Summary: This morning we’re going to study three verses from Titus 2 to discover the ministry job description for women.
Three women were walking along the beach: a blonde, a redhead and a brunette. They found a genie’s lamp so they rubbed it and the genie came out. Since there were three of them the genie said that each of them would be granted one wish. The brunette said she wouldn’t mind being smarter, and poof, she became a redhead. The redhead wanted to be wise. Poof, she became a brunette. The blonde said, “I don’t mind not being too smart and I like having people wait on me and do things for me.” Poof, she became a man.
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 now, I want all of us who are younger than 60 to put into practice the teaching of Leviticus 19:32: “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.” Let’s stand and show our respect by giving them a hand.
While our culture communicates that older women are washed up and have nothing to offer, Scripture teaches that God has a wonderful design for senior saints. In Titus 2, Paul challenges Titus to teach them…
A Pattern to Follow (3)
A Plan to Implement (4a)
Principles to Convey (4b-5a)
A Perspective to Keep (5b)
1. A Pattern to Follow. In verse 3, older women are given a pattern to put into practice: “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.” According to how this idea is used in 1 Timothy 5:9, an older woman is someone who is older than 60. And yet, as we learned last week, the term “older” is relative, meaning simply someone who is “older” than someone else. Titus is to teach them to live out four things in their lives.