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…..love is SACRIFICIAL – not about “personal fulfillment” – ACTIONS (refer to 1 Cor 13--stated below in the POSITIVE)
o quietness & gentleness
o polite & courteous
o forgives & forgets
o trust-worthy & reliable
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!
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