Titus has been a really thought provoking study for me. If I were to synthesize it’s message into three words, they would be: teaching, self-control, and obedience. In Titus 2, we hear from Paul about how elders should behave and what they should teach their younger charges. The themes remain the same-temperance, sound teaching, self-control, obedience, integrity, fidelity, and godliness through grace. All noble and wonderful pursuits.
The devotional piece (day 4) about mentoring or spiritual mothering really struck a chord with me. I read Lean In last summer and there are pages telling of Sheryl Sandberg’s experiences with mentoring in her professional world. While I am desperate for mentorship in the professional world, I had never really thought about mentoring in the spiritual realm. I have women I admire in my church and a large swath of female clergy to whom I look for inspiration and teaching from the periphery (mostly on facebook.) But I have never sought out or been sought out for mentoring or spiritual mothering by anyone. And of course, I need it. I long for someone who will teach me in the ways life through the lens of Christ. I need someone