Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Search for the Titus 2 Woman

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled" Titus 2:3-5There is much talk in the church these days of the "Titus 2 Woman". It seems that it all used to be about the Prov. 31 woman, but apparently we've moved on. Now quite obviously Titus 2 is a passage that should be studied carefully and lived out. And it seems to me that all the talk about Titus 2 stems from a true need that is in the church. Unfortunately there aren't many woman who are living this model out and the church truly feels their absence.The response seems to be to write books instructing woman on how to become a titus 2 woman, generally written by someone who claims to be such a woman. Or there are blogs dedicated to this pursuit, and in fact a whole parachurch ministry by the same name. All the woman writing and working in these ministries have a great desire to see the next generation of Christian women to rise up to love their husbands, love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, keepers of their homes, and submissive to their husbands so that the church would be blessed and the Word would go forward. It is a noble and good thing to desire. These books, websites, and organizations have a lot of good information and solid Biblical study to offer and most any woman would benefit from reading them.However, I don't think any of that is actually obeying Titus 2.Titus is an address to a church body, it is instructions on the relations within that body. Paul is addressing older women to teach the younger women in their church to be these things. And it seems implied in the verse a certain responsibility on the part of the younger women as well to learn from these older women. There is an actual relationship involved. You are teaching someone or learning from someone because you are in fellowship with them, because you are doing life with them. A younger woman sees what it looks like to submit to her husband and so learns to do that. It isn't simply book knowledge, it is the joyful truth being lived out right in front of her.Let me reiterate that I think there is great value in books teaching these values and that they should be read. But they shouldn't be a substitute for finding the real Titus 2 woman in your church and learning from them. This is part of what Christian fellowship is about- face to face, daily interaction and sharing of life. That is true fellowship-not commenting regularly on a Titus 2 blog. Now, the natural response I hear a lot on blogs especially is a lamenting of "there just aren't any Titus 2 women in my church. I'm hurting from the lack of teaching from an older woman, I went through a hard time in my marriage because there weren't any older women to instruct me." While all of that may be true, it misses the aspect of personal responsibility that is a part of our Christian life. If there aren't any Titus 2 women in your church that very well may be your fault. It may be you who is suppose to be the older woman. Odds are, you are older and further along in life than someone in your church and could be a benefit to them. And even if you are one of the youngest women in your church, think of the encouragement it would be to the women who are older than you to model these things if they see someone they think of as young doing it. Young women put the older ones on the spot. Ask them how they do these things. I think it is uncomfortable for most of us to either admonish someone in an area they are lacking or to accept teaching. And most often we are in a position where we are asked to do both, which makes it even more uncomfortable. It is hard to go to someone and say, "your speech isn't honoring to your husband and that isn't ok, we should talk". It is hard to go to someone and say, "I don't know how to show love to my children in the way that I ought, can you show me?". But all of this isn't suppose to be comfortable or easy. This is Christianity. So go be a Titus 2 woman and go find a Titus 2 woman so that the word of God may not be reviled.

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