Where are all the “older women”???   4 comments

So…my last post shared about how we younger women need to stick together and encourage each other in the truth about the roles we are fulfilling as wife, mommy, homemaker.  I can honestly say I don’t want encouragement toward my fleshly desires–I want encouragement in the truth that my children are blessings and that I CAN manage my home well (or better, if I’m not doing so well).  Don’t tell me how great it will be when my kids are out of my hair, or how clean I can keep my house in a few years because they are in school and not making it dirty, or how long a nap I can take because they are gone.  Tell me that the work I’m doing is eternal.  Tell me that they won’t be little for long and to savor every moment.  Tell me that it’s okay if there are crumbs on the floor–but also challenge me to serve my husband and my children by getting those crumbs under control.

So let me dig in to the truth right off the bat.  Titus 2:3-5 reads:

“3 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.”

Do you hear the gravity of that text?  Let’s look at it backwards.  Young women, we are to love our husbands, love our children, be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to our own husbands.  Why?  So that the word of God may not be blasphemed!

Okaaayyy…what does THAT mean?  Well, “blaspheme” means to speak irreverently of, to slander.  Some synonyms of the word are: contaminate, defile, pervert, spoil.  It kinda sounds like it means some would LIE about the word of God.  And we know that the opposite of truth is a lie! We see from this text that the word of God will be blasphemed if we do not do these things!

What things?  Well–they are listed in Titus 2–but be on the lookout in the near future for a post on them!

AnyWHO…Do you feel the weight on your shoulders yet?  I do!

So let’s keep going…

Titus says that the older women are to ADMONISH us younger women to do these things.  Some translations read that they are to “encourage” us.  And I would say that older women DO encourage us.  But here is what I see–they encourage us to do what we are already doing.  You know, like I tell an older woman, “I’m a stay-at-home-mom” and she says “Oh that is wonderful!  What a special season! You are right where the Lord wants you to be!”

So what about a mom who is NOT a stay-at-home-mom?  What do they say to her?  Do they say the same things to her?

Here’s the thing…

When I look up the word “admonish”–I don’t see it as a light encouragement!  Admonish means “to caution, to warn” also “to urge to duty, to remind”.

I want to repeat that–it means “to urge to duty, to remind”!  It means they are to URGE us to do our duty!  REMIND us what those duties are!  WARN us what will happen if we don’t do them! 

Older women, this is YOUR job!  And…we NEED you to do this!  If not for our sake, for the sake of the word of God!

But here is the question that I’ve had stirring in my heart for quite some time, and this is the question I read this morning on a Facebook status of a friend-of-a-friend:

“All we want is a few older women to teach us how to love our husbands, love our children . A few to teach us how to be sensible, & submissive to our own husbands, encouraging us to be workers at home. It SEEMS “older women”( Titus2) are becoming more and more extinct. I wonder why?!?!?”

Well, I can’t answer this question for every older woman, but here are a few possible answers to that question.

Logically, I can say that one of two things is the case for all older women.

(1) They know they are to do this and just choose not to. OR…

(2) They don’t know they are supposed to teach and admonish us in these things.

Let’s look at #2 first…

If this is the case, and it may be for many older women–then this truth rests in the hands of their pastor.  You see, Titus was a pastor–and this text was Paul telling “Pastor T” what to teach as sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).  So it is up to Pastor T to tell the older women that they are responsible for teaching/admonishing the younger women to do these things.  Pastor T’s message to the older women is sound doctrine–as is the teaching and admonition of the older women to the younger women.

OK–so let’s assume your pastor HAS taught the older women that this is their role.  Then why aren’t they doing it???  This goes to reason #1 from above…

Are they really just choosing not to?  Not to obey the word of the Lord?  Surely not!

Well…yeah.  BUT–before I sound like I’m just saying they are simply disobeying the Lord’s command–let me explain what I think has happened.

I’m gonna make a long story short here, for sake of not making this post too long, but I’ll fill in any gaps with another post one day.  And this story was told to me by an older woman who remembers this turning point…

In the 1940’s, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, all the men left to fight the war, leaving their women behind–wives, sisters, daughters.  These women, out of necessity, took on their roles–working in the fields and factories–to keep things going in their absence.  When the war was over and the survivors returned, the men expected everything to go back to the way it had been–where he was the head of their home and the breadwinner, and she was at home caring for the house and the children.  But some of those women decided to rebel against that.

Some of those women put their foot down and said, “We don’t need you men to get along.  We want to work jobs.  We want to ‘wear the pants in the family now’.  We can do this ourselves!”  So…women started to work jobs instead of being at home.  Started bucking the headship of their husbands.  Started wearing the pants…both literally and figuratively.  It was a “movement”, if you will, to get more “rights” for women to do the things that were, until that time, considered a man’s role….instead of doing the things that had been considered a woman’s role.

These two roles were defined by Scripture.  It was said to Adam that he would till the ground (Genesis 3:23)–he would work.  It is said that a man is to provide for his own household, and to not do so is to deny the faith and is worse than an unbeliever!  (1 Timothy 5:8) STRONG STUFF!

And for a woman, her role is clearly defined in Titus 2–her relationship with her husband and children, and to be a homemaker (other translations read worker at home, keeper at home, busy at home).

