Titus 2 IRL – Is that what you really want?

Titus 2 IRL - Is that what you really want? | RaisingArrows.netOften, I receive emails from young moms crying out for an older woman to be a Titus 2 mentor to them.  Years ago, I wrote about how you should not be so caught up in looking, you forget to be a Titus 2 woman to someone else because there is always someone who could use what wisdom you have gleaned thus far.  But today, I want to address another aspect of this search for the Titus 2 woman. Because we have a shortage of Titus 2 women in our real lives, we tend to turn to Facebook and blogs and forums to find our Titus 2 help.  I’m sure many of you have mulled over the question of whether or not today’s young wife and mother really needs a real life mentor?  Could these blogs and forums and connections on social media be the Titus 2 of today? Before I answer this, let’s go back in time… In yesteryear, your Titus 2 women were a part of the local congregation.  You knew if an older woman was someone you wanted teaching you because she had proven herself.  The entire community could see that fact.  Young mothers knew they could count on her advice because they had seen her run her household day in and day out and they were able to observe the fruit of her labor.  It was obvious she was for real. Likewise, the older women could see the needs of the younger women.  They saw these woman with their husbands and children out and about and could readily ascertain many of the issues they were having. Now before you tell me those were the “good ole days”, I want you to consider how much you would welcome an older woman’s advice?   Would you really be all ears or do you think maybe, just maybe, you might end up feeling cornered?  Would that older woman come off as helpful or presumptuous and meddling?  Would you only want her advice if you sought it?  Would you be irritated if she kept a watchful eye on your progress? It’s tough to take criticism.  It’s tough to be told something in your life needs to change.  And it is beyond tough to be held accountable for the lessons you’ve been taught.  When we do our Titus 2-ing online, we can lie about how we are doing or hide behind a passive-agressive Facebook status.  We can even unfriend and walk away. The reason I think having In Real Life Titus 2 mentors is important isn’t because of the sweet and precious moments of fellowship we might have with an older woman, but because of the hard stuff no one can really manage from an online platform. There is no online substitute for accountability and tough love. Do you want someone to be real with you?  Are you willing to be real with them?  I wonder if we lack Titus 2 women in our communities because we aren’t willing to have someone meddling in our lives and/or we are afraid of meddling in the lives of others? Can we have online Titus 2 women?  Yes – but they have to be women who aren’t afraid to check up on us and ask the hard questions.  And most importantly, we need to truly see the fruit in their lives.  This doesn’t necessarily mean all their adult children are Christians (because God doesn’t have grandchildren and people make their own choices) nor does it mean they do everything right all the time.  But it does mean you know what their home life is like and you know if they truly are striving on a daily basis to live for Christ and serve their families in His name.  It will be difficult to find this type of relationship online, but not completely impossible. Should we have IRL Titus 2 women?  Yes – but be prepared to listen and potentially get your feelings stepped on.  If you want those real relationships, you have to be willing to be real and raw and teachable.  Iron sharpens iron and sharpening hurts.  Be aware that Titus 2 relationships are going to be this kind of hurt from time to time. So, Titus 2 seekers, let me leave you with this final question that each of you must answer on your own – Is that what you really want?   If so, then it is time to put yourself out there and let older women know how much you need them and how you are willing to hear what they have to say and how you are willing to be held accountable.  Stop looking for an older woman to have a cup of coffee with, and start looking for one who has proven herself and has wisdom to share!

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26 thoughts on “Titus 2 IRL – Is that what you really want?

  1. {Kathy} This is an issue close to our hearts at Mothering From Scratch. Updating the concept of Titus 2 as it applies to our daily lives as moms in this culture is a hard stretch. We simply don’t live in times with women hanging wash in their back yards while their children frolic in the sunshine and they get to talk and discuss. The happy medium of ministry and practicality is something that I really believe God honors.

