Posted by Genny on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 7:03 p.m.
Ladies (and gentlemen, too, if you care to tackle this),
In Titus 2, what, exactly, defines an "older woman?" I'm 41, married almost 20 years, with 5 kids 10 and under. My life is pretty wrapped up in the husband, children (and computer!), and being a "keeper at home." But, on the other hand, I've been a Christian for 29 years, and people frequently approach me for help with issues of spiritual growth. So, WHAT AM I? I feel like I'm trying to fill both roles. I'd love your thoughts on this.
Posted by Charity on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 9:27 p.m., in response to "Older Women", posted by Genny on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 7:03 p.m.
My husband and I have discussed this at length. I am only 37 and have children 7 and 10. Yet I have often been approached to be a mentor or "Titus 2" woman, to teach Bible studies or engage in women's ministries leadership.
I'm uncomfortable with this because I don't see how I could possibly spend the time doing so without neglecting my own family, homeschool endeavors, and ministry as a homemaker. So we looked at the scriptures at length, looking at the Greek words used for "older women" in various cross references. Our own conclusion (and may I stress "our own" because I feel that a wife should also take these questions to her husband) was that an "older woman" has completed raising her family. Because of this she has the time, maturity and experience to instruct the younger women.
I know that I sure don't feel competent to be a Titus 2 woman. There is still so much about mothering, wife-ing, home management that I have not yet mastered. One motivation for striving for excellence in these areas is so that I will be able to have something to pass on to others when my Titus 2 times comes. I can advise others with integrity and credibility because I have spent a lifetime living it. (Hopefully, anyway... )
Just our .02 :) Your husband may have a different desire for you than mine. I know that mine is very protective/selective of where I put my energies. At this time he wants them directed towards our own home.
Posted by Laurie Rambo on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 11:12 p.m., in response to "Older Women", posted by Genny on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 7:03 p.m.
A dear "older woman" once said to me that every woman is someone else's "older woman". I don't think she meant that it is to be a fulltime occupation at every season of our life, but that we often have experience or wisdom gleaned from life's lessons that would help someone on to God.
Just something to think about
Posted by Lana Workman on Sunday, 1 February 1998, at 5:42 p.m., in response to Re: "Older Women", posted by Laurie Rambo on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 11:12 p.m.
I read in one of Elisabeth Elliott's books (sorry, can't remember which one now) that when she was nine yrs. old she was *looking up* to a girl of 13. The girl was very kind, gentle, helpful to her and of course, she was older. I think perhaps this is what Titus is saying. We are always being *watched* by someone else hoping to glean from us our experiences. So we should always be on our best behavior so as not to make someone else stumble. So that we can show Godly character to someone else who may be struggling in an area. There is always going to be someone younger in age, but I think maybe the passage meant *greener*. What do you think?
I too, when needing help with something, ask the person I know that has experienced it. They may be my age, but they may have wisdom in the area where I'm struggling. Just my humble opinion. Lana
Posted by Kate Megill on Friday, 30 January 1998, at 8:59 a.m., in response to "Older Women", posted by Genny on Thursday, 29 January 1998, at 7:03 p.m.
This has also been an issue of much prayer and searching the Word between my husband and myself over the past 10 years or so.
I have been in churches that were predominantly college churches where, with me as a 30 year old married woman having been saved for 11 years I was an older woman to all in the church. Before I had several children I had more time to disciple and train others and I did.
Now, at 40 having walked with the Lord for 21 years and with children from 11 months to 11 years I am still often considered an older woman by some of the very young moms. I do help in answering questions and counselling as time permits, but I am still in the "young woman" stage until my children are grown. At that point I will have not just more time, but a greater perspective with which to help train and encourage young women (and hopefully the character to do it).
So, I guess I agree with what Laurie shared about we are all older women to someone, but also with Charity, that the "older woman" in Titus 2 is specifically a woman who has raised her family and now God has shifted her ministry to the younger women in the church.
I often feel so inadequate to help the women who come to me, but I'm afraid that the physically older women in the churches today (and spiritually older along with that) do not understand the GREAT NEED for their input into our lives and so there aren't a plethora of Titus 2 older women functioning in that capacity. So the really young women will take 2nd (or 3rd) best and come to someone like a 40 year old who is still in process! :-]
Maybe when we are all older women (hopefully in character as well!) we will seriously take the scriptural charge from which we would so love to glean!!
In His Joy and Grace,
Posted by Laurie Rambo on Friday, 30 January 1998, at 3:36 p.m., in response to Re: "Older Women", posted by Kate Megill on Friday, 30 January 1998, at 8:59 a.m.
Dear Kate- I agree! As well as feeling we are always someone's older woman, I also believe there is a definite time in our lives when this type of ministry will become our focus. It saddens me that the women of my other's generation have not seen the need for this type of ministry.
I once heard Greg Harris speak about this dilemma and he said that because the generation ahead of ours "dropped the ball" spiritually (and this was just a generality!), we are often faced with having to play a dual role. I certainly see this to be true in our church, where for many of my parents generation, church was just something you do; something expected. They didn't necessarily see Christianity as a vibrant, ever-growing relationship. Praise God that under the ministry of our current pastor and in response to fervent pray er the spiritual vitality in our church as a whole is growing!