I heard it said this way by a friend who is a pastor’s wife:  “When God breathed life into Adam, he woke up with a job to do.  When He breathed life in to Eve, she woke up a wife.”  I’ll save this for another post as well–but we are different physically and emotionally, and according to the Lord, our purposes are different. (Don’t read here that I think we are valued any less…just that our roles are different.)

OK–back to the story.  So it was in the 1940’s that things in our culture began to change…and specifically when the role that women fulfill began to shift from what God created her for, to what her fleshly desires wanted…much like Eve in the garden.  (Yeah…that’ll be another post, too.)

Well…looking at the dates, that would make any woman who was born after about 1920 part of this shift.  Those born around 1920 were the ones who were adult women when this war took place and were the ones who made this shift begin.  (No, not all of them did…some of them stuck to their roles as wife, mother, homemaker…but this is the generation that got it all started.)  And their children, who were born in the 40’s and 50’s, are the first generation growing up seeing this.  And that makes MY generation (I was born in 1979) the generation that has only ever seen life after the shift.  So all we know is moms going off to work, rather than being home.  All we know is mom being the head of the home, rather than dad.

So, what does that have to do with the older Titus 2 women, who seem to be missing?

I’m not pointing fingers and saying that they are simply disobeying the Lord by not teaching and admonishing us young women in these things.  I think many of them, because they didn’t grow up learning these things, and because our culture teaches something totally different, just don’t know what to teach us–so they don’t teach us anything.

But, also, I think it is because many of them are at work!  They are literally working jobs–like they were taught to do as young women–so as older women, they are doing only what they know to do.  And I don’t believe those women feel comfortable telling us we should be at home if they aren’t at home themselves.  And…because they are at work, they aren’t available to teach us.

But the truth is…at least as far as I can tell from the Word itself…God created us to fulfill the things listed in Titus 2.  I read it as my priority list in life as a Christian woman.

I read an article recently that helped make my thoughts concrete and find words to explain them.  Here is my summary:

In our culture, and in churches, it is generally “encouraged” that it is okay to work outside of her home, so long as she can still do the tasks needed at home, like the cooking and cleaning.  But in Titus 2, it reads with far more stress of importance that the home and family IS a young woman’s calling!  That old saying “a woman’s place is in the home” didn’t come from a chauvinist man…it came from Scriptures!  And that is just ONE part of the Titus 2 passage!

So, older women, as you can see from my words here–and also the words I shared above from another young woman–we NEED you!  And we need you telling us the TRUTH in love. Remember, we have the power to influence toward salvation (1 Peter 3:1) and to impact whether the word of God will or will not be blasphemed (Titus 2:5)!

Comment below…have YOU found an older woman who can truly mentor you?  Do you get time with her or just an email here and there?  Does she simply encourage you or does she admonish–warn, remind, urge–you in your duties?

I definitely want to hear from you!  And here is the article I referred to, in case you want to read it in full: http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/exegetical_defense_of_the_woma.aspx.  But comment below first!  🙂  Thanks for reading!

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Posted February 4, 2012 by whohearsahorton in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Where are all the “older women”???

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  1. Melissa,
    Thanks for visiting The Good Life and leaving a comment. It’s nice to meet you. Thanks be to God for the love you have for your family and the LORD. Truly, it is a blessing to have the awesome responsibility of training children up for His glory. I think many older women today have lost a vision for teaching the younger ones, BUT I have also found, as an older woman myself, that many young mothers don’t want to hear what we have to say.

    I often hear, “Well, that might work for your family,” or “Remember, our families are different.” These things are true, but there are principles that apply to all of us as mothers.

    Many grandmothers aren’t able to offer much advice often because they’ve bought into the lie of feminism themselves. Even if they stayed home with their children, they find it more admirable to have gotten a college degree and be out in the work force. It’s often grandmothers who are quite put off by the size of our family when we’re out, too.

    So many issues at play!

    May you continue to exhort those around you to glorify the LORD as they keep their homes and love and teach their children.

  2. Wow……good one Melissa……I have no “older women” to encourage me (that I know of)….of course….since I had kids late in life, would I be the “older woman”???

    • Hey Cathy! I’m SO sorry I’m just now replying to your comment. You are the “older woman” to some…but you are still the “younger woman” as far as where you are in life. Start seeking out some older women to mentor you! They aren’t the ones you’ll submit to–that will still be your husband–but look for ones who will love you enough to tell you the truth…and who will love you enough not to leave you the way you are today, but to encourage you to be better tomorrow! A mentor doesn’t have to be older in age–she may be just one step ahead of you in life…maybe with a child older than yours, or a year ahead in homeschooling, or who exemplifies the description of the older woman in Titus 2. Keep seeking them out–it has been my experience of late that they will NOT come to you! You almost have to camp out on their front porch to get them to see that you really need them! 🙂

  3. I was reading your post and thinking to myself that I see myself in the role of the older women. I want to be there for other women who are young and in the hot seat. Started a prayer group for moms with litlle kids. And I have women in my life that has mentored me; my mom, my cellgroup leader and many other women in our church, so I feel that I have to start to give now. But what shocked me, was that you were born in 1979 and so was I. Funny how I look at myself as old and you see yourself as young.

    My kids are young and I do hear that frustration in my own voice on the days that no one understands. Pray that you will see the woman who can mentor you.

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