Titus 2:3…tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
I know I’m an idealist by nature. I love the mental picture of a grandmother passing recipes, or household tips, or precious Scriptural truths to her children’s children. So much do I love this picture, that you can imagine my JOY when Pope Francis declared “mothers and grandmothers are the ones who first transmit faith.” For sure, Mommas and Grandmothers spend a lot of time nurturing and caring for the young ones as they grow. This passage in Timothy speaks to women about what they need to be passing on to future generations. And there is a goal in mind, a logical, and spiritual reason why these things need to be modeled, taught, and passed on, so that the Word of God will not be discredited (or as one translation says “maligned”). How easy it is to degrade and slander God’s word, if we lack reverence, self-control, or self-discipline.
Every woman is older than some woman, right? So, no matter the age, every woman has a vocation of sorts, to the younger women around her..starting with her own children. In many places, there has been a breakdown in the ideal, and we’ve lost the art of holy mentoring. The generations that are following have not received sound doctrine, and are lacking in the ability to pass on this knowledge, because for whatever reason, they missed the passing of the baton. I happen to believe that young people are hungry for a better way, and are looking for someone to show them. As Christian women, we need to be sensitive to opportunities to carry out this exhortation, and courageous enough to step out of our comfort zone and invest in others.
When I was a young mom, I looked for Titus 2 examples to follow. I am so thankful for a handful of ladies who came alongside me and poured their life through me. They shared honestly their triumphs and failures as wives, mommas, and followers of Christ. I gleaned from their experiences, and I tried hard to imitate their successes and avoid their failures. They taught by their life and example what was good. They showed me practical ways of how to love my husband and children, how to be chaste and kind, how to manage my time and my home, and what a woman looks like when she is pursuing God, and striving to please Him. Because they put their time and energy into helping me on my way, their words carried weight. I knew their advice was sound because of the life they lived in front of me. Their walk matched their talk, and the Word of God was honored and cherished, and honestly esteemed…and a cool thing happened…I wanted to be like them. What I had been given was too good to keep to myself, I had to share it…and so, the cycle continues.
I am now in a position of passing on what I know to the next generation, starting with my own grown children who need encouragement, sound teaching, and good examples. That doesn’t mean I’ve arrived! Hey, I’m still younger than many, and I have need of encouragement and training in new areas. I’ve not had much training or practice being an empty nester, or a mother-in-law, or a grandmother. And living 2000 miles away from half my family adds a challenging dynamic to the mix. But beyond that, spiritually, I’m a baby convert to the Catholic faith. I’m learning as I go, and I crave one on one relationships that I can watch and learn from the example and teaching of others who are seasoned, well catechised, and firm in their faith. I’m finding a fun twist on this “older women” thing, and that is, I am learning from biologically younger women who are spiritually years ahead of me in the faith. Just because you are “young” doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer your sisters in Christ.
I’ve recently happened upon a new podcast called Good Things Radio. I don’t know if their conscious intent was to publicly obey Paul’s teaching on live radio, but that is exactly what they are doing. Brooke and Jennifer are both wives, Moms, and women of faith. Now, I’m not saying they are old, I’m certain they are both several years younger than I, but I am so very much enjoying the conversation, teaching, loving, and friendly banter that this new venue provides. Even from across the country, I find camaraderie and sweet fellowship in their conversations, I learn something new, or find something new to ponder on every podcast, and I want to share them with everyone I know! Check out their website, sign up for their podcast, and follow them on facebook. When you find Brook and Jennifer, you’ve found a good thing.