“Older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” (Titus 2:3-5)
In hushed conversations with women in big churches, small churches, among believing women overseas, and in and out of the “Bible belt,” I’ve heard the question.
“Titus 2 says that older women are to be teaching us; so…… where are they?”
It’s puzzling when Christian women look “up” to those who are older, but feel disappointed in what they find there.
- “Why does she seem spiritually immature?”
- “Her kids haven’t turned out well; she’s not someone I would go to for parenting input.”
- “I think she references movies and late night TV more often than Scripture.”
- “She criticizes her husband constantly… that’s not a marriage I want to imitate!”
But as believing women, God has made us part of His Body. He specifically writes for us to learn from Christian women who have gone before us.
Yes, even those imperfect ones in your church.
So what do we do when we don’t have a perfectly godly woman to learn from?
- LOOK FOR WHAT IS GOOD. We can sometimes miss the “good” because we’re looking for the perfect. Perhaps she’s a hospitable woman. Learn that from her, even if she’s crabby to her husband. Or maybe she’s raised children who love the Lord– ask questions about that, even if she’s not a Bible scholar.
- HUMBLE YOURSELF & ASK. Sometimes we are sitting around complaining about not having it, because inside we know that if we actually asked an older woman to begin mentoring and discipling us, it would open our lives up to scrutiny and require some self-discipline on our parts to change and grow.
- THINK SHORT-TERM. Unless you know the woman well, don’t make a year-long commitment to weekly meetings. Instead, ask if she’d meet with you over the next few weeks to talk through the challenges you’re facing in your marriage, or pepper her with a few questions after home group.
- BE DISCERNING. Even an older woman may get some things wrong. Perhaps she didn’t learn biblical principles for parenting, or maybe she doesn’t know the Word as well as she should. Be like the Bereans and filter everything through Scripture. None of us reach perfection here on earth, so sort out the advice you’re given and hold on to that which is good.
By doing these things in a variety of settings, I’ve continually found older women from whom I can glean biblical encouragement, practical lessons, and rich truth.
This has been the continual prayer of my heart:
Lord, show me an older woman who I can learn from. Help me to be humble and willing to learn.
And I want to say: GOD HAS ANSWERED MY PRAYER AGAIN AND AGAIN!
I am so thankful for the older women in our churches over the years that have loved, trained, and encouraged me in my roles of disciple, wife, and mother. I am especially thankful for the older women in my church now, who are planning a ladies retreat, specifically for the “experienced women” so that they can study Titus 2 and grow together in this area. What a blessing!
Other articles & resources about Titus 2:
- WHAT DOES TITUS 2 MEAN FOR ME?
- THE OPPOSITE OF THE TITUS 2 WOMAN
- THE ELUSIVE TITUS 2 WOMAN
- TO TEACH WHAT IS GOOD: 7 excellent, FREE audio teachings about Titus 2 by Carolyn Mahaney
- Book: FEMININE APPEAL: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney