Searched All Over…


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Lately, I’ve heard many young Christian women, unmarried, wives, and mothers alike, asking a simple but profound question: “WHERE ARE THE TITUS 2 WOMEN IN MY REAL LIFE?” Titus 2:3-5 should more like in-person, real-life training. That’s not to say that the Christian women authors and teachers aren’t fulfilling a significant and important role in the body of Christ. But it’s not the same as Titus 2 style mentoring. Young women don’t always know how to *find* a mentor, and older women often don’t know how to *be* a mentor. Some women seem really good at this, and others go about it somewhat subtly, but I think there are definitely Christian women that are falling through the cracks, on both ends of the spectrum. I have wondered in my mind for a while what I could do to change the situation.

As “younger women” like Titus 2 talks about, how do we go about finding a mentor– an “older woman”?

Here are some places I’ve found them:

  • In my local church
  • From neighbors & friends in community
  • Through books & biblical teachings
  • Over the internet
But I think one thing that can trip us up is if we are only open to learning one particular thing at a particular time.  When I think back about the women I’ve learned from, most of the mentors of my life have not come *at the time that I felt like I needed* to learn that particular thing. Instead, I have looked for women who do anything well… some are lifelong learners and have some interesting topics/subjects to teach me about (for example, one friend is really into psycho-analysis  and so I often volunteer for her projects in class so I can on a superficial level learn what shes learning. And by her conversation and sometimes venting, she explains to me how to apply those things in real life), so I learn things like that from certain friends.  Three different families that I spend time with now and when I was single raised their children thoughtfully & intentionally, and so I learned that from them even though I wasn’t remotely near having children.
Some women I’m watching now have challenging/difficult marriages but persevere through them and I try to learn that even though I’m quite content & delighted in our marriage.   Another woman I’ve learned from lately is really faithful at Bible study and teaching and so I’ve been intentionally spending time to learn that from her.  A different woman I haven’t met personally yet has an immaculate kitchen (despite having 3 busy children) and is also an excellent cook.   I’m learning a lot via text messaging and social media and conversation about food prep & keeping a kitchen tidier than I’d previously thought possible (not that I do that super-well now, but I do it better than I would’ve if I was only paying attention to try to learn one particular topic to learn from her and missed the things she did well).
 
If I purposed to only learn the one or two things I felt like I needed at a particular time in life, I might have missed learning from any of these women.  Instead, I try to focus on what other women do *WELL* and try to learn that, regardless of whether I think that’s the particular thing I “need” at that moment in life.  Look at what things a woman does “excellently” and seek to learn from her.  If we do that, I think regardless of our context (even difficult ones: overseas, with few friends/connections; in a small country church with few friends; in transition with no long-time friends, etc.), we can find a plethora of mentors even if it’s not necessarily in the area where we ourselves are struggling at a particular point.

Consider this the “launching” of a conversation about this issue- I want to hear your thoughts and comments as we talk through this issue of mentoring/teaching/discipling. I’d love for you to leave any questions or concerns about Titus 2-style mentoring, and I’ll do my best to either find resources that speak to your particular concern or question or I’ll touch on it personally in this series. Tell me what has lacked or where you struggle in terms of this kind of woman-teaching-woman discipleship. I can’t wait to hear from you and learn more together about this important role for Christian women!

we-all-need-each-other

 

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4 thoughts on “Searched All Over…

  1. Love this! I can totally relate as I have shied away from learning about marriage and raising children because I am not yet ready for those seasons! Your advice is gold: you never know what you really need for the next season, so take advantage of the excellence around you and soak it in!

    For Titus 2 mentorship, I have found that I don’t always have women I can vent to about my issues who can change my perspectvie from emotional/fleshly to Spirit-led. But I can say that I have not taken full advantage of getting to know the Godly women around me so that is a task for me to pursue.

    Thanks for posting, Queen!

    • Janica,

      I’m excited that you are on this joirney with me. I’m learning that a lot of us don’t get these lessons are desire them because sometimes we don’t recognize their importance or our desperate need for them. Hopefully this series of blogs will help us all seek to cultivate the Titus 2 mandate for our lives. Because whether we recognize and agree to it or not, we all need each other.

  2. Wow…I am passionate about this and I think you are right on. I think the key is the word that you used ‘intentional’. We don’t grow by accident; growth and improvement is intentional and we really have to seek after it. What I have observed is that when people come into our lives we don’t seek God as to where we should place them and what their purpose is in our lives. As women, we can be emotional and sometimes people are distractions, even though on the surface it seems like you could be bff’s. God will always show us if we ask Him. If we ask Him, He will always show us the resources to go to, be it a person, a book, a sermon, a song, etc. But we have to be aggressive and OWN our growth. For me the most growth has come from the WORD of God.

    But my true turning point came when I was in a rut and I went to buy Steve Harvey’s ‘Act like a Lady, Think like a Man’. I walked into the book store and it was on sale, but God said that’s not the book you need because if you do what I tell you to do you wouldn’t have to act like a lady and think like a man. I asked which book I needed. He led me to Iyanla Vanzant’s ‘In the Meantime’. It was a great and forced we to look deep within. I approached it honestly and grew from there. I encourage everyone to check it out or pass it on. There are a lot of Titus 2 women out there, but there are a whole lot of resources available for us to become Titus 2 women ourselves so that we can help others.
    Love this…keep it up.
    Be blessed.
    JC

  3. I think this is great Shalonda. I believe in the importance of it and I agree that there is a lack of obvious work on both ends of the spectrum. However, I believe that on the older mentoring end, many women are so jaded or haven’t had proper mentoring themselves or worse, give advice contrary to the truth and out of their pain rather than pointing back to what God says that younger women prefer to stay within their own age group. The problem then becomes does age equal life experience? I think you have opened up a great discussion and hit one very salient point: A mentor doesn’t have to be excellent in everything that she does; but find a few to glean from who are in certain capacities as relates the area of desired knowledge and growth.

    I truly believe in defining moments and a good question to consider is what have been and what are those defining moments in a Titus 2 woman’s life and how have they shaped her decisions and her purpose for good or for bad? Has she grown from them? What would she be able to share that is helpful from those “defining moments” if she is willing to go back and do the soul research herself.

    Thank you for this post. The Bible is clear in Titus about the responsibilities of older women. Thank you for bridging the divide because many of the young ladies I speak with have great offline mentors as you mentioned, not so much online; but, they have found a few online to forge offline relationships with. They meet regularly for the specific purpose of mentoring/counseling and they hold “informal or impromptu meetings” where life is seen as it happens. My prayer is that young women won’t become discouraged in their search and older women will see the need to first get themselves in a position of usefulness and then make themselves available to whomever The Lord sees fit to send them.

    Blessings!
    Natasha

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