Last week Sunday was Mothers’ Day and it was a day when individuals honored their mothers by showering them with love and affection.
Instinctively, women are nurturers. The Bible teaches that women are doubly charged with nurturing in the home as well as nurturing the younger women in the Church.
Titus instructed, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2: 3-5.
Titus outlined 7 areas in which the more mature women are to teach and guide the younger women.
1. To love their husbands
2. To love their children
3. To be discreet
4. To be chaste
5. To be homemakers
6. To be good
7. To be obedient to their own husbands
Undeniably, there will be challenges encountered while the older women seek to train the younger. The generation gap is one such challenge. The generation gap manifests itself in various ways. “These younger women are not teachable!” or “They show no interest!” are examples of the frustrated outcries of some older women. On the other hand, younger women may think, “Older women just don’t listen!” or “These activities are boring.”
The apparent generation gap impedes the process clearly outlined in Titus. How then do we bridge this disconnect?
How do we appeal to the inquiring minds of the younger generation who prefer to inquire and reason while conversing rather than blindly accepting instructions? Is there a way for the older generation to translate those “Whys” into a cry for understanding rather than simple defiance?
Perhaps the solution lies in open dialogue where expectations on both fronts are clearly outlined and respected. Discussions surrounding the aforementioned 7 Truths should include examples of practical application rather than sole instruction. Although, disrespectful behavior should never be tolerated, there must be room for youthful exuberance which may sometimes be mislabeled. Conversely, younger women should be accepting of the fact that the mature women will have benefitted from their years of experience and that there is wisdom to be gained from listening (Prov. 19:20).
The bottom line is we need to respect God’s Word and ensure that the training is executed. The mature women are able to mentor the younger via godly living as well giving godly counsel. The wider Church community, including our leaders, needs to actively lend support to any initiatives that seek to fulfill this instruction. Too often we have left areas in the church to be taught by society. The generation gap is a reality but if we take deliberate steps to bridge the gap, we will ensure that it does not deride the good that needs to be done in the Church. To him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is a sin. James 4:17.
March 2, 2017