Several months ago, I kept hearing about "Titus 2 women" and the importance of older women mentoring younger women. The only kinds of mentoring I was familiar with were for young professionals and disadvantaged children, but this was a different kind of mentoring. It was essentially older women sharing their experiences with younger women, helping them out as they navigated different phases of their lives. Nothing formal - just a beautiful Christian relationship.
Here's the passage it comes from in the book of Titus (chapter 2, verses 3-5). It is book-ended by instructions to older men and younger men.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
I admit, I might have giggled when I pictured old ladies getting tipsy on too much wine. And I might have initially bristled at being controlled. But the most important part of this passage to me is the reasoning behind all this. Why should we women follow these virtues? Why should we teach each other these things? So that the word of God may not be discredited.
Chew on that for a minute. It's not about me as a woman, me as a wife or mother or homemaker or teacher. It's about God. It's about living a life that is pleasing to Him.
I don't know about you, but when it's put that way, I'm much more open to instruction. I could certainly learn from an older woman.
Of course, I already have. My mother has always been my role model, and I think mothers and grandmothers often fill this role for their daughters. This is great! However, there's no reason for this position to be limited to just one or two women with family ties. We can learn so much from so many women, no matter whether the relationship is short-lived or life-long.
Once I was convinced of the value of a Titus 2 woman, however, I was stumped. How do you establish these kinds of relationships, I wondered, if you've just moved a thousand miles from home and don't know anyone? Thankfully God provided this for me in the form of a women's group, though at the time I was disappointed to be surrounded by older women instead of ladies my age - perhaps He knew I needed some extra help! But just because you haven't had any Titus 2 women miraculously appear doesn't mean you don't need them. I encourage you to be intentional in developing some!
Look around your church. Is there a woman that you really admire? (Remember, "older woman" isn't limited to the 60+ crowd! For example, a mother with kids in high school could be a great Titus 2 to a younger mother who's just starting a family.) Talk to this woman - she'll probably be flattered! There's probably a group of older women that get together every week - is there any way you can join their group? I promise you they will love the energy and outlook you bring to the table, and they'll be delighted you want to spend time with them. Is there a 50 year old woman that sits in the pew behind you and is charmed by your baby even on their bad days? She's probably dying to spend time with you!
If you look all over your church and still can't seem to find one, don't be afraid to branch out. Look around your neighborhood. Look around your community, especially where you see older women volunteering. Heck, join a quilting group - you're bound to find plenty there!
The point of this post is to suggest we try to cultivate these types of relationships, and to serve as a springboard of ideas for how women can come together. So do you have any suggestions? Do you have any Titus 2 women in your life? Are you a Titus 2 woman yourself? Do you have any desire for this and think it's important, or is this need filled in other ways for you? How would/have you tried to find/become a Titus 2 woman?