    • Oh Dear, I do have women neighbours (even family neighbour) who hang their wash outside while our children frolic in the back yard overlapping back yards; but…… I am a christian and they are NOT. They are non believers. I don’t have anybody to talk too (Titus2/Proverbs31 talks….). So yes I seek community online. I am a 43 year old sahm of 2 girls with a non believing husband, who is kind, loving and who lets me pass on my faith to our lovely girls. But…., yes again but…. I have not 1 female friend ! The US is so different from Belgium. Oh, I am a Belgium (Flemish christian), but really wished for a believing community of women as in the States.
      I have been following your blog/website for years now Amy. Thanks so much for everything. Wishing you, your family and all your readers a Happy Easter or as we say in Dutch (Flemish): Zalig Pasen!

      Many blessings x

      Abby

      • Abby – My entire family just stopped and prayed for you and your family. We will continue to do so. My husband said to tell you you are welcome here anytime. :)

      • Abby, I am in the same situation. I am a SAHM to 3 little ones and the only believer in our family and friend circle and also married to a non-believer, who is letting me raise our children in faith. Where I live in Canada living a Titus2/Proverbs31 life is VERY much looked down upon and mocked. It is so lonely and the only comfort I get is from online communities and blogs. If you’d ever like to chat please message me at cheerfulsuev@gmail.com, blessings, Sue :)

  2. Inspiring! I totally agree…as a small group leader of women in my church I see this all the time, “I don’t need anyone.”, but then you see the person asking for ‘help’ in passive (or agressive!) ways on Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc.
    You can never replace accountability with shallow relationships. You can never replace the way God mandated intentional mentoring with a whole bunch of shallow relationships online :) Thanks for sharing this Amy!
    Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

  3. Great article, Amy! You always give me something to think about, and I appreciate that. Also, I wanted to say that I admire your decision to stop trying to be a “top blogger” which you recently posted about. So many blogs that I am in the habit of reading have become less focused on communicating important ideas and more focused on drawing in more traffic, of late (IMHO, of course). Thank you for consciously deciding to put content first, in blog terms. :) Hope you have a lovely Easter!

  4. Some younger women don’t want to be teachable these days. Thanks for this. May I share it on my blog and facebook? I hope to encourage more moms to think about this. I agree with Rachael.

  5. More excellent and honest encouragement! Thanks, Amy. I’ve been blessed enough to have several excellent role models in our church’s congregation. I’ve also been very blessed by other, more experienced mothers online (like yourself!). So grateful to have both worlds nowadays. It’s great to be a modern woman in many ways. :)

    –Kelsey

  6. Amy! You lay it down, dear sister!! You’re so right!
    In today’s time, its so difficult to have permission to fully speak into someone’s life because a person quickly jumps to feelings of being judged when the mentor’s true heart is to point back to God’s Word.

    Another sad aspect is the busy-ness of life and no margin allowed for TRUE hearing and learning.
    In the fast speed of internet, a recipe is easy to look up and figure out. No more needed calls to that sweet woman that’s been making that same recipe for 100 years!
    I’ve reached out to a couple of women before, but in today’s age, they’ve found that being in the work force is necessary for them to survive, thus cutting out time to be effective mentors.
    I’ve had women reach out to me only to meet a couple of times only, but can never find (make) the time again.
    I think there’s a “quick fix” mentality that abounds without the mentee realizing that they haven’t gotten to the root of what everything is. Instead of steady progress, they’re on a roller coaster.
    Anywho…I’ve jabbered enough!

    I’m thankful for your hard questions; the ones that we all really do need to answer!!

    • I always love reading your comments, Kela! I need this advice as much as anyone. I have not had the time. I have not wanted to hear it. I have been afraid to say it. Sadly.

    • One of my great disappointments in my life is that I may need to re-enter the work force at my age (55). I am waiting on clear direction from the Lord before I do but the finances look like I will need to. I have always hoped that I might not have to work for money but to be able to serve the homeschooling Moms in my church. I never had family near me and moved a number of times so my years homeschooling without support were very hard. I would really like to be available to be a help to the younger women in my church.

