Taking my Seat on the Other Side of the Titus 2 Table

All of a sudden, I’ve got a lot of life behind me. I think of myself as a few decades younger than I am, but at the end of this year I will hit the half-century mark; the big 5-0.  I honestly thought I would be sad about it. My whole life, I’ve written off this coming season as “everything good has already come” – not the most positive outlook, but I thought it was truth.  What other milestones, besides having a fire extinguisher near my birthday cake, could I possibly have to look forward to?

It turns out, plenty.

In my early twenties, I came across a portion of scripture that jumped out at me. I vividly remember reading Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to too much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (The chapter has a similar charge for older men to teach younger men.)

Following this prescription as a young woman, I decided to find older women to mentor me. I can think of a few saintly faces who committed to pouring into me as I grew in my faith. I liked being on the young side of the Titus 2 table, gleaning godly wisdom from women much older than me. Learning from their experiences, hearing their struggles, suffering, triumphs, and joys helped me make wise decisions as I tried to navigate adulthood as a Christian. I could count on them to give advice that was rooted in scripture, and I knew when I asked them to pray for me, they would petition the Lord on my behalf.

When I got married, I found additional older, wiser women to mentor me. As a matter of fact, I signed up to take a class my church had just launched for newly married women. The class was taught by older women who followed the Titus 2 model beautifully. They poured into me (many of whom I still look to as mentors) in those early days of our marriage more than two decades ago. I still remember sage advice from these women.

The Tables have Turned

Flash forward to today and I’m part of a new seating arrangement. There are still the “younger” and “older” sides of the Titus 2 table, but I’m now spending more time sitting on the side sharing life experience and “sage” advice with younger women. Remember that brand new newly married women’s class I took two decades ago as a young wife? I now teach some of those same classes to newly married women in our church. What a testament to God’s goodness and faithfulness.  

In addition, I’ve spent the past school year leading a Bible study on Biblical femininity for high school senior girls. We have gone in depth into God’s design for Biblical womanhood, equipping these young women for their next chapters on college campuses across the country. It truly has been one of my life’s joys to spend time with these girls teaching, listening, praying, laughing, crying, and consuming an inordinate amount of Werther’s candy.

Instead of being sad that I’m “older” I feel like this seat not only suits me, but has breathed new life into me. I think that’s been the biggest surprise. I am relishing encouraging younger women in Christ in a way I never expected. Truth be told, I thought I would look at my “older” status and be forlorn, wistfully wishing for youth. And… I just don’t. I not only have peace as the “older” woman in the equation, but full joy and satisfaction. I think the only reason it surprises me is because the world keeps telling us all the good stuff is for the young.

The world lies.

While most of my ministry (even within my own family) is currently to younger Christian women, I haven’t given up my seat on the “younger” side of the table, either. Even at my age, I am still seeking wise, older women who can share godly truth with me. Even in this current moment as my husband and I are about to launch our oldest child to college, the Lord has so graciously planted women around me who are a little ahead of me to encourage and strengthen me for this transition.

I love that as we go through God’s Word we are told to have faith like little children (Matthew 18:2-4) and follow the godly teaching of faithful aged. He calls the older generations to be generous with their time and teaching of younger believers. No one – no matter their age is inconsequential to the One who created us. From first to final breath, we are  called to know Him and make Him known. I’m thankful for the countless ways the Titus 2 model has blessed my life.

Isn’t it just like our God to turn the dread of aging into a complete blast? He is only good. He is the God of every generation and the God of all of my decades (Psalm 145:13; Psalm 139:16).

We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us (1 Thessalonians 2:7–8).

Dear Lord, thank You for this shift in seats and perspective – glorifying You rather than focusing on myself. Lord, thank You for meeting me for decades in Your Word, listening and speaking to me in prayer, and wooing me day-in-and-day-out with Your lovingkindness. Thank You for the women who have poured into my life. May I spend my life pouring Your truth and love into others. However many days You give me, may I honor You. Praise Your Holy Name. Maranatha! Amen.

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