“It’s hard….when you get older, and you just feel…..unneeded,” my mother said recently. “Mother (my grandmother) used to talk about it and I didn’t understand then. But, I do now.”
“Wait, what?! You are anything but unneeded!” I said.
For years, I had heard of the “Titus 2” woman. Paul wrote the epistle of Titus and in chapter two, he is encouraging Titus to teach the duties of both older and younger people.
Titus 2:3-5 (NASB) reads, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
I started trying to find these Titus 2 women around me. There are wonderful, Christian women who devote their entire lives to raising families, working full-time or part-time jobs, and serving in their churches. So, why did it seem like there were so few who took an active interest in the “younger women”?
I think I stumbled upon the answer in what my mother was feeling…a sense of having completed that season of life, and no longer being needed.
Ladies, let me dispel this myth that Satan has fed you.
YOU ARE NEEDED!!
True, our generations look very different and we will face issues that you never had to face. But, can I let you in on a little secret?
We NEED you now more than ever to share with us the hope that is found in Christ as a Christian woman.
Have you been married 10, 20, 30+ years? WE NEED YOU. We need you to come alongside us and encourage us that through Christ, we can respect our husbands as God commanded us, even when our emotions tell us he doesn’t deserve it. Our issues may be different than those you faced early on in your marriages, but we are still two sinners, saved by grace, trying to honor God in our homes.
Have you raised your children? WE NEED YOU. We need you to remind us, but not necessarily that “this, too, shall pass.” We need you to remind us that one day all these tears, prayers, and sleepless nights will come together into a beautiful, grown person that right now we can only imagine. We need you to remember how incredibly hard it was at times to even get everyone in the car to go somewhere. We need you to remember how hopeless you began to feel when one by one, you saw each member of your family succumb to the flu, or a stomach virus. We need you to remember how exhausting it was to try to do all the things to keep the home running smoothly. But most importantly, we need you to remind us that apart from God, we can do nothing. It is only with His help that we will survive the storms of life.
Maybe now you are wondering if any younger woman would listen to you. And, I will tell you another secret. My generation, the “post-feminist movement” women, are a stubborn lot. From our first days of school, we were taught to “look out for number one” (meaning ourselves). We were taught, “If it’s going to be done right, I have to do it.” We were taught to be fiercely independent. But, this is a worldly view, and flies in the face of God’s better plan. He has tasked older women with the duty of teaching younger women.
So, how can you do this?
Befriend her. Start smiling and saying, “Hi.” Ask about her children. Ask about her job. Generally, just take an interest in her life.
And, as time goes by, and you have formed a relationship, she will probably seek advice from you, or come to you with questions. Maybe you can share with her some things you wish you had done differently in your marriage or parenting. You don’t have to give details. It can be simple, like, “I wish I hadn’t yelled so much,” or “I wish I had played with them more.”
May I encourage you? Please don’t let Satan win one more battle of having you feel unneeded. He wants very much to silence your testimony of all God has done in your life. But, we very much need your wisdom and encouragement as we try to seek God in our marriages and our time of raising children. Your experiences and insights are invaluable, and God means for you to share them with the next generation.