Do You Have a Mentor? ICM Wk 10

Hi fellow momma friends!

We're just a couple posts away from finishing the Intentional Christian Motherhood series, and they're gonna be good!  To start the final three, I want to introduce you to a wonderful Christian lady, Marcia Scott.  

Marcia is a woman I've been around in a number of settings as my husband & I are friends with her kids and daughter-in-law.  She's admirable to me not only because of her godly reputation, but because of the fruit I see in her kids' lives and how they testify to her parenting.

She's a woman I wanted to hear from about the topic of Titus 2 (verses 4 & 5 in particular), the mentoring equation between younger mothers and older mothers.  She was kind enough to write a "guest post" to share with us here today, and I hope you will be as encouraged and challenged as I am by her words.  This post is for the seasoned and newbie mothers alike!

So What Do We Do with Titus 2?

Paul instructed Titus to “set in order what remains” and to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine...”  Thus, his instruction to older women and younger women concerning God-honoring responsibilities is both orderly and fitting. 

Is it true, as some say, that our culture is quite different from that of Paul and Titus’s time?  Indeed it is.  Nonetheless this is a timeless teaching from God for all women, especially those of us who desire to be godly. 

If you’re not fresh on Titus 2 take a minute now and read it.

The following is not intended to be doctrinal instruction, but practical observation and sharing of thoughts from the perspective of this “older woman,” since that’s the category I fall in to.  I guess 36 years of marriage and 4 children mostly grown has acquired me that title, though I must admit I shrink from it!

Let’s start by pinpointing some cultural differences that create challenges to our application of this passage:
  • Rarely do we live within walking distance of each other.
  • Our family ties are not as close.
  • Young women are not being taught these priorities growing up. 
  • Women of all ages are now working outside of their homes, limiting time and energy.     
  • We’ve cultivated independent (and perhaps selfish) attitudes.
  • We portray an air of self-sufficiency.
  • We hang out in age-segregated groups, limiting those who influence us to our peers.
  • Our local churches lack intimacy, resulting in superficial friendships, and are prone to age-segregating.
  • Media amply provides input from others we don’t personally know.

Perhaps you can think of others.

Having pinpointed cultural differences let me now share with you what I see as additional hindrances to us older women’s obedience to this command.  After all, this is a command to older women.  (We = the general we in the following):         
  • We, perhaps, haven’t personally honored the Lord by practicing what we are to be teaching (thus we feel ashamed, unqualified, have nothing to offer).
  • We assume that the younger woman’s own mother or mother-in-law is advising her or being sought for counsel.
  • We don’t sense an interest from young women who are now seeking peer and media input.
  • We fear offending or intimidating by overstepping a young woman’s “self-sufficient” boundaries.
  • We are ourselves intimidated by the task.
  • We appease ourselves with “it’s not my personality or gift.”
  • We (selfishly) consider ourselves finished with parenting and ready to “get on with our lives.”  Bluntly, we don’t want to be bothered.
  • And sadly, ignorance.  Some don’t know this command exists. Haven’t read it and certainly haven’t heard it preached. (Have you?)

So if you are a younger woman who desires to learn from older women, let me make some potentially facilitating suggestions...

Strengthen family ties— honor your mother by seeking her input and counsel.

Take note of godly older women who have completed the course and befriend them.  Ask for their input.  Not so much, “Please mentor me” as that might feel intimidating.  Be specific:
"How did you...?” 
“When did you...?" 
"What did you...?"
“How can I...When can I...What can I do to...?" 
"Can you suggest a way to...?" 
"Can you show/teach me how...?"
You get the picture.  Ask for memories or stories.  Some of us may need to think about your questions and some of us have better memories than others so be patient, persistent, and show that you’re serious. 

You’ve now opened a door that allows us to come back later with thoughts, ideas, suggestions, memories, as they come to us.  What we have to say may seem old-fashioned, but did it work?  Was it biblical, practical, sensible?  If so, it’s certainly worth a listen.  

Hopefully we’ve gained some wisdom and skills through the years- but do remember we’re not super older women; we do lack in some areas.

Many older women will enjoy sharing their experience and counsel when the door is opened. If your older woman of choice doesn’t respond with some coaxing (we are indeed unpracticed these days), try someone else or better yet, several others. 
" an abundance of counselors there is victory."  (Proverbs 11:14) 
Not having an older woman to teach and encourage you in these practical, daily areas doesn’t let you off the hook.  The Lord still wants you to be: reverent, not a gossip, not addicted to wine (or anything else), teaching what is good, loving your husband, loving your children, being sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, subject to your husbands, that His word be not dishonored. 

This is His will for you. 

Allow me to encourage you to be an example of this in your home now. Your children, if you have them, are watching and learning from you. 

Lest we feel overly “challenged” by these issues, let me point out that, were things in order in Crete, Titus might have been commending the Cretan’s for their good job.  Instead he’s instructing.  Let’s learn along with them and aim to overcome our challenges and hindrances in obedience to the Lord and for His glory.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:11-14 NASB)   

That’s us!

Thanks, Marcia, for your great words of wisdom!  

What is one practical tip you can take away from this post in order to take a step towards fellowship with older/younger mothers and fulfilling the goals of Titus' letter in chapter 2?  

Leave your comments to tell us what your next step is going to be!


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