Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teach the Young Woman to be Sober

In case you missed one of the previous posts or if you would just like a review since it's has been a while, here are the links to the first four posts on Titus 2.

~Titus 2 Introduction

~The Aged Women Likewise

~As Becomes Holiness

~Teachers of Good Things

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

“That they may teach the young women to be sober”

The good things that are listed in verses 4 and 5 are what the older women are supposed to teach the younger. These are things that honor Christ, that show a good witness and that set us apart as something out of the ordinary.

The word “teach” here is full of meaning. Literally to translate it fully, it means, “to discipline, to train to think and act soberly, discreetly, and in moderation, to correct to cause to be of sound mind, to recall to one’s senses.” First of all, before we tackle all that there is to learn from just this one word, I’d like to point out two things. First, that these are things that you can’t just tell someone and not be living yourself. In order to teach someone to be disciplined, you have to have discipline in your own life. It has to be something that you do day in and day out or you will not have to tools necessary to teach it. You can’t teach what you do not know yourself. As any mother can tell you, you can’t teach your children if you don’t know what it is you are supposed to be teaching. Now you may still be learning some aspects of it or you may be only one or two steps ahead but you have to have learned something before you can teach anything. Second, this is not the kind of list that can be taught in a day or a week or even a year. This is a process that continues on over the course of many years. This is not an evening class or semester class kind of learning. This is discipleship. It takes commitment to this young lady or ladies that you are teaching. It is not something that you flippantly throw out there once in a while and you’ve done your duty. This is real work. It takes time and it takes a lot of it. Now the best way to teach this is to your daughters as they are growing up. Our children are with us all day every day (assuming you do not send them out to be educated by someone else). This is the kind of learning we are talking about here. The nitty gritty stuff, good days and bad days and everything in between. This is discipleship, not just tidbits of wisdom passed on occasionally.

As young women, we need to working towards thinking and acting soberly, discreetly and in moderation. How many of us struggle with anger towards our husbands and children daily? How many of us call our friends to complain about what we’ve had to deal with just today? I’m not talking about calling a wise older woman to ask for advice on how to deal with your children’s latest personality addition, I’m talking about nothing short of gossip, things that don’t need to be shared and yet we share them anyway, because it makes us feel better, especially when our friend tells us that they are dealing with the same thing. “Ah, I am not alone!” My dear readers, this is not thinking and acting discreetly! By all means, ask for advice, seek Godly wisdom but avoid telling things about your husband and your children just to get sympathy or even a hug. If you need comfort, just say, “It’s been a tough day, would you pray that God will give me patience?” There is no need to give details. A true friend will pray for you without all the juicy tidbits.

Also as young women, we need to be open to correction. No one likes to be told they are doing something wrong. But all of us need it from time to time. God is gracious to us and gives us elders to point out areas where we need a little refining. Now, a word of caution. There are plenty of people out there who are not correcting you because you are doing something outside of scripture. Some don’t like your methods (which may or may not need to change), and some don’t like your convictions (which may or may not be based on scripture). If an older woman approaches you and disagrees with something you are doing, be polite. They may be dead wrong but you owe them respect as an older woman. Remember that the bottom line of what you do in your family is between you, your husband and God. If you are following scripture and your husband’s wishes, kindly disregard all comments and suggestions to the contrary. But make sure you are listening to the Lord and your husband. Be very sure that what you are doing is right before you walk away from what an older woman is telling you. If you are in doubt, talk to your husband and seek his wisdom. Many times older women see things from a perspective that you can’t, having been there and done that. And while as first you may not like what they are telling you, if you will take the time to reflect on what they are trying to tell you, you will see that there is wisdom in that. And if your first reaction is not one of immediate dismissal, you won’t have to eat crow later. :D

So as we go out into our day, let us remember that we must strive to be disciplined in our thoughts and actions, to think soberly and to be of a sound mind. May God give us the grace to do so and the wisdom to see the areas where we need to change.

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