Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Teach the Older Women

Titus 2:3-5
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Like many of us, I have read these verses before. Today when I read them something different popped out at me.

Paul was writing to Titus about how Christians should act older men, younger men, older women and younger women. I have used these verses before to write about how older women should teach the younger women, and that is true. What I never noticed was the verse before that one.

“Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but teach what is good…”

What. . . I’m supposed to be taught to be reverent in the way I live? It made me stop and think about a couple of things. What is reverent really mean and who should be teaching me?

Webster’s Dictionary says:
Reverent – an adjective – showing a lot of respect; being very respectful

The first thing that came to mind is the Elders at my congregation. Yes, I can say I am very respectful of them. I respect our preacher and our elderly brothers and sisters. Then why do I think I might be falling short on this trait that I should have as an older woman.

My personality is to kid around a lot. I enjoy laughing and making others laugh. I know there have been times that I’ve been joking around with someone and said something that just may not be as respectful as it should be. At least after it was said I felt awkward about it. Sometimes these things can be a form of disrespect. I might not have meant it that way, but it could have sounded like disrespect, especially if someone was just walking by and only heard part of the conversation.

Conclusion – I need to work on this. Maybe not be so quick witted to try and entertain someone with a smart remark that could be construed as disrespectful. Also, be respectful of all persons, not just those that I think deserve it.

Now who is supposed to be teaching me this? Well since Paul was writing the letter to Titus about the Christians he was working with, then I suppose it could be anyone of my Christian friends. I am assuming this could be some of the women that are older than me. But I would hope that even if a younger woman thought I was not being reverent they would come and talk to me about it.

“not to be slanders…”

Not talking badly about others or situations. I think this applies to talking negatively also. Not just gossip or bad mouthing someone, but to just be negative in my attitude. That can be a difficult subject sometimes. Life gets hard and we all get down or depressed, but I think this is talking about the bigger picture. I’m sure we all have met those people that you just want to cross the street when you see them coming in your direction. They don’t have anything good to say about anything and they are normally hard to get away from. I do pray that I never become one of those people. I call them a “Negative Nelly” or “Debbie Downer”. These people never like change and always feel like someone is out to get them by something that has been done. 

I believe this may have been linked in with the “older women” here because it is easy for the elderly to become negative. The older you become, the smaller your circle of friends becomes also, if you let it. During your child rearing days you are so busy running around with the kids and meeting new people that after your family has grown and left the empty nest hits. For awhile this can be wonderful, but the older you get you don’t have as many opportunities to make new friends. With age comes the reality that more people you know are passing on in life.

“addicted to much wine…”  I think we all understand this part.

“but to teach what is good” So I am to be teaching. It doesn’t say to teach school or teach Bible class, it just says teach. Does that mean we shouldn’t be teaching Bible classes to the young? Absolutely not! Is being older and teaching young kids hard work, YES. But how are these young souls going to learn about God and His salvation without us “older women” teaching them? I believe we must teach (it’s right there in the Bible ladies), teach something. Some can cook well, some can sew well, and some can decorate well. We all have talents that we can teach to someone else. Use the talent God gave you and teach someone something.

May God Bless.