By Jackie Derrick
As faithful Christians who are striving to go to heaven, we are highly interested in knowing all that God expects of us and the works we will be held responsible for doing. One responsibility that I do not hear much preaching or teaching on is the command given to older women in Titus 2:3-6. Notice these instructions are not directed to Titus or the elders, but to the older women. I also do not see much concern from older Christian women in the form of actually taking an interest in young women to teach the things mentioned in these verses. Oh, I do see and hear disapproval from older women when they see conduct from young wives and mothers that indicates they need much guidance in properly fulfilling these roles.
For the aged women to have an y influence with the young women, they must be able to communicate with them. So many have reached the age when they need to be teaching the young women; and instead of developing lines of communication with them, the older women have settled into a rut with friends who are their same age or their immediate family circle and do not know how to even causally talk to the young women who are outside this circle. They should make every effort to make the young woman feel at ease with them and show that they are genuinely interested in them. Encourage them to be faithful as a Christian, wife and mother during those tender years when that young marriage needs nurturing and those small children are being modeled. Are you easily approached if some young women needs mature counsel? When young women seek other young women for advice and guidance, there is a very dangerous possibility that they may receive immature advice. The knowledge and wisdom that you may have, which comes from having lived and experienced the problems the young are struggling with at present, is so needed. Why would you not be interested enough to help?
Older women, you have never considered the command of God to teach the young women to apply to you. You may have assumed that you are responsible for only your own daughters, but can you not look around and recognize just how few of our young women are really prepared for being a wife and mother? This may be a failure on the part of the mothers of these young women, but it does not relieve you of the responsibility to do what you can.
It is sad when a woman has raised her family and looks around and decides that she should find a job to occupy her time or just settle back in a state of apathy now that her children are independent. To the contrary, this is the time to really be of service to others. Now there is time to visit the sick, encourage the discouraged and to “teach the young women,” whether in a Bible class in the local church or privately. Use that wisdom you have gained from serving God as a Christian, wife and mother all those years.
Notice the things Paul instructs the aged women to teach the young women. Love your husband, your children, and your home, as you serve your Lord. Do not resent your position as “help meet” to your husband and as a worker at home. Society causes young mothers who choose to be homemakers to feel inadequate, unfulfilled and less than intelligent. Perhaps husbands have failed to make them feel appreciated, and perhaps older women have failed to encourage them in this great work by assuring them that they have made the right choice. I have ad so many young mothers confide in me their feelings of inadequacy when they are women who have careers and have turned the raising of their children over to babysitters and daycare centers. Christians, this ought not to be! You can be assured that through society, the devil is at work in an attack to minimize these responsibilities that the Lord requires of young women. It is our duty to teach, admonish and encourage them as we do what we can to counteract this attack.
Also to be taught to young women is conduct and character that is “sober, discreet, chaste, good.” She is to have her desires and passions under control and have a well balanced state of mind as she is pure in heart and mind. One of the most dangerous activities a young homemaker can engage in that is destructive to her acquiring this noble character is to habitually fill her hours at home with the soap operas. The very nature and theme of these shows are demeaning to God’s laws concerning marriage, morals and woman’s role in the home. A young mother who raises her small children with soap operas flashing across the TV screen daily, need not wonder why that child grows up with no respect for God’s marriage laws and can so easily justify “living together” and all sorts of immortality that are portrayed as good and normal on these shows. A young woman cannot develop this character that is sober, woman cannot develop this character that is sober, discreet, chaste and good when she daily fills her mind with this kind of filth. Older woman, warn the young mothers and wives of this evil. Teach her to fill her mind with “things that are true, honest, pure, lovely and of good report” (Phil. 4:8).
The body of Christ is made up of individual Christians (brothers and sisters) sealed and cemented together by the blood of Christ. We are commanded to help each other as we grow to spiritual maturity and as we overcome temptations here on earth. Now brothers and sisters, how much of this helping the weaker and tempted have we done? Have we left the weakest and humblest ones to strive alone? When we do this, we have injured ourselves by neglecting God’s commands. We are prone to be disturbed when a congregation has existed for years without qualified elders. We should be disturbed! Something is wrong! We should also be disturbed when the older women are not teaching the young women “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands.” A lack of elders to oversee the flock and a lack of aged women to teach the young women in a local congregation is indicative of failure.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 7, pp. 203, 215
April 4, 1985