The Modern Day Titus 2 Woman

~This is the message I delivered this morning at my church as part of the Mother’s Day Program. I have filled in my notes with the best recollection of what I said LOL. I hope it speaks to all the mom’s out there to remember that we have an obligation to be there for other moms. Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers 🙂

I. If I wasn’t a mom I wouldn’t be up here today. Not because it is Mother’s day and that’s the only time we ladies get to speak but b/c I was saved and introduced to the God I serve today as a direct result of becoming a mom at a very young age. I stand here, despite the circumstances and poor decisions that led me to becoming pregnant at 16 and having two children by 18, confident in the fact that Romans 8:28 applies to me, too and God still knew me, chose me, loves me and accepts me. On top of that, uses me for His glory. Hallelujah, huh?
II. I am going to talk about being a Titus 2 woman today as I am here b/c two women chose to live out the edict in Titus 2: 3-5 “to train the young women”. They chose, rather than to judge or condemn, to reach out to young girls (who were certainly in over our collective heads) and offer us encouragement, advice, grace and a godly example. I went to the teen moms support group sponsored by a local church for the coffee and free babysitting. But, there I also met my God. Having the experience of being mentored by two imperfectly wonderful women has been key in my being able to love others and grow in my relationship with Christ.
III. First, may I say that I think it is wonderful to take the opportunity to put the spotlight on mothers (we all have one right?) but as I prayed about what to say today I felt heavy in my spirit for those women for whom motherhood is not what they thought it was going to be (that’s probably all of us to some degree). God reminded me that Mother’s Day can be painful- if you are caught in a stronghold of unrealistic expectations, constantly striving to keep up the façade of the picture perfect family (that NONE of us have)- I want to know who created that picture anyway? They should be in trouble… If you have a child that doesn’t fit in the world’s mold of “normal” and you allow the enemy to make that personal through feelings of failure and inadequacy. If you are the parent of a prodigal and you are accepting the judgmental glances and whispers of “where did they go wrong?” you think you see and hear. Maybe, like some of my precious friends, you have had to relinquish a child to heaven and this day serves as a painful reminder. Perhaps you have wanted to be a mother all your life and for some reason, you may not know this side of heaven, it has not proven to be. Or, as many of you can relate- you’re not a girl. You may be sitting next to a mom or special woman in your life but you will never know the wonderful anguish (I don’t know any other way to explain it in 10 minutes) that is motherhood. Please know that my heart is sensitive to all those situations and more importantly so is God’s. He longs to heal your hurts and I encourage you to take those to him today.
IV. Back to Titus 2. We have a special combination of members here at FBC. We have a deep history and a well of wisdom from mature believers. And, we are constantly welcoming young families into our midst. Young mothers, so deep in diapers, dinner and duty, that a relationship with God and other believers can just seem like another thing on the never ending to-do list. Do you know what that means for me, a mama of adolescents? Or you the empty nester? Or you the great grandma? Or you the retiree? Our work is not done. We are called to be a family…Galations 6:10. As with most tasks God sets before us He gives us the instructions in his word. So, we are fortunate that Titus 2 outlines how we can be a true sister in Christ to the moms in our midst.
V. 1. Be an example. Titus 2:3 This is the only time I found use of the greek word for reverent in the entire New Testament. The word means to be suited to sacred character, holiness. Well, God doesn’t set the bar high now, does he? I know if this mama is going to set an example of sacred character to those around me it will only happen if I am connected to the true Vine and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) That is the only way we can live out the words of I Corinthians 11:1- “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”
VI. 2. Be a discipler. (hopefully that is a word). Titus 2:4 says to “train the younger women”.. The greek word is to teach, exhort earnestly. Here, we are being challenged not just to be a passive example with our behavior but to disciple (to me this requires relationship). We are called to use our time (as we are no longer knee deep in skinned knees and sippy cups) “not on to much wine ” v. 3 (I think Paul could have just as easily spelled this whine) and gossip but to focus on mentoring young women and coming alongside them. I was curious why Paul made a point to say not too much wine. Back when Paul wrote this letter to Titus, the “older” women were typically widows or literally “old” women. Wine was used medicinally in those days- in 2 Timothy Paul recommended Timothy use wine to sooth his stomach illness. So, Paul was saying- quit feeling sorry for yourselves over your aches and pains, your struggles and reach out to other women. We need to let moms in the trenches know that we value and appreciate their contribution to God’s kingdom, that no mom is perfect, that we have all had days where we were one temper tantrum away from the psych ward. They need to know they are not alone, that not only are we there but our God is bigger than any temporary circumstance they are facing. I’m sure this was important for Titus in Crete but think of how important it is today. With half of households in our country being headed by single parents (mostly moms) don’t you think our Titus 2 role is ever the more necessary? We may be the only way younger women learn how to be a godly wife, mother and most importantly a daughter of the most High King.
VII. 3. Be a servant. Resist the urge to let Christianity become like a restaurant, that you come to church to place your order for what you need with little regard to the other patrons. At one time or another in our lives most of us have struggled with the existential dilemma- why am I here? Purpose is not a big one time thing- up, lived my purpose, I’m good. Living a life of purpose is just that- a lifestyle. It’s being an ordinary woman (or man) willing to wholeheartedly serve a modern day miracle working God. If you are not familiar with the fact that our God still works miracles today, see me after the service and I wil be happy to tell you some stories! We are to submit to the role and call God has for us, that role and calling will change through the seasons of our lives. Now that my boys are getting older and more self sufficient, I have more time to devote to ministry and mentoring than I did when they were small and required more of my attention. God calls us to serve one another and gives us a great parable to illustrate in Mark 4:26-29. As a Titus 2 believer, you are sowing seed in the lives of the younger generation. Will you see immediate results? Maybe. Will you feel like you are receiving anything in return? If you are serving with pure motives, you will. So, my challenge to the women of our church is this: Are you willing to be an example? A teacher? A servant? Are you willing to sow the seed of salvation and not wonder what’s in it for you? Are you willing to be a modern day Titus 2 woman?
VIII. I hope so, because like I said, I wouldn’t be here today if two women hadn’t been willing to heed the call. And, I know there are plenty of other young (whether in age or relationship to Christ) mom’s that could use someone on their side. Thank you for allowing me to share. Happy Mother’s Day.

My challenge to you, my readers, is the same it was to the people in the congregation this morning- what are you doing to help a younger believer in their faith walk?

Comments

  1. Simply Being Mommy says:

    You inspire me. Being a youth pastors wife, you would think I’d have everything under control. But being a mommy to three little ones under the age of 5, has proven to be very difficult for me. But I know with help from God that we will be okay. Thank you for this post! It’s just what I need at the end of a stressful day. Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. Hi, Thank you for the comment on my blog and I’m grateful I found my way to yours. This Mother’s Day talk speaks to my heart – the idea of older women training the younger has been critical in my life and continues to be. I am actually in the process of finishing a book that chronicles my walk of faith and the important role my mentor played. Letters from Leanne – The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter relationship will be released later this summer. My prayer for it is the same as the challenge from your talk. It’s neat to find someone with a heart like mine. Blessings to you as the journey continues, Jill

  3. I’m a firm believer that we’re all eventually called to be spiritual mothers to younger wives and mothers. Too many women don’t step up and open their hearts. There are so many young women out there who don’t have appropriate expectations of what to expect in marriage or motherhood because they didn’t have healthy examples to follow. I didn’t, but lovely women at my church opened their hearts. A heart is big enough to love as much as one wants. To many people don’t love beyond their own children. I’ve written a friendship series on this. You’d probably like the last of the 3. What a blessing your post is! http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/84/

  4. Single mothers face one of the most challenges job in the world. Believe it or not bringing up a child without the assistance of your male partner is no easy job. This is the situation that shows who is a true caring mother and the one who simply neglects her child just to pursue her own interests neglecting the child. Though it is not an easy job, mothers should for the time-being, put a pause to their materialistic hunger and take the child upbringing as the primary focus in life. Those women who have done this have brought up the best of men in the world and led a happy and fulfilling life. On the other hand there have been women who neglected their children in their tender years just to repent later in their lives.

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