Thursday, September 17, 2015

Be Reverent

Paul writes in Titus 2:3 
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Today we begin by  looking at ways we, as older women can follow these instructions:

  • Be reverent in the way we live
  • Don't be slanderers
  • Don't be addicted to too much wine
  • Teach what is good
That's a big list! 

How can we go about this? We can start at the beginning, being reverent in the way we live. Age is not a precursor to living reverently. God wants all of us to live reverently, showing His love in our deeds, words and actions. Rachelle Fleming writes
In the normal course of life, this would be a reference to a godly woman who has done the work of raising her own family and honoring her husband. In God’s design, the task of discipling young women belongs to older women who have built God’s principles for living into their lives – women who are intentional about developing Truth-based thinking.
in her article Titus 2 Women-Living Reverently.

As we have done the work of child-rearing, we have learned many many things. These life-lessons can be invaluable to the young mother at the end of her rope. You, yes you may be the one who can teach her that a closed mouth and a calm but strong demeanor can often stop the tantrum of a 2 year old. Would it be so bad to hug up your wailing child, speak soothingly to her and show her that no matter the problem, you are there for her. Once calmness has been regained is the time to resolve the issue, if that is time-out, discussing options, or dealing out consequences.

This is alien to our automatic response to mirror the behavior of the child. What is the bank president mirrored that behavior,

or the doctor who just told you you need to cut back on the calories?  I'd think she was crazy, how about you?

For today, try to think of a young woman who is overwhelmed or who you think might be overwhelmed. Again, pick up your phone and call her. Tell her you just wanted to check on her, see how her day is going and how her family is. By offering your friendship in this way, you start the conversation leading to reverence.

Tell her that her children are sweet and you know she loves them. Remind her of the special memories of these days that she will treasure in her heart later, draw from those memories that you treasure in your heart. The sweet smell of an infant's cap of curls, the excitement of a youngster's first bike ride, or the pride that swelled her heart and brought tears to her eyes when that sweet girl graduated from Kindergarten.

Before you hang up, let her know that you are praying for her. Set a time to meet her for coffee or accompany her to the park with her littles. Help her keep an eye on them and just have an adult conversation. Sometimes that's all she needs.

Younger women, what are you to do? Are you frazzled, feeling lost, swimming in the sea of having a family to take care of, a job, running all over the city for soccer, dance, and yoga? Need an adult conversation? What to do?

Ever think about striking up a conversation with that older lady at church, sitting alone in the pew? 
Say hello, compliment her, ask her to join you for a visit to the park. Who couldn't use a bit of extra help and some adult conversation. Older women whose children are grown are sometimes feeling empty and lonely. They, too, crave companionship. 

Invite her to have coffee or a milkshake. Invite her to yoga or walking. Share with her your frustrations and triumphs with your children and husband. Ask her how she might have handled the situation. Sometimes her insight will be like a lightning strike(forget the light bulb, this is way beyond that!) Pray for her,let her know that you value her insights and friendship.

Oh, and pick up that phone and call or text your husband just to say "I love you" again today! He may not mention it, but he loves it when you do it! I promise.

Prayer thoughts: Pray for reverence, pray for the young mothers at your church and workplace, pray for the older women in your church or workplace, Pray for their children, young and old and continue to pray for your husband.

More soon about Titus!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Titus Woman Effect

My heart has been headed in this direction for a few years. I am very excited to embark on this quest to help older women guide younger women in learning homemaking arts. Does this mean that I want to be the poster child for stay at home moms? No. I admire all women. I'm talking about the older generation passing down knowledge and guiding younger women in their faith walk.

 In my research I found this penned by Jean Williams. You can read the entire post here.
"I doubt that Paul was thinking of formal teaching or even formal mentoring (a recent concept!) when he encouraged older women to teach young women—although both teaching and mentoring have their place! The items on Paul’s list are very practical: loving a husband, managing a home, staying pure (Titus 2:4-5). Young women need older women to come alongside them, give them help and support, and, in the minutiae of life, offer words of wisdom and a godly example."NIV
Today I will delve a bit into the scripture I am using to build this journey. Going forward, posts will be about implementing the instructions, finding each other, group lessons, crafts, homemaking instruction and many others all pointing back in some way to Titus.
So here we go. In Titus 1:5-9, Paul writes the description of the elders.
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseermanages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. NIV
As women, we often become focused on the things that our husbands struggle with such as being blameless, faithful to his wife or not being even-tempered or even being violent.  Our focus upon what our husbands are or are not is blocking our way to becoming what God wants US to be.
So many times I speak with young women and I hear things like "He doesn't deserve it because he..." or "I can't be at church because my husband won't come with me" and "Why should I try to be a Godly woman if my husband isn't saved." This mindset will affect not only YOUR walk with Christ but also that of your husband and your CHILDREN.
Don't let your husband's lack of godliness become your excuse for not walking your walk. In the end you are responsible for yourself. God will not judge you for what your husband did or didn't do. God will judge you by your own sins.
Try to remember why you married your husband. You were in love, right? You were happy, right? You wanted to spend your time with him and do things for him to show how much you loved him, right? In our first steps along the Titus journey, we will look for ways to get back to the happiness that you found once with him. As a matter of fact, stop reading right now, grab your phone and call him (Text, email, FB message, a note, a letter). Tell him that you love him and tell him how much.

That's all, make it simple and to the point.
See how easy that was? This one simple thing will allow you to begin to see a change in how you look at him and how you look at God.

Paul continues in Titus 1:15,16
15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.NIV

Those who are addicted to the things of this world have the enemy in their ear. He is always there, whispering how things that feel good are good, things that mask and hide the pain that they are facing

are good. These are lies. Prepare yourself to show Christ's love through your actions. THIS is how you help others along their journey. Just as we teach our children right from wrong, so should we help others to see right from wrong. When you proclaim that you are saved, others watch you for mistakes. Give them love to steer their attention from you to Christ. How we can do that is the subject of a later post. For today, tell your husband and children how you love them.

Prayer thoughts: Pray for your husband and children. Pray for guidance through out your walk. Pray for the wisdom and control to focus your eyes on improving your side of your relationship. 

Have a Blessed day!