Thursday, November 7, 2013

Titus 2 -- Parenting Through the Little Years (Part Eight)

This is Part Eight of "Three in Diapers: Parenting Through the Little Years." If you are just tuning in now, please check out the Introduction, Part One, etc. for context and disclaimers.

8. Titus 2
-- I've been doing a Bible study with a small group of ladies recently and in the process, I've been struck by the reality that this Christian life doesn't often come naturally to Christians. If it did come naturally, the Bible wouldn't need to give us so much instruction on how we should walk out this life. But it doesn't come naturally. We need God's help. And we need the help of others.

Titus 2:3-5 (ESV) says,
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.
Older women are to be conscientious about their own behavior and are to use what they have learned in this life to teach younger women how to navigate the path in front of them.

Now it is true that some older women are more encouraging than others. There are some very well-meaning women who, out of love for the younger generation, often give bad advice. It is important to remember that some sources are better than others in this whole mentoring realm. As I was contemplating this post today, I was reading through the blogs I typically follow and just happened to run into an article on the Girl Talk blog, How Can I Find an Older Woman to Mentor Me? This offers many helpful ideas so if you are looking for someone to fill this role in your life, I'd recommend that article.

Practically, there are several older women (who are not necessarily old, but older!) who I love to glean from in my life, and I'd love to share some of their wisdom here.

My mom often reminds me that parenting is more of a marathon than a sprint. It's easy to get caught up in a current "battle" -- getting a baby to sleep better or potty-training a toddler or teaching a young one to read -- and to lose perspective. The mission becomes all-important and all-encompassing. But really, these things are small parts of a much longer journey, and though each child approaches these hurdles differently, they typically, in time, master them and excel. Determining the best potty-training method isn't nearly as important as keeping our hearts and attitudes in check along the way. This is yet another opportunity for us to worship an amazing God amidst mundane duties in life.

I can think of several older women who often check up on me and pour out love and support and encouragement. Being around them is like a breath of fresh air. It is obvious that their joy is in the Lord.

And there are two older women who regularly remind me, when I start to feel overwhelmed by all that I am doing and all that I am not doing, that "this is a season." Being a parent of young children is a very different life-stage. I've heard these women encourage me in this way so many times that the phrase alone can re-orient me and bring calm and peace into my mental storms. But in Part Nine, I'm going to explain this phrase more and give some ideas that have helped me simplify this "season." So y'all come back for that!

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