Where Are All The Titus Two Women?

The older generation is not doing their job! I need encouragement, where are all the Titus Two women?  I wish I could find someone to mentor me!
These are all statements that I am hearing and reading, and they are coming from young women. They don't feel like the older women are doing their job.  I understand where these women are coming from. I just celebrated my 51st birthday, have two grown children, and I still long for women who are older to live life with me!  But I also remember being a young mom and how I longed  for someone come along side me to encourage and instruct me.
As I reflect back over the years,  I can now see the unique ways in which God provided some key women who have lived life with me over the years. Now that I am in the season of life I am in, I have been doing some evaluating and study as to what this is supposed to look like. It's easy to think we know what the Titus Two woman is supposed to be doing, but I wonder if it is a bit different than we are thinking.
Mentoring is first seen in ancient Greece in Homer’s Odyssey.  We see that Odysseus left his infant son, Telemachos, in the care of a friend named Mentor. The relationship between Telemachos and Mentor came to define mentoring as a process where an older person helps to counsel and guide a younger person. Over the years it has evolved into more than just a relationship, often becoming a program where adults train and become mentors for young people in need of guidance.
Titus 2:3-5
We also see a type of  "mentoring" mentioned in Titus 2: 3-5.  Paul calls the older women of the church, who were examples of loving their husbands, their children, being reverent, godly, modest and wise, and appointed them the job of teaching the younger woman. Paul's message was always that he preached and taught what he was already living. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ."  In Titus the older women were encouraged to develop a ministry of teaching younger women, beginning with the lives that they lived.
In this passage, the older woman was technically one who had raised her children,  but there is no chronological age given. It suggests that you should start with your own children, and if your children are grown, you should begin to look for opportunities to encourage younger women and share with them from your years of walking with God, first by example, then with your words.
In verse 5, the older woman is told to admonish, which means to teach, train, and encourage. In context it is implied that this was a process of teaching, encouraging, training, and holding the younger women to a standard that was unfamiliar to them and yet important for the success of their marriages and families. The phrase in Titus 2:4 that says that they admonish is the Greek word "sophronizo", meaning to train someone in self-control, restore to senses, admonish and exhort earnestly.
It is important that we see that the first priority was that the older woman be one whose godly example is what speaks first, and that she be a woman of character whose life challenges others to examine their own lives.  The natural outcome of this will be that others are drawn to her and will want her to speak in to their lives.
Often younger women proclaim boldly that the older women aren't doing their job. Maybe we need to rethink what the older woman's job really is.  Look around you. Observe the older women you know or are acquainted with. Do you see a life and family relationships that you would like to emulate? If she is a godly example, then she has already begun doing her job. Would you like to learn more about how to love your husbands,  children, what it means to be reverent, godly, modest and wise?
Where are all the Titus Two women?  Look around you...
  • Ask God to open your eyes to the lives of the older women who are already in your life.
  • Invite older women for coffee. Show them that you value them.  Ask them about their kids or what they are reading for their quiet time. Anything to get them to share and to let them know that you are interested. They may be shocked to know you even want their input! Often younger women are so busy and seem so self-confident, that it can appear as though they don't really need the older generation.
  • Read books written by older, godly women. God has used several older women/authors to mentor me. I have collected and read every book written by Elisabeth Elliot! I consider her to be one of my mentors even though we have never met.  My suggestion is that you read as many books as you can that are written by women who are older and who have faithfully lived their callings. I know that younger women are learning and have much to share, but often what we share when we are younger can be information that is still “theory” in our lives. A woman who has lived her callings can share information that she has lived out for years, and the years often tend to sift out the information that isn’t really that vital.
  • Do some heart evaluation. Ask yourself the question: Do I really want to be admonished, taught and encouraged in the way Titus Two is describing?
The desire to have someone invest in you as a younger woman is a good one, and shows a great deal of humility and maturity.  Keep praying for God to provide that for you,  and then look for the different ways that God is meeting that need. You might be surprised what you find.

