March 22: Titus 2:3-5, to the older women

The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Second, to the older women. These young moms are so busy – they get together in play groups, and they talk to each other about their problems. You might think that it would be nice if they came to you sometimes. If they really sought you out for advice. And while I think that this could be a great thing, I don’t think that it is at all what this passage implies. This is not a formal course. This is not a classroom one on one situation. This is the natural way that things happen in community.
My mother (I think you know of her), taught us much growing up. This is the way it ought to be. My sister had four children already when I got married, and her fifth and my first, and Heather’s third were all born within a few weeks of each other. I gathered a lot of insight and support from them, and I am certain that this is the way it should be. But does this mean that I didn’t need this Biblical mechanism of older to younger in the broader church family? Of course not.
I have learned so much from the older women in our church. Not in a classroom – but by going to their houses for a baby shower, for dinner, for a psalm sing. I have learned about loving families from older women who brought food to us when our babies were born, from women who tell you in passing at church that this is the sweetest time, and to cherish it. I have learned from older women who put their houses together beautifully – who obviously love their homes, and then invite us all into it. I have learned from them as they gracefully travel through a hard illness, or as they face cancer armed with the peace of God.
The scope of what the younger women need to learn cannot be communicated in words. It is action. It is an older woman who bakes beautifully, whose garden is spectacular. It is the kind of thing that faithful living communicates. It encourages younger women more than you can know – it gives hope towards the future, it gives ideas and inspiration for what kind of women we want to be. But it gives it in a way that is discreet, that encourages without pressuring. It gives it in a way that is not an invitation to complain about your life or fuss about your children. It is encouragement in the best way, encouragement by example.
So older women – if you feel like you have not had a chance to talk to younger women – open your home, or take them a meal. Fulfill your own duties to your own family and in your own home in a way that overflows into the community. You don’t need to teach with words, although you can. You can simply teach with your gifts. Teach with what you love – teach with loving it still, teach by sharing your love with others.
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9 thoughts on “March 22: Titus 2:3-5, to the older women

  1. Thanks much for all these thoughts from Scripture. Just want to put in a request for a few Easter celebration posts. Pictures, recipes, etc!

  2. Well said! Too often we make things way harder than they need to be. Thanks, too, for your daily words–am really enjoying them here in Mongolia (Jana A’s mom, here 🙂

  3. Wonderful insight! Thank you. I was a younger woman that missed being in community with older women due to a move from my home and family and being in an age segregated church. Now I am an older woman enjoying the younger women in my life in just this practical living life way. I so cherish these opportunities

  4. It was the talking and time spent with older Christian women that I really missed – and still miss. Neither I nor my husband came from Christian homes; I didn’t know much about being a Christian wife and mother. How I longed for someone to take me under her wing to help and advise me. It never happened. Now I look back and weep for the way I limped through parenthood. Sadly, for many, ‘the natural way that things happen in community’ is that the Christian young women are supported by their Christian families and the ones from non-Christian homes wait for the crumbs dropped from the table. Of course the crumbs are welcome but oh, how we long to have an older woman who is OURS.

  5. Thank you for this post. I am a young mom and live in a large city and am part of a church where I am the oldest woman. I have a great mom and older sister whom I look up to and seek advice from, however they live far away and I am not in community with any older Godly women here. So while I pray for age diversity in our city church, I look to your blog and others for the practical how tos in raising my pack of pre-schoolers.

  6. I’m 33, have 5 young children, and I am also the oldest Mom in our urban church. I would love to have more of these older ladies around. I am thankful for my Mom’s great example, and my husband’s Mom. I learn a lot from a friend who is younger than me in years but much older in spiritual wisdom, and am thankful for that!

  7. Another woman in her 30s who is among the oldest in a church doing very, very good work in the city. As the older woman, I find myself offering a glass of wine and a listening ear…and trying to live what I believe. Am second guessing the glass of wine. (“not given to much wine”)

  8. Wonderful insight, thank you! I so appreciate the older women who were my example in my younger days. Yet, there were definitely times (especially when my children were very young) when a more active role of an older woman would’ve been appreciated because of not having family close by.

    Noticing some of the comments from moms in their 30’s being the oldest woman in the church makes me wonder if church styles in music and worship are keeping older and younger congregations separated, which benefits no one.

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