, but then I believe St. Paul came off pretty strongly in some of his letters, too, and I'm betting that God gave him a TRIPLE "like" too.   

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Dear People,

If you are a Christian and if you know your Bible, then you know that we are told to FLEE from all things that are not OF GOD. We are also told that we are IN the world but not to be OF the world.

ANYTHING--N. E. THING!!!--that is NOT directly from God is from the world. Don't get trapped in thinking, "Well, this is an 

People, we're not talking about women being ushers or what color the altar paraments should be.

Hello? How is yoga and the practice thereof an adiaphoron--negotiable? So what if it is "good exercise"?  Sex outside of marriage feels good, too.   Since when does "it makes me feel good" or "it seems harmless" hold weight with a Christian?

God is clear in His word that the
road to Hell is wide and heavily traveled.   The road to Heaven is narrow and sparsely populated.

Spin this any way you like, but we Christians -- Christ followers -- should abstain from, resist and tear ourselves away from ANYTHING that cannot stand up under God's scrutiny.

You don't get a pass because YOU say, "hey, this is an adiaphoron." 

NO, IT'S NOT!!! This is an Eastern religion, humanistic, and mystical.

Why would you want to test such things? Why would you take the chance that you are leading your children astray with the things you are involved in? Why would you callously disregard what Jesus said, did and died for (on YOUR behalf), when God's Word is clear that we are to have
NOTHING TO DO with the sinful world?

So, yeah. Toss out the trick-r-treating. Give your kids a bag of candy. Let them dress up in play clothes and pretend to be pirates or whatever without participating in something that glorifies Satan.

Toss out Santa Claus and every holiday decoration or tradition that reeks of the gimme-greedee stuff--focus on CHRIST's birth instead--totally.   Get rid of the Easter Bunny, too, and remember the sorrow of Christ's death and the joy of His resurrection.   Your faith will grow so much when you get rid of the GARBAGE that drags you down.  

When  Christians participate in these sorts of holiday festivities--which do NOT give glory to God--we are WORSE than unbelievers because we KNOW BETTER!!!! And our participation can lead someone of weaker faith to the wide and paved road that leads to Hell. Do you think THAT is not a sin?

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

St. Paul's letters are LOADED with many warnings.  He reminds us that as we grow, our faith should mature, and that we should leave behind the things of the world.   Remember, too, that as our faith matures we carry more responsibility for the way we live our life.     

Rid your life of the things that are not GOD-pleasing! We have a commandment--it's the first one. LOVE GOD above everything else. If you STILL think there's nothing wrong with participating in Yoga because your faith is just so strong you can resist temptation, and you don't "get into" all the religious aspects, then you are ignoring your own sinful nature AND --more importantly-- you are DILUTING the rest of your Christian witness. 

Other people--with weaker faith--are watching you...and when YOU (supposedly a "strong" Christian) delve into something KNOWN to be un-godly, then YOU, my dear friend, have a millstone chain already wrapped around your neck. You just haven't been tossed overboard yet. 
Unwrap that chain which Satan is looping around your neck, one link at a time. You are SILLY to think that YOU--somehow--have SUCH a strong faith, that you couldn't stumble. WORSE, you, by your pride, are perhaps leading WEAKER ones to believe that "a little bit is okay."

Still not sure?  Check out this 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chocolate Flavored Bible Reading

This is a guest post from a very close friend in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.   I hope you enjoy her thoughts, and, like I did, come away with a delightful reminder of the all-encompassing GRACE that covers over our sins, and how great GOD's love for us really is.


Bible Study, Journals, Plans and Quiet Time With the Lord

I had recently received a new Bible—the newly published Lutheran Study Bible. I was so excited to have this new Bible because it was a version that I didn’t yet have and because there was such a wealth of resources and notes included in this book. I also received a journal to use along with it and had all sorts of plans as to how I was going to format my quiet time with this wonderful Bible.

What I didn’t realize was that this book would be the source of a new lesson from God, without even opening it up.

The next evening, I was relaxing with a delicious cup of hot chocolate in our living room. I reached to set my cup down on the end table, and a split second later, I heard an awful splash. My hot chocolate was flying out of the cup onto the floor. 

Only, it wasn’t just the floor. It was the side of the relatively new sofa, the curtains, the rug, the wall and my books that were on the floor between the couch and end table. And on the top of that pile were my new Bible and accompanying journal and prayer books, which were now dripping with chocolate.

I have a weakness for really lambasting myself when I make a mistake—especially one so seemingly careless. I flew off the couch and in a feat of strength heaved it out of the way to evaluate the damage I had caused by my own carelessness. Scolding myself and even crying as I discovered that the cocoa had splattered several feet in multiple directions, I worked to clean up the mess.

I got the chocolate off the couch, put the curtains into the washer, and mopped the wood floor. But my new Bible! The cover and sides and bottom of the pages were covered in hot chocolate. My prayer books were several years old but were also a mess.

As I dried off the books, I thought of how the mess reminded me of what a mess I really am and how much I need my Savior, about whom this chocolate-soaked Bible tells me.

I was tired and irritated with myself. But once the curtains were back up, the couch was dry with no evidence of a stain, and I had a fresh cup of hot chocolate to sooth my frazzled self, I reflected about how God teaches us in every circumstance, if we will only listen to him and trust that he always works for the good of those who love him.

Even though I confessed my foul temper and negative emotions, I still had lingering remorse about the damaged books. But the next day as I was sweeping the floor and muttering to myself about “what a dingbat I was,” the Lord helped me realize that I now have a chocolate-covered Bible and prayer books! What a delightful way to look at the mess I made and how it is covered in God’s grace—just like me.
2 Corinthians says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 
 I will likely sin again by beating myself up when I don’t measure up to my own standards. But oh, how thankful I am that God will redirect me, forgive me, shine through me, and teach me to rejoice in him always—especially with chocolate covered prayer books!

This article was written by Mrs. Jennifer Schwedler who lives in La Crosse, Wis., and is a member at First Evangelical Lutheran Church.   Jennifer has three grown children, one husband and dog named Bjorn.  The article appears in a women's column on the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod website.  The WELS is a conservative church body founded 100% on the inerrancy of Scripture; Bible-based and Christ-centered.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Older Women: Listen Up!

God created Adam.   Then God created Eve--out of the man.   He put them together in a beautiful place.  God also created marriage.   He set Adam as the head-of-the-household.  He created Eve specifically to complement Adam--so that the two of them would be a complete unit.   Their marriage was perfect when they followed God's design.

God is clear in His word what He desires for our marriages and families and homes to be like.  When we follow His divine plan, we are MUCH better off;  when we learn and obey God's will for our lives, we are MUCH happier.  Our homes are sanctuaries of peace and hope.     

When we go "outside" of God's will and create our own design or follow the world's design--that is when we get into trouble, when our family life begins to fall apart, when we're dissatisfied with our "lot in life."  

In Titus chapter 2, Paul talks about "older women" training and teaching younger women to love their husbands and children in such a way that "no one will malign the Word of God."    This is another reason that all older women who believe in the One True God should be careful with the way we talk about our 

  • marriage, 
  • our husband, 
  • our children, 
  • child-raising, 
  • pregnancy, 
  • home-life.  

There are tender ears (either our little or teen daughters or young adult-women) who hear our complaints and sadly we are maligning God's Word--AND we are showing and telling these young women that being a wife and mother is a miserable, wretched job.

  • WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!!! Your words "instruct" and "train" and "teach" those who are listening when you jest and tease and make "off-hand" remarks. Nix the complaining. Nix the angst. Rejoice in the LORD!
  • WATCH WHAT YOU DO! Not only are infant eyes eagerly following you around the room as you putter with making dinner, little daughters model themselves after you, teen girls, your daughter's friends, your son's girlfriend or fiance,--yes, they are ALL looking to you whether they ask outright or just watch you from the other side of the room. 
  • WHAT YOU LIVE MATTERS!   It affects your actions and words.   If your attitude is deplorable, work on changing it.   I just saw a quote worth repeating:  "What would happen if you woke up this morning with ONLY the people and things you thanked God for yesterday?"     Cultivate a "Gratitude Attitude."
  • HOW YOU LIVE MATTERS!   Tremendously!!   You are affecting not only your own children, but their spouses, your grandchildren and the people who pass through your life.   What legacy are you creating?   
  • LOVE your husband and children--love in words, love in actions, love in deed. Love in truth. Put the BEST construction on what you do or say or think.


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, 

as working for the Lord, not for men,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance 

from the LORD as a reward.

It is the Lord Christ you are serving." 

More inspirational stuff on Facebook! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are You Wandering Aimlessly?

God gives us JUST what He knows we can handle. 

When I look back on the path I've walked SO FAR in my life, it is amazing to see that each step has been actually GOING somewhere.  Even when I think I must be wandering aimlessly---when I look over my shoulder and see how they all work together, it is simply amazing!

There's NOTHING random at all about my life.   Every detail is significant to Him.  

"It has given me great joy to find some of your children 

walking in the truth...

love one another.  This is love:  

that we walk in obedience to His commands.  

As you have heard from the beginning, 

His command is that you walk in love."  

2 John: 4-6 NIV

Find me on Facebook, too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Catchy Theme: Teach, Train and Carry

The following is a slightly edited version of the opening devotion shared 
at our homeschool moms' support group kick-off meeting.

The passages chosen for this year’s theme are taken from Titus 2:3-5 and Galatians 6:2.   Just look at the verbs and “commands” within these verses:

Teach the older women to

be reverent in the way they live (not gossips or addicted to much wine), but

to teach what is good.

Then they can train the younger women to

love their husbands and children, to be

self-controlled and pure, busy at home, kind, and subject to their husbands,

so that no one will malign the Word of God.


Carry each others’ burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Paul wrote this to Titus, a young pastor, instructing him to TEACH the ‘older’ women who were (in turn) to train the younger women.     These women were believers within his congregation.   
Older woman—the Greek word used here means presbutis –same as presbyter (aged) – means chronologically as well as spiritually mature.    This would refer to two generations.  The “older” woman would be one who has–by virtue of age—been “seasoned” and has picked up a few things over the years—knowledge and experience; she’s “qualified” to teach these things!  

Probably no longer has young children at home, thus more time on her hands (thereby the warning about the dangers of being idle:   gossiping, false accusations and getting drunk—these are tempting to all women—and if we have TIME on our hands?—these things do NOT fit with the definition of “godliness”).   

Older women are those of us who have younger women in our midst, whether our daughter is still sleeping in a crib or married with children of her own.   Our daughter’s friends and our son’s girlfriends.   Our sister and our sister-in-law.   Young moms at Bible class or sitting on the sidelines at soccer games.  Gals at church or co-op, in the neighborhood or at the grocery store.   They are EVERYWHERE!

The older woman's knowledge and experiences in life should have helped her gain some wisdom.   Different translations:   KJV says older women should be TEACHERS of what is good, to give good counsel; Amplified version says to wisely train; NIV says to teach what is good.

Being young has great moments (one-handed cartwheel, running, unbridled enthusiasm and ENERGY), but age has benefits, too.   The parts wearing out isn’t very much fun, but gaining wisdom is priceless!

Older women—please, take seriously the “commands” listed here because those of tender years and ears ARE watching your actions, listening to your words, and modeling themselves after you (or not).   What a joyful burden to carry—God will enable you!—do it to His glory.  

Younger women—seek out and pay attention to those spiritually mature older women whose lives are “teaching what is good.”   Their knowledge and experience, sensibility, faithfulness.   Learn from these ladies:   what is good, what has or hasn’t worked for them.  Then, LOVE the life you’ve been given and keep busy making your home a place of refuge for your husband and children.   The everyday burdens will be lighter when you have an older friend helping you lift the load.   

Likewise – means “similarly” -  Paul starts verse 2 with this word....which refers back to the previous paragraph where he addresses how Titus should train older men; these are qualities he describes which we “older women” are to emulate:
  • Being temperate or reverent which KJV says “as becometh holiness” (mental sobriety), dignified & WORTHY of respect/mature (a big responsibility!!!),
  • self-controlled, sensible, well-balanced, 
  • sound in faith (sound means “healthy”) – trusting God, 
  • sound in love (selflessness or “charity”) and 
  • sound in endurance (patience).
Other qualities Paul mentions for the older MEN which can parallel our roles at home include having exemplary behavior, attitudes and characteristics, and being good leaders.

Oh yes!   Women fill an important place in God’s kingdom:  think how important our homes are—as training ground for future families, future “warriors” for the Lord; so please:  train by example and words.

Younger women – NEED to be trained in
  •  loving their hub and children – not the “feeling” part of love, but the “action” part of love… is SACRIFICIAL – not about “personal fulfillment” – ACTIONS  (refer to 1 Cor 13--stated below in the POSITIVE)
o   patience
o   kindness
o   contentment
o   quietness & gentleness
o   humility
o   polite & courteous
o   sacrificial
o   good-natured
o   forgives & forgets
o   pure
o   protective
o   trust-worthy & reliable
o   hopeful
o   consistent & persevering
  • Self-control and being sensible (KJV – discreet)
  • Purity and chastity – FLEE temptations (impurity kills marriages, families, faith) - "flee" means to run for your life--serious danger!!! 
  • Kindness – (Ampl – good-natured), kind-hearted, goodness—wants to do ‘good’
  • Busy at  home (KJV – keepers at home; Ampl – home-makers) – noble work; your role is NOT determined by society but by the Lord who created man and woman and established the family!  
  • Subject to her husband, submissive – not demeaning as a door-mat; rather UNITY and WELL-being of the family (think of the chain-of-command; organizational chart at a business--the buck has to stop somewhere...God says it should be your Husband--not you!).   Ampl – adapting & subordinating herself to her hub.   KJV says obedient to her own husband.
So no one will malign the Word of God:   ungodly, pagans looking for reasons to belittle Christians.  Dear sisters, we must give them NO opportunity!   Ampl – exposed to reproach/blasphemed or discredited. When we Christian women buck against the job description God has given us—we DISCREDIT the role, too—make other Christian wives and mothers look bad!!!    

Have you ever said "welcome to the real world" when a young mom asked for advice?  Or told horror stories about labor & delivery?  Have you ever whined about your inconsiderate, irritating, or thoughtless (but dear) husband?   

Careful, dear sisters!    We may be joking, we may be exaggerating.   Maybe our peers understand – but tender hearts can be injured by our careless joking words!    Malign the Word of God?  Never!!!  But are your words and actions in line with God’s Word?  

Carry a burden for someone, whether in word or deed.   Be mindful of those near you and the struggles or fears they face.  Encourage and praise and thank one another and your children and your friends; submit lovingly to your husband.   Seek to please God in every word you speak or think and every action you do.   

Finally, dear ladies, young and old, keep busy with fruitful projects, be kind to others, daily turn to God’s powerful Word.   When you find yourself swept up in gossip, hypocrisy, laziness, or impurity flee to the cross!    Only there will you be able to fulfill Christ’s command to live in such a way that through you, others will come to know of Him!   Build friendships with those on the path to Heaven, be accountable to one another.

May God’s richest blessings shower you with confidence 

as you set off on another year of teaching, training and carrying … 

and in family leadership as a woman who lives for the Lord!