Urban Christianity Meets Conservative Homeschool Christianity

They walk into the brand new "state of the art" gymnasium.  Urban Christianity meets conservative, homeschool Christianity.  I sit in the bleachers and observe and listen.  I hear some comments. ("Here comes that team from D.C. They are so weird!")  I see the looks. 

"Hmmmmm..." I think "Let the judgement begin!" 

Half of the gym is filled with polished, conservative young people.  Brought up in families who are mostly intact.  They sit there in their khaki pants and white polo shirts. Not much cultural diversity. They play the "right"  music, wear the "right" clothes.  Their professors consider them to be the "cream of the crop".   They are beginning to believe they are the "cream of the crop".  They have had the benefit of training, education...and parents who stay together.  

The other half of the gym is scattered with those from Urban America. Not as polished. Much diversity.  Brought up in families who are mostly torn apart.  Some have done time in jail.  There are tattoos.  Funky hair styles. Their professors consider them  to be amazing trophies of God's grace!  They are learning to see themselves as amazing trophies of God's grace. They have not had the benefit of much training,  education...and parents who stay together.  They are just thankful to be here. 

Conservative, homeschool Christianity meets Urban Christianity on the court.  They play the game.  They run. They cheer.  They have time-outs.  While on the court they are on level ground.  They play the same game, wear similar uniforms,  follow the same rules,  and have the same goals in mind.  They want to win!  

Off the court it is a different story.  A mom who is sitting near by exclaims, "LOOK at the boy from D.C.! Look at how he is dressed! OH! BROTHER!" 

"IGNORANT!" I think to myself.  My heart response is just as judgmental as her comment. She is a precious sister, but she only knows what she knows. She is only thinking the way she has always thought. She is only believing the way she has been taught.  

The level ground has disappeared. Two teams. Opponents.  Sitting back and observing each other and making judgements.  Conservative, homeschool Christianity assumes that since what they see externally isn't what they think it should be,  Urban Christianity isn't "godly". Urban Christianity looks at conservative, homeschool Christianity and can't comprehend the life they have lived. Parents who stay together?  Are these people for real?  

Two teams.  One who thinks they are the "cream of the crop". One who is learning to see themselves as God does. 

Both sides needing to see each other in light of the cross.

If you took away the khaki pants, white polo shirts, and conservative hair cuts. If you took away the tattoos, funky hair cuts, and inner-city diversity.  If you took away all the external, cultural differences and labels that have been given.  There would be: 
  • level ground. 
  • All in the same game.  
  • All with the same goals in mind. 
  • All in need of the same thing.  
  • All in need of a Savior.  
  • Helpless to change themselves.  
If they are a true child of God, they would see only the miracle of God's amazing grace in their lives. There would be no "cream of the crop"...only gratefulness that they are HIS

They would be cheering each other on. 

If  we could see each other as God sees us, there would be no judgement. Only a welcoming of a brother or sister who may be different than us, but who is part of the same family.  We would embrace. We would   rejoice in the miracle of each conversion. We would see that the conversion of the conservative, homeschool Christian is just  as big a miracle as the conversion of the Urban Christian.
The sin of pride and judgement in the heart of the conservative, polished, educated student is no different than the sin that landed the inner-city, tattooed student in jail.  Both  made it necessary for Jesus to be nailed to a cross. 
If we are HIS, we are technically on the same team.  We should not be standing on opposite sides, staring each other down.  When externals and upbringing are set aside, we are left with hearts, minds, emotions, thoughts, and spirits  that are needful of being transformed.

I have been living life with Urban Christianity for several years.  I see the Holy Spirit at work.  I love that with most of these young people there is no pretense. They are who they are. They don't hide it.  It's all out there.  It's easier to get to the root of sin when they haven't been taught to cover it up with the right words and dress.  I have learned so much from these young people.  When they walk out on that court...or into life...I am proud of them and so thankful because they are very aware that God alone got them there!  

And I am saddened when they are judged without people really taking the time to get to know where their hearts are at. 
One day we will stand on level ground, before the Savior of our souls. Side by side.  And we will see that we weren't all that different after all!
"For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)