      • I would encourage you to be available even if you do have to go back to work. One thing I observed while in a traditional church setting (as opposed to a family integrated setting), was that many of the women in the church were not willing to help the young moms in the congregation because they had raised their children and they were “taking a break.” You can be a wonderful influence even if it is “just” on Sunday mornings. :)

  7. Dearest Amy,
    What a blessing to hear your heart in this. I remember longing for an “aged woman” and wondering where she was in my life. I remember mopping under my kitchen table and promising the Lord when I would do my best to obey Him so I could be one some day. I still feel like I am not quite there, but have tried my best to live Proverbs 31, Titus 2 (for the younger woman) and the other passages directed to we ladies in His design for us.
    I know this, each time I sincerely asked Him to show me the truth He led me to it–with the right book, the right word from someone, or most the times just following/obeying the leadership of my husband. Keep on–it’s a delight to hear your heart speaking.

  8. I am an older woman who is almost done raising my children. My youngest is about to graduate (homeschooled). I have felt for a long time that many (most?) younger women look to one another for advice/counsel and aren’t really looking for a mentor. I get the impression that they think us elders don’t remember what it was like when our children were young (not true at all-I remember well, it seems like only a few months ago!) or that it is all different now. Funny how little things actually do change over the decades! In fact, medicine hasn’t changed much since my children were born unlike the generation before them. So that is my impression and I am around many wonderful young women in my church that are true Believers.

      • I wonder if some of it is indeed. I do think some of it is busyness as another lady posted. That said, I do try to make myself available so younger women won’t think they are bothering me. For those who are “casual christians” and maybe not even truly saved, I do think arrogance is the main issue.

      • I think it is only partly arrogance. Things have changed so much from when I was a kid that many think the older ladies don’t know what it is like. Many of the younger ladies haven’t ever had a mentor. Their own mothers were working and they were in daycare and in school with others their own age. So as they grow they still seek the advice of their peers.

        As a kid I was surrounded by grandparents and great aunts and uncles. They cared about me and taught me many things. Now as a grown-up I have no family nearby. Truthfully, even if we lived next door to my parents, (as I did to my grandparents) they wouldn’t invest the time in us. They are more prone to turn on cartoons for the kids than to actually spend time with them. My mother-in-law actually told us she doesn’t babysit and that she had done her time. The last time we visited her she didn’t even take off of work to spend time with us though she only saw us about once a year- she died not too long after that.

        I would love to have mentors because I know what I am missing. I’m only in my thirties, but I do reach out to the younger ladies. I try to encourage them and if I use wisdom they are usually receptive.

  9. Amy, this is a great post!! As a mentor to many woman, there is so much truth in what you share. There are times when I know the young momma is not open to hear my prayerful suggestions and it is best to remain quiet. There are other times I know I must speak it anyway. I was just talking to beth joy today about all the young mommas I delight in investing in their lives. They eagerly take the suggestions, communicate with me , and then move forward in life as God and their husbands direct them!

    As I prepare the member section of our website to launch. I will be giving much prayer to the women that the Lord brings. I would love to know you were praying about it too!
    Because of His Love,
    Mrs. Joseph Wood @ http://www.amomentwithmom.com

  10. Interesting post. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the older-woman mentor issue lately. It seems to me that older women are to be helpful, but not over-bearing to the younger. I would think that it would be better for a pastor, elder, deacon and husband to hold a younger woman to account(unless we are simply talking here about house-wifery). An old woman(and I am one) who meddles, with a seemingly scriptural warrant, can cause a great deal of strife in families. I think an older, Titus woman would be best advised to help with home management, be an example of contentment in Jesus, a sure church-worker and attender, there to listen and commiserate, but NOT to doctrinally ‘teach’. A woman who point families to the pastor as necessary. I’ve seem more young families messed up by meddlesome older women who feel they are on a mission from God when they interfere in other people’s families. It’s really sad.