THE PARADIGM SERIES
"A PARADIGM FOR MOTHERHOOD"
Betty J. Winters
God has placed a unique responsibility upon the older woman as it relates to her duty to the younger woman and I believe that the spirituality mature woman considers it a privilege to carry out the mandate of Almighty God. However, there are two foundational principles of faith walking that she must adhere to if she is to become a paradigm for the younger woman. She must always keep in mind that God is the reference point for all of life and Godís glory is the over-arching goal for all of life. The command in Titus 2:3-5 is sandwiched between the exhortation to "teach what is in accord with sound doctrine " (v.1) and a statement of purpose: "so that now one will malign the word of God " (v.5). Sound doctrine is the basis for the older-woman-younger-woman relationship.
No woman can train another woman if she is not taught morality based on sound doctrine. The Greek word translated "sound " means safe and healthy. She is to be taught the principles of the Christian faith, which forms the basis of her character. The soundness and correctness of the doctrine builds a foundation from which to train the younger woman.
In order to have a successful Mentor/Novice curriculum, the older woman has to be reverent in the way she lives: not a slanderer, not addicted to much wine and teach what is good. Candidly stated, she is to be a woman of honor, respect, love and obedience, have a controlled tongue, speak wisdom, be free from habitual compulsive behavior, teach what is beautiful, commendable, and excellent. If she dares to be an example to the young woman, she must be vulnerable-willing to let a younger woman look into her life and learn from it. The older woman must be taught so that she can train the younger woman.
Let the training begin. It should be understood that the criterion for training women is not limited to age. There are two questions that may invade the mentorís mind and they are, what to train the younger woman in and the method to use in training. First of all, the young woman is to be trained to be lovers of their husbands and children. She is to have esteem for her husband and guard the sanctity of the home. Many families are in danger because of lack of training. Younger women loving their husbands and children can move families into a safety zone. Train her to be sensible and chaste (not "chased "), sexually pure. She is to be kind, warmhearted, helpful, tolerant, charitable, considerate, and thoughtful. They are to be trained to be subject to their own husbands. This has nothing to do with abuse, injustice, or equality, but it does have to do with an attitude of humility. She is to be concerned about the interests of another rather than looking after her own interest. Help the younger woman to capture the fascinating principle of the Proverbs 31 woman whose husband sits in the gate, and understand that when she makes an all-out commitment to be her husbandís completer and not his competitor, he will reach heights he could never attain without her.
Finally, the second half of the question regarding the method of training is answered in I Thessalonians 5:11, "Encourage one another and build each other up. " The Greek word sophronizo, translated "train " is to encourage. Encouragement is an important factor helping to grow the younger woman spiritually. As spiritually mature women, do not insist on equipping the younger women before we have encouraged them. Do not drive them into the cave of disparity. Remember love motivates, but guilt devastates.
GOD EXPECTS US TO CARRY OUT THE MANDATE OF TITUS 2, AND YOU SHOULD COUNT IT AN AWESOME PRIVILEGE TO PARTNER WITH HIM IN BEING A PARADIGM FOR MOTHERHOOD.
Betty J. Winters is a Disciple of Bayview Baptist Church in San Diego, California where Dr. Timothy J. Winters is the Under-Shepherd. She is a graduate of Christian Heritage College with a B.A. degree in Biblical Studies and will be graduating in May 2001 with her Masters of Religion (M.A.) degree in Religious Studies from Southern California Bible College and Seminary. She is also the mother of Momsweb Editor, Tori McCollum.