God gives believers mandates for serving His church. There is the Great Call to follow Him (John 10:3-5; 21:15-19); the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20); the Great Commandment to love one another (John 15:12) to name some.
But the one that floats my boat is the one specifically aimed at women in Titus 2:3-5:
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 is one of three books in the New Testament known as pastoral letters (Timothy 1 & 2 and Titus) They include instructions to church leaders: their goal being that all members will know how people are to conduct themselves in God’s household. Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete to shepherd the new local churches. Here, Paul writes to Titus to “straighten out” things that had been left undone when Paul left. Titus was to appoint elders (1:6-9) and they were to encourage others by sound doctrine and defend it as required( 1:10-16).
Then Paul addresses Titus specifically with regard to his primary role of shepherd/pastor: He is to teach sound doctrine to the local church in Crete. (Titus 2:1) Specifically Titus is to focus on two groups. First, the ‘Older men’ (Titus 2:2) who are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound in faith, love and endurance. The second group is the ‘Older women’ (2:3), who are to be taught in an equally intentional way by Titus. They are to be taught to be: reverent in the way they live, not to be gossips and not to be addicted to too much wine. Then after giving Titus instructions about the teaching of women, Paul goes on to give specific instructions for teaching young men (2:6-8) and slaves (2:9-10).
Paul does not give instructions for younger women, instead his instructions are that Titus is to teach the older women, and they in their turn, are to train the younger women.
Interesting that, older women are to train and not just teach, they are to take what is taught in public meetings, apply it to their lives and lifestyles and then train the younger women to live lives that glorify God, training them as God instructed. They are to teach what is good, training them in how to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to submit. The older women are to do this because…
The reason: when the younger women live in this way, then people will not “malign the Word of God.”
Here is a mandate to “older women”, to minister to spiritual younger women, the reason, so that no-one will “malign the Word of God”.
This process of mentoring can be seen between women all around us, for years older women in families have taught younger women how to keep a household, passed on good recipes, assisted with childbirth, given advice on raising children and nourishing a marriage. But there are also intentional processes where one woman has purposefully drawn alongside another and walked with her through a journey. Perhaps she lost a child, got divorced, had cancer etc.
It includes such concepts as: making disciples; teaching; coaching; sponsoring; modelling; guiding; etc but is very different to a “program of mentoring” as often described in business circles.
A mentor is someone who is :
committed to help another grow
seeking out a purposeful intentional relationship, so that a person can grow into her maximum potential for the Lord Jesus Christ over a period of time.
It is not a program to be followed and abandoned, but a lifestyle choice based on biblical conviction. A program may teach or meet the needs of women for a period of time. However, approaching mentoring as a lifestyle, as a mandate for your life, allows one to constantly look for opportunities to influence another person’s life for good, for eternity.
So much more impact-full wouldn’t you say?
All of us have walked a journey with a woman before OR had the experience of a woman coming into our lives at a moment we needed her input the most. Only women and understand women the best. What would our lives and our ministries look like, if we were more intentional about it?
For more on mentoring read: