Yesterday I blogged about the blessings of discipleship. It is God’s design that women mentor women and help one another to grow and change in Christ-likeness. As sometimes happens, that post hit a nerve and I got several comments and questions like, “What if no one thinks I have anything valuable to teach them?” and “What if no one will listen to me?” I will do what I can to answer them today.
As I said yesterday, every women is “an older woman” to someone. True, the Titus 2 passage is intended for older, mature women to be the models for the younger based on life experience and knowledge but I maintain that every woman brings something to the table of discussion in life. We are all in the process of growth and change.
That being said, I thought I would say that if you desire to be that “older woman” then your personal life really must reflect that Christ is living and active within you. There has to be evidence that you have been regenerated and are endeavoring to live your life- both in public and in private- in a manner that glorifies God. I am not speaking of perfection, I am speaking of demonstrable evidence of heart change that overflows into your life.
For example, if you are going to be exhorting younger women to be subject to their own husbands (Titus 2:4) are you willingly under the authority of yours? You see, many women are quick to give counsel they do not take themselves and in such cases the Word of God has been shamed. Too many women justify and rationalize rebellion against a submissive spirit in marriage because they have decided their husband is not worthy of respect or being followed. They will not place themselves under his authority in the home or with the children because they don’t care for his leadership style. Other’s see this kind of hypocrisy and it may be a reason it seems no one will listen.
Another issue that is crippling our women and filtering into our homes is the source of our information or counsel. I am grieved at the number of women who take their counsel from the latest television guru spouting the most recent psychological theory about raising children, womanhood, or marriage. If you wish to be a godly woman and give godly counsel, then you must believe that the Bible is the authoritative source for wisdom and for how to address and solve the problems in life (1 Cor 10:13; 2 Tim 3:16)! Dr. (fill in the blank) on your favorite morning news program is not going to fill your head with biblical wisdom and if that is the primary place you go for “truth” than there is little for you to offer God’s people on that topic.
Live by biblical principles. Shape your life one area at a time around what the Word of God has to say. It would be overwhelming to do this all at once, you will have to begin slowly and take one issue at a time. For me, the first (and most formidable) was sinful anger. Many years ago now I spent days researching God’s perspective on anger, read and memorized Bible verses and passages, made notes and note cards of them and kept God’s truth before my eyes at all times. I prayed and asked the help of the Holy Spirit to remind me to respond righteously and submitted myself to His authority in my life. I trained myself to respond rightly over time. I had successes and many failures, but by God’s grace I overcame and can now use this experience- this training in righteousness- to minister to other women.
I do not think that the circumstances of a person’s life or their past automatically brand them as someone whose counsel should be avoided. We only have to look at Paul and Peter for examples. You would think that Paul as a persecutor of Christians would be the last person to be talking about faith in Jesus! Yet God took him and broke his heart and made him a mighty mouthpiece of our faith! And Peter, the cowardly man who abandoned Christ on the night of His arrest only weeks later spoke boldly about Christ in spite of threats and intimidation from those same men he feared on the night Jesus was betrayed!
God graciously gives us hope in men like these…He shows us over and over again that there is no person He cannot touch and change for His use. He begins the process, guides us through growth and change by His Word and His Spirit and expects us to live life for His glory.