Courtney Tarter is a friend and previous staff member of CBMW. This blogpost originally appeared at In View of God's Mercy. We post it with gratitude to the author.
Despite what we might hear from feminists in the culture around us, women can be useful and fulfilled while still teaching "only" women and children. It is important to remember first in our discussion about mentoring that Paul did not command Titus to disciple the women in his congregation. Rather, he commanded the women in Titus' congregation to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5). There was nothing in Paul's words that indicated that this divine calling on the women under Titus' leadership was subhuman or demeaning. Instead it is portrayed as a great help and blessing considering that no one else was commanded to do it besides these women!
We live in a world that sees emphasis on training women to be workers at home, loving their husbands and children, and being diligent in kindness, godliness, and purity as a complete absurdity. But this does not mean that we run from this command. In order for us to be driven towards mentoring and discipleship, it is helpful to first note why we disciple.
First, we mentor because God has commanded that we do so. Titus 2 exhorts older women to train younger women. This training is not necessarily a structured system, though structure might help for a season, rather it is a life on life friendship that aids a younger woman in her pursuit of her Savior. I will get into the practicalities of this in my third post, but for now we can leave it at the simple fact that God has commanded us to disciple younger women. In fact, Carolyn Mahaney encourages us to seek these relationships out when she says in Feminine Appeal, "younger women should consistently pursue more mature women to learn from their wisdom and experience. Older women should prayerfully consider the younger women that God has brought into their lives, in order to encourage and support them."
Secondly, and most importantly, we mentor because of the Gospel. If we mentor a young woman, or are mentored, and all we learn or teach are helpful things to make our home more manageable, we have failed in the primary purpose of our pursuits-making Christ look attractive. Discipleship is not about creating empty moralists. in fact often times it is a lot easier to simply encourage behavior modification instead of a genuine heart transformation by the Gospel. This should not be our aim. Mahaney also says that our efforts in growing in godly womanhood are "required for the sake of unbelievers-so that those who are lost might come to know our Savior."
This is our purpose in all things. We want people to see Christ as infinitely valuable and treasure him above all things. This is especially relevant in our Titus 2 relationships. There will be many occasions in our own lives and in the lives of the women we disciple that something other than Christ will rise up as treasure. If we are not intentionally involved in the lives of other believers we can become increasingly unaware of the glaring idol that has replaced our Christ. We disciple because God has created us to live in community with one another-as redeemed sinners living life on life for the glory of His great name.
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