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Last week we focused on the mandate for men and established that mature men must mentor moldable men; and moldable men must mimic mature men. Gentlemen of God, have you hooked up with another guy yet? Have you found your Paul, your Barnabas, and your Titus? This morning we’re going to study three verses from Titus 2 to discover the ministry job description for women. Having put up with four sinister sisters and now raising four delightful daughters, I’m not sure whether it’s easier being a guy or a girl, though the women in our house sure take good care of me.
We’re in the section of Titus that deals with the importance of making an impact in our relationships. Specifically, we see that men, women and citizens have unique opportunities and real responsibilities. Titus 2:3 links today’s topic with what we learned last week. Notice that Paul instructs Titus with the word, “Likewise…” He challenged men to step it up spiritually through redemptive relationships, so too, women must be moved to mentor other women. Just as Paul began with older men before focusing on the younger guys, here he starts with the older women.
At the age of 26, Pat Moore conducted a very interesting experiment. As an industrial designer, she wanted a better understanding of senior adults, so for three years she frequently disguised herself as an 85-year-old woman. She aged her face with professional makeup, donned a grey wig, and wore glasses that blurred her vision. She even wore braces that twisted her body and reduced her normal gait to a slow, weary shuffle. She visited 116 cities in her elderly persona, walking, riding buses, flagging cabs, and visiting parks.
Do you know what she discovered? She was impressed with the compassion and care she received from other seniors, but she was often treated harshly by those who were younger. In one city, she was mugged by a group of 13-year-olds and beaten so badly that she suffered permanent back damage and was left unable to bear children. I just finished reading her book called, “Disguised” and was shocked by her treatment and saddened by my own neglect of those who are older. She experienced first-hand what she terms, “social dismissal” of the elderly. Friends, this is not how it’s supposed to be. Interestingly, one of the things she learned while in character was that there was only one variable which was a reliable predictor of how the aging are treated. Do you know what it is? This is what she wrote, “Deeply religious people tend to be more caring and aware of the needs of older people” (Pat Moore, “Disguised,” 1984, page 64).
Older women have a wealth of wisdom to share with those who are younger. To those of you who are older saints, I apologize for how my generation has treated you. We don’t want to practice social dismissal; instead we applaud you for your spiritual discipleship! In fact, right
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