Friday, June 06, 2008
The Titus 2 Need
I have been getting quite a bit of feedback from young women who are saying how much they wish they could have a Titus 2 relationship with an older woman in their life. Perhaps they are discouraged because the older women in their church gossip instead of teach, and or some candidates cannot be trusted. Others have admitted that they are selfishly hesitant to accept input from the older women they know, perhaps because they feel like they don't have anything to teach them, or that perhaps hearing what they will say is too hard to hear.
We need to work through this mindset. It may very well be true that godly, theologically informed older women are few and far between. Gretchen Wrights don't grow on trees. But we certainly don't all have to have the wife of a seminary professor to guide us in our walk with Christ (as nice as that would be!). Allow me to make some suggestions that might help us, as younger women, to do what we can to fill that Titus 2 need.
1. Initiate. Open your eyes and look around and prayerfully consider the older women in your local church. How well do you know them? Have you ever initiated a friendship with them? Have you invited them to tea, or dropped by with hands to help and an ear to listen? Consider how the Lord would use you to bless another woman's life and then ask Him to guide you to a special woman who you can glean wisdom from. And don't be discouraged or give up if those plans don't seem to come to fruition. It's certainly not a mistake to bless others even if they don't respond in kind. Perhaps you may sort of mentor them, in some ways, by encouraging their walk with Christ, and their growing in grace through your conversations. You might certainly learn practical wisdom that comes with years lived out, and trials endured. I heard a speaker remark that in her church there were so many godly young women who had sort of co-mentoring relationships with the older women they knew. The younger women had the theological training and the passion to give, and the older women had experience and wisdom to pass on. You may very well unearth a gold mine. Who can tell?
2. Band together. What friends spur you on the most? Plan time with them! Is there a younger woman in your church that seems to desire to walk with Christ? Seek her out, and engage her in conversation. A younger friend, or someone close to your age can serve as a sort of mentor, walking together with you. You may not have all the answers for one another, but you can listen, and pray. You may not have the life experience to advise the best plan of action, but you can search the Scriptures together. Such friends can be God's tools for your sanctification no matter what their age.
3. Read. Honestly, dear friends, we are shutting ourselves away from wonderful godly wisdom, truth and encouragement if we do not read good books by faithful women. Choose a woman whose writings have influenced you, or that you have enjoyed the most, and read everything she has written. I am reading everything by Elisabeth Elliot, Helen Roseveare, Corrie Ten Boom and Carolyn Mahaney. How much their words have guided me through the years, I cannot begin to say! Be discerning about your reading choices. Of course I support reading just for pleasure, but be sure to consider authors who can be spiritual mothers to you. What a blessing those women can be!
Finally, older sisters: I know you're out there. You are serving in your church, your families, your ministries or your work. Perhaps you may feel the pull from every direction, and it seems there simply is no time left to invest in your younger sisters. Perhaps you humbly feel there is nothing you are equipped to teach, so you have avoided those sort of relationships. Can I encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to guide you to young women with whom you can share your life? Often just spending time together, life upon life, is the best teaching tool there is! Do you have a free afternoon? Ask a younger girl to come over for coffee. I promise she won't mind the laundry sitting in the basket -- maybe she'll even help you fold it!