Summary: Have you ever noticed that we are always looking for a future time in our lives when things are supposed to get easier? The same is true with mothers. Any of us who have gone through all the cycles of raising children know that it never gets any easier. T
I don’t know what it is about people, but we’re always looking for the time in our lives when things are going to get easier. The same is true with mothers. First, you think, if I ever get through with this pregnancy, it’ll be a lot easier. Then come night feedings and colic and croup. Then you think, “Well, when the baby can walk and gets potty trained, things will be easier.” Yeah, right. It’ll be easier when they can start fending for themselves a little bit and learn to do some things on their own. Maybe it’ll be easier when they get their license and can haul themselves around. Maybe when they go off to college things will be easier. What about when they are married with kids of their own. Surely then it will be easier. Any of us who have gone through those cycles know that it never gets any easier. The fact is that a mother’s work is never really done.
The passage that we just read is taken from a letter that Paul wrote to a young church planter in Crete by the name of Titus. The letter is full of instructions about how he should go about planting churches throughout that island. Paul doesn’t go into a whole lot of specific detail about church life and Christian living like he does in his other letters. What he does is focus on two things. First, he focuses Titus on the importance of right doctrine. In other words, he makes sure that Titus doesn’t get sidetracked as to the centrality and sufficiency of Scripture in the church. That’s the foundation. But how does the truth of Scripture get taught? That’s the second main focus of this letter. Paul talks about the importance of Titus selecting the right kind of pastors and elders and how they are to stand firm on the Word of God. That makes sense. Even today, when we plant churches, we tend to concentrate on the pastor and church leadership. But what we don’t tend to focus on is the next point of emphasis in this letter. Paul moves straight from talking about pastors and elders to talking about women in the church. And in the passage that we just read, he tells Titus that women have a very important role in the church. As a matter of fact, you can look at it like this: the most important thing that Paul told Titus to focus on in the church is the faithful teaching of Scripture. And then he told him that three groups of people are responsible for doing that faithful teaching. Pastors, elders, and the older women. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. You’ve heard the old saying that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, right? Although as men, we are called to be the spiritual head of our household, we know that nothing will ever surpass a mother’s teaching to her children. From the time she first sings to her children in the womb, a mother is teaching them. But then the children grow up. They get to the age when they won’t listen to anyone. Does the teaching stop then? What about when they move out and get married and have kids of their own. Does the teaching stop then? No, the fact is that a mother’s work is never done. The approach is certainly different. The relationship is certainly different. But the teaching is the same. How is the teaching done? In your behavior. The word translated “as becometh holiness” is an interesting one. It’s a compound word. He combined the word for “temple” and the word for “appropriate”. In other words, Paul was saying that a woman’s behavior was to be the kind of behavior expected of priests in the temple. Clean, upright, godly, pure. And out of that behavior, they would teach younger women. Now, I’m smart enough not to ask for a show of hands who would consider themselves to be the older women here. But the fact is, that every adult woman here is more mature than somebody. And every woman in here has another more mature lady that you can look to as an example. Ladies, can you teach younger women what the Bible says about having self-control? Can you teach the younger women about being faithful to their husbands and building them up and encouraging them? Can you teach them what the Bible says about how to deal with their children? Can you teach them? Now, notice that I didn’t say that you have to teach them by the perfect example you’ve set. You teach them by what the Bible says. Tthat can include your successes with the biblical standard. And it can include your failures with living out the biblical standard. You see, even when your children are grown and gone, as a mother, your work is never done. Your experience and wisdom is to be used to teach others. I can think of few positions in life that have worse consequences if they aren’t done. When you hear stories of what happens to children who are abandoned by their mothers, it affects them for a lifetime. It can even have an effect for generations. The same thing happens if mothers abandon their teaching role in the church. The words that Paul uses in verse 5 are shocking. He says that older women are to teach the younger women. Because if they don’t, the word of God will be blasphemed. The consequences are very serious. As a matter of fact, the consequences are eternally serious. But the problem is not always with the ones who are supposed to be doing the teaching, is it? Many times older ladies are setting the example. Many times they are willing to teach and mentor. But a teacher has to have a willing student. Ladies, do you seek out someone who is older and wiser than you? Do you humble yourself under the teaching of another godly woman? Paul tells you what kind of older lady to look for. If she doesn’t have self-control, you don’t need to take her advice. If she can’t control her tongue, you don’t need to take her instruction. If she wants to talk it over with you at the bar, you don’t need to take her up on it. Moms, seek out the right woman. Seek out a woman who is in behavior as becometh holiness. Seek her out and grow in Christ with her. And you know what? We’re all going to do that this morning. This morning, I’m going to place before us an “aged woman who is in behavior as becometh holiness.” The rest of this sermon is going to be an illustration of that kind of woman. An example of the kind of mother whose work was never done. And it still isn’t today. Because as we look at her example this morning, she will still be doing what Paul commanded to Titus. She will still be teaching women younger than she is “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” I am safe in saying that she will be teaching younger women here today, because she was born in the year 331.