I watched my Emma carry Elijah outside today. She was “wearing” him, running sometimes, grinning big, simply delighting in him. She could teach me and other Moms a few things about being in the moment.
My thoughts flashed forward as I imagined her with her own children one day. The tears came as I thought of the loveliness of it all. And the tears came because I know she’ll meet resistance. I might not always be there to whisper, “Well done, my daughter. Make a home for your family. Love your husband. Delight in these children. Welcome His gifts and train them up for His glory.”
The tears came because I think when she’s older a Titus 2 woman might be hard to find. She’ll look around her, even in church, perhaps especially in church, and she’ll see women who have pursued their own glory, who will tell her that for all these years, Scripture has been misunderstood, that women being home-centered, marrying and bearing children, was only a “cultural” thing that we’re no longer called to because of our “freedom” in Christ Jesus.
She’ll look around and find mothers who never found it God-honoring enough to wipe noses and prepare meals and disciple little hearts or wear out the carpet with their knees bowed before the Lord. She’ll find the women who little valued having their children rise up and call them blessed, who instead longed to have the praise of the world, the validation and cheering on of other women, who couldn’t wait to do something else to give their lives more “meaning.”
She’ll find women whose divided hearts have come full-circle as they embrace and dish out feminism, the Christian re-mix version, of course, sanitized, not so overtly offensive, but still reeking of self and echoing that famous question, “Did God really say?”
What happens when mothers who have already raised their children think homemaking and babies and newlyweds have nothing to do with them? When they pursue so many interests that they’re never available, or they wrap themselves up so much in the study of their Bibles that their practical theology is anything but practical to the wife and mother who wants to know how to function on four hours of sleep or make a meal for 8 or heal a diaper rash or soothe a colicky baby?
There’s a void. An emptiness. And all women suffer because of it.
I’m in the middle–old enough to be a Titus 2 woman to some, and yet, still needing the encouragement of older Titus 2 women. Instead of finding Titus 2 exhortations, I’m watching older women distance themselves so much from home-centered living that they recoil at the thought of teaching the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be discreet and chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.
I’m watching women dismiss our home-centered calling as they insist on blurring the distinctive roles God has given men and women, sometimes in the name of being “Gospel-focused,” as though biblical womanhood is void of the Gospel dwelling in us richly.
As we age, our eyesight dims. But perhaps we need to be more concerned about losing sight of our Titus 2 responsibilities and being blinded by post-modern lies that leave us disqualified to teach the younger women.
Yes. A good Titus 2 woman might be hard to find, so what are we to do?
1) We can study what the Word says about biblical womanhood, with our daughters. Expose them to and discuss the distortions of womanhood (including the ones that declare a girl shouldn’t be educated, etc.), that they would not be taken captive by man’s wisdom or lean on their own understanding.
2) We can pray for God’s abundant provision of Titus 2 women in our daughters’ lives, women who have a love for home and who desire to share their love of sound doctrine, favorite parenting tips, and recipes or crafting skills.
3) We can give them mobile teachers, books written by sound Titus 2 authors who will encourage them when the pressure and negativity from without weighs heavy on them.
4) We can confidently teach them to be home-centered, not wavering or doubting or changing position with every new book or blog post we read. We can ground them in the Word of God and teach them well while they are with us how to manage a home, feast regularly on the Word, use their gifts to the glory of God for their families and church and community, learn new skills, love and serve others.
5) We can remind them that biblical womanhood goes against the grain, that many women, Christian women, chafe and writhe under it. They will meet resistance, and they will often feel very alone.
6) We must model contentment and joy in our own callings as wives and mothers, examining our hearts for remnants of feminist-shaped ideology that have contaminated our theology and influenced the vision of womanhood we’re passing to our daughters.
7) We must remember this duty to be Titus 2 women, and be available to the younger women around us, offering them encouragement and wisdom from our years as a wife and mother. We can guard against the belief that it’s holier to spend hours a day in the Word than it is to teach a younger woman how to plan meals for her family or refrain from being a busybody. (We would never think it wise of a man to neglect his work to study the Word so that he leaves his family without an income, and yet we often pressure women to do deep theological studies while their children remain unfed, the clothes aren’t done, and thoughtful food prep isn’t taking place. I’m not speaking of basic feasting and meditating on the Word, which is what most younger Moms only have time for.)
“It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one’s own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with the way of the cross–with its tremendous demands of patience, selflessness, lovingkindness–and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.
These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper, or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman–single or married, Christian or not–may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood, so perfectly exemplified in the response of a humble village girl of long ago when she said: ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word’ (Luke 1:38).”