The Fight for Godly Womanhood

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” {Titus 2:3-5}

I wish I could tell you how it feels to have an older woman disciple and invest in my life right now, but I don’t. Looking at scripture though, we have this obvious calling on our lives not only as followers of Christ, but also as women of Christ to love and disciple one another. One of my greatest desires right now is to be discipled and I feel like many of us (both men and women) are missing out on this biblical relationship, I would even go to say that most Christian women have never at any point been discipled by an older Christian woman. We don’t disciple because we’ve never been discipled and we’re continually setting up a generational cycle of this. But strictly looking at the scripture we see in Titus, we have to break the cycle.

Young adults are leaving the church at a rate of 70% after high school graduation. Every adult who is a part of a young person’s life in the church, is one more reason for them to stay in the church. If we invested in the younger generations, I think we might see a change in that terrifying percentage, we might not be asking the question “why are church doors closing?” Or take a look at the divorce rate among Christians. Near 20% of Christian marriages end in divorce. Maybe if we taught our young women to love and submit to their husbands, to be devoted to their homes, we would see a decrease in that percentage. We look at these statistics, and we wonder what is wrong with parents, or the church, or the generation but where have we been? Who have we been discipling? Who have we been pouring into?

I’ve had friends invest in me spiritually and I’ve gotten to build relationships with many women in my age bracket, that are beautiful examples of holy, Godly women. I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve been discipled by those women. But the church isn’t supposed to be single generational, and we’ve sort of created it to be. I’ve never had a different-generational woman show interest in discipling me, and I long for that. I long to be taught and discipled by a woman who takes this passage to heart, and who will take my heart, to heart.

We’ve rearranged the order of this passage in Titus, our culture has rephrased it like this: younger women, are to learn to be self-controlled, to be pure, modest, to learn to submit and love their husbands on their own. Younger women are to be kind, learn to study the scriptures, learn to teach, on their own.

We have a serious growth problem. Nobody is growing, nobody is stepping up, and if we don’t end the cycle, we’re in for generations of lukewarm faith, or no faith at all. This call is one of seriousness, and we have to start taking it seriously.

And I don’t say any of this to call you out if you are an older woman and are not currently discipling a woman 10-20 years younger than you. I also don’t mean to sadden you if you are a younger woman who isn’t being discipled by an older woman and are feeling that you have to learn on your own how to walk in a godly manner. Because I, too understand, but my desire is to challenge you in this, as I, too have been challenged. Seek out a mentor, maybe it’s time that we take this as our responsibility, both to ourselves and to the generations of women that need strong, godly women to come alongside them. Because I don’t want to diminish the Word. I can’t ignore the calls that the Lord has placed on us as both older and younger women. The Bible clearly tells us to learn from those older than us, and to invest in those who are younger. We can’t allow ourselves to ignore that.

Here’s the deal. As women, regardless of age, we are called to these qualities that we see in Titus 2 and in many other places in scripture (1 Timothy 2:9-12, Proverbs 31:10-31, 1 Timothy 3:11, 1 Peter 3:1-7). We are called to modesty, to honor and purity, to submission, to self-control, to kindness, to do and teach what is good, to fear the Lord, to love, to work at home, and to not be slanderous women. Now, regardless of whether we have an older-than-me-woman in our lives, speaking these truths into us, we are still called to abide by them. So I will not let my disappointment allow me to sit here and write this in pity, but I will strive to follow these qualities that the Lord has set for me as a woman and to be the best disciple that I can be.

Modesty – in dress, in speech, in lifestyle. 

Purity – more than just sexually. Women are to be pure in thought, in speech, and interactions with both men and worldly things or abstaining from certain things in order to live a pure lifestyle (see Mary in Luke 1). 

Submissive to their own husbands – This begins with submission to the leadership in her household and church until she is married. Submission is not a position of obedience to man but rather obedience and acceptance of relationship that Christ has put in place. This should follow with desire to fulfill the duties of this relationship and union (see 1 Peter 3:1).

Self-control – This goes along with purity. Our thoughts are to be self-controlled, as well as our actions and the way that we use our physical bodies. 

Kindness – kindness is a self explanatory quality, the nature of a woman is to be kind and gentle. God has designed women to be the helper, and I think this can apply to any relationship. Be kind, be helpful, be full of joy (see Gen. 2:18).

Teach what is good – Teach things that are good, so that younger women, will learn what is good and right. Women are often placed in positions to teach young children, this has a call to teach what is good, right, and holy, so that children can know what is good and holy. 

Fear the Lord – be a woman confident in scripture, a woman who is faithful to the Lord first and foremost. Her allegiance is not to man, but to God.

Working at homethis does not mean a woman cannot work, however, her main priority should be to her home. A woman should do her best and most important work at home (taking care of her household, nurturing her children, and serving her husband).

Not slanderers – satan himself is the father of lies, deceit, false accusations, gossip, maliciousness, and hate. A woman who follows after this serves the enemy, not the Lord.

To love their husbands and children – This is a desirable quality in a woman, and women should strive to do what they were designed for, which goes along with kindness. As a woman, love and kindness should be her spirit. 

To bring all of this together, I urge you, women of faith, seek out a mentor, seek out a younger woman to mentor. It is our call, it is our duty. I urge you to study this passage, acquaint yourself with the scriptures, pray for the church, for the women in the church, and take your relationship with the Lord seriously. Know what you believe, and act accordingly. I encourage you, be better women, love better, be better to the church, be a better disciple, be better to your homes, seek kindness, and keep seeking after Christ as you seek after these things.

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