Here's another change that occurred to me about a week after the deadline for my article on Titus 2. I realised I'd missed an important topic in my curriculum for older women to teach young women: godly character. (By the way, if I was numbering these posts correctly, today's topic should have come in at number 3!)
4. Godly character.
What qualifications do you need to be a teacher of younger women? You need to be soaked in the gospel; you need to have a good grasp of the Bible and sound doctrine and be able to teach it; and you need godly character. As always, the main qualification for a teacher isn't the ability to sway a crowd: it's proven character, shown in our reputation and relationships (Tit 1:5-9, 1 Tim 3:1-13).
It's no surprise, then, that before Paul talks about the content of what older women are to teach younger women, he addresses the character of older women: they are to be "reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine" (Tit 2:3). You can't teach something you're not living! The older woman's life must adorn her message.
And what is the older woman's message? It centres on godliness: she encourages younger women to grow in qualities like love, self-control, purity and goodness (Tit 2:4-5). In fact, all of Titus 2 is about how various groups adorn the gospel with "self-controlled, upright and godly lives" (Tit 2:12). Women are no different: we respond to God's grace and bring honour to the gospel through our godly character, taught by and passed down from older to younger woman.
What aspects of your character do you need to work on to be a better example to younger women? In what ways are you adorning, or failing to adorn, the gospel? Do you take time to teach and encourage younger women in godly character? How might you do this?
You can read the rest of my article at The Briefing.
image is by henna lion at flickr