Sunday, December 21, 2008
Cover to Cover:models of goodness
I do not consider myself an "older" woman. I'm fairly certain that title belongs to someone else. Recently though, I've realized that I am not as young as I used to be. (Believe it or not, I used to be the "baby" at work. I am still not the oldest, however. For now.) My babies are not babies any more. My oldest will begin wedding plans in earnest this upcoming year and start her senior year in college. My youngest ordered his senior ring a month or so ago and will finish up next year planning which college he wants to attend and what he wants to do with his future. Nope, no more babies. And unless God Himself leaves a little bundle of joy on my doorstep, there will be no more babies in this house (other than puppies) until grandchildren make their blessed appearance. In addition to not having any babies, I am no longer a newlywed. Josh and I have been married for almost 22 years now. While I will never know everything about being a good wife (much less put it into practice), I should be able to speak to a thing or two about marriage.
All this said, I read Titus 2 with my normal, "oh, he's talking about someone else. I wonder where the older women are?" Then, all I can say is that God caught my attention and had me reread those verses. You know the ones.
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 train 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. Titus 2:3-5
This prickly, uncomfortable feeling began to creep over me. The one that tapped me on the shoulder and said, "you are this woman." (kind of like, "you might be a redneck if..." only it was "you might be this woman if...")
My first reaction was, "I do not want to be this woman." I think it was the "older" thing that really threw me. Because I am still sixteen in my head. (a much smarter 16 than I really was.) But you know what? I don't remember seeing or having older women in my childhood church who were willing to be mentors. Who were willing to teach us what it meant to be godly young women. I'm sure our church had them. I just needed them to be visible. I don't know if they might have helped me to avoid some of the mistakes I made, but I would like to have found out.
So, while I don't like the idea of being an older woman, scripture instructs me that I am live life as a model of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. (message)
Which means I'd better get started.
Other verses that caught my heart this week were:
...many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ Philippians 3:18-20
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
...we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10
...set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:6-8
...be prepared in season and out of season; 2 Timothy 4:2
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14
May you find peace this week as we celebrate His birth. I pray that you remember the blessed Gift that God has given to each of us...an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:4)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11