Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5
This passage of scripture has been the passion of my life for the past 34+ years. When I first became a Christian back in 1976 (led to Jesus by a godly young woman named Sharron), I had the privilege of being involved in some intense discipleship by a woman named Evie. Evie discipled Sharron who, in turn, discipled me. Evie had herself been discipled by Deannie, who taught her how to pour her life into other women for the Kingdom of God.
My legacy of discipleship is several generations long.
Not biological generations, but generations of women with a heart and passion to see younger women grow and mature in their faith; to pass on this vision and legacy to generations to come. I praise God for Sharron, Evie and Deannie and their faithfulness to His calling of being Titus Two older women; generation after generation after generation!
Over the years I have been filled with a greater and greater burden for the older women to teach the younger ones. But I found, early on, that there were very few older women of Godly character who were interested in pouring their lives into other women. They were either fairly immature in their faith walk (even if they had been believers for 40 years) or they were uninterested in work in the church – seeing their lives as now ready to retire, including from spiritual ministry! They felt they had done their job and were no longer interested in being the spiritual backbone of the church to give strength and support to the next generation of women coming up the pike (as we say in New England). So I prayed that God would begin to give me the strength and wisdom I needed to learn what I needed to learn so that someday I might be able to be that Titus Two older woman to the younger women in the churches around me.
What exactly IS discipleship?
The Greek word used simply means “student or pupil”; Jesus gave us a great explanation of what it means in the Great Commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:19-20
This is a very powerful command given to the church and one that, I’m afraid, is too often NOT obeyed. At least not in the way it was intended. Today we generally expect the pastor(s) to be doing this, but we do not take our role and responsibility seriously in obeying this command.
- “I’m not smart enough in scripture to do this”
- “I just don’t have enough time.”
- “What if I make a mistake and say something wrong?”
All these excuses, and others, keep us from teaching others all the things God has taught us. We do not need great biblical training or knowledge. All we need is Jesus, who gave His Holy Spirit to teach us all we need to know to teach someone else. We need to be quick to say, “I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out.” Then we go to someone who is helping to teach US and ask them to show us HOW to find the answers. We take this back to the one we are discipling, stronger in our faith and walk with God and always pointing them back to Jesus…not trying to make them into OUR image, but into HIS.
Paul has this to say:
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Tim 2:2
Discipleship is multiplication.
If I disciple 3 gals who in turn disciple 3 gals who in turn disciple 3 gals who in turn…it goes on and on. And women we disciple will come and go in our lives. I’ve had some women I’ve discipled for 6-8 months and others I’ve discipled for decades. But with all of them, I pass on the vision and joy and legacy to reach out to other women, to train and disciple them to teach others to observe all that Jesus commanded.