What to teach? (Ch 4 “Spiritual Mothering”)

Author Susan Hunt delves deeper than surface behavior changes for Read-Chat-Live _ Spiritual Motheringthe goals of mentoring. It’s about godliness, a theme throughout Paul’s letter to Titus (Titus 1:1; 2:11-12; 3:8; 3:14).

An authentic faith is known not just by behavior, but evidenced by an entire life of love in word, deed, and attitude.

The most effective method for an older Christian woman to teach a younger Christian woman is by modeling a godly lifestyle. See it and believe it and try it on for size.

But verbal instruction is also needed.

When women meet with other women for Bible study, Susan says seize that advantage: apply Biblical truths in ways unique to a woman’s needs and challenges. The truths are the same for both men and women, but men and women approach life differently. Make the best use of separated times to learn and teach specifically for women.

The three elements she chooses for “the curriculum” of spiritual mothering are love, relationships, and conduct. wedding couple

1. Love 

“and so train the young women to love their husbands and children
Titus 2:4

But don’t we naturally know how to love?

Well, sort of. But frankly, agape love has to be learned. It’s not easy discovering and applying the best ways to love our husbands and children. We profit from guidance of those who walk ahead of us. Then we share with those behind us when we figure something out.

It begins with reverence toward God. When we place our trust in him, we’re freer to take greater risks in loving others.

And those risks involve being a servant, another thing that doesn’t come naturally. Learn to “take off” whatever keeps you from being a servant: selfishness, pride, laziness, insensitivity, etc.

Jesus modeled it for us. Follow his lead in modeling it for others.

2. Relationships

“. . . [to be] kind, and submissive to their own husbands. . .”
Titus 2:5

Relationships can be hard. But having a relationship with God radically infuses our earthly relationships with supernatural help. 

Root it in humility. How? It is “only a passion for God’s glory that can overpower our self-interest.” 

We learn from God, and then from others and to others how to affirm and encourage; how to love and accept; how to influence but not demand.

Seek to benefit from the life-experiences and life-observations of those who have already been there, done that, whether you see these examples in married women or single women, parents or childless.  

Our primary relationships are in our homes. Growing healthy relationships with those we live with every day sets an example of Christian love for the world to emulate.

3. Conduct

“to be self-controlled, pure, working at home. . .”
Titus 2:5

Paul encouraged the women to live a life of purity that comes from exercising self-discipline and control. And to be industrious, not lazy like the people of Crete (Titus 1:12). Older women should model and encourage younger women about the importance of these qualities.

* * *

As women grow in love, relationship, and godly conduct, they will honor God in rich ways. It will look different in the life of each woman as she goes about her daily calling. But as each models the life of Christ in these areas, she will be demonstrating the “shape of godliness” to others.

Summaries of Chapters 1-3
Discussion on Chapter 4
Next week: Ch 5, “A Nurturing Relationship”

2 comments:

Cassandra Frear said...

It's so important that we invest in one another's lives.

Jamie said...

I love your last statement under relationships about how our primary relationships are in our home. I think sometimes I forget that and just crave a conversation with an adult. I am fostering a relationship with two little humans that need to know the LOVE of Christ too! I will work at being in the moment with them a little more...and learn to LOVE them how Christ does. Thanks for you words!

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