When she got engaged, I know she was so happy and excited to hear from those of us who had been married for more than a decade or more. In earnest, she put forth her good news on social media, waiting for the good advice and congratulations that would follow. Instead, she heard all of the jokes, “welcoming” her to the end of happiness, congratulating her on a life of being the “old ball and chain,” and urging her to enjoy being single while she still could. Unfortunately, there were many other engaged ladies who commented that they had received the same “advice.” Rather than encouraging them in their happiness, these ladies were feeling a little dejected by the very people who should have been embracing them! I know that most people don’t mean any harm by these “jokes,” but our words can do a lot of damage when we aren’t careful with them!
Recently, my cousin Laura, posted an article that really convicted me and has given me a lot to mull over. We all want a Titus 2 woman in our life–someone who has already experienced our season of life and who will come alongside us to help us on the journey. But very few of us seek opportunities to be the Titus 2 woman. We want to do the receiving instead of the giving.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 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.
I know that we women do not want to be considered the “older woman” in any situation. But the truth is that there will always be someone who is younger than us. There will always be someone who can use our “experience” to help them in their own journey!
Marriage is hard work; it’s true. I’m not one who tries to shade the truth. In our 14 years of marriage, my husband and I have faced some really tough situations, and there have been times that I have thought it would be easier to just walk out. But by God’s grace, our marriage is stronger than ever – because of our trials.
If older women are supposed to “train the young women to love their husbands,” then we need to encourage them to do so. We need to embrace them in their engagement and recall the excitement we felt ourselves when we were about to embark on a journey with the man that we love.
Romans 12:9 says, “ Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” If we want to look critically at marriage, we will most certainly find problems. It’s easy to reflect over the many mistakes, offenses, and evil that have occurred in our marriage. But it’s just as easy to reflect on the things that have been good, to remind ourselves why we married this person in the first place, and to thank God for the grace He has given us along the way!
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” – I Thess. 5:11.
We have the opportunity to encourage one another to love well! Even if our own marriage is unhappy or if we are struggling to love our own spouse well, we can still recall a time of “wedded bliss.” We can still “build one another up” with congratulations and well wishes! And most of all, we can pray for the happy couple–pray for grace, love, and mercy to abound in their home; pray for unity in God to dwell richly together; and pray that when trials come (as they certainly will) that the couple will form a stronger bond instead of being torn apart.
The next time you want to make a joke about marriage, please stop yourself. Test your words against Philippians 4:8:
- Is it true?
- Is it honorable?
- Is it just?
- Is it pure?
- Is it lovely?
- Is it commendable?
- Is it excellent?
- Is it worthy of praise?
If you answer no to any of these questions, then stop talking! You have the opportunity to be a Titus 2 woman right now in this season of your life! How can you encourage a younger woman in her journey of faith? Let’s walk through this life together and show one another how to love as Christ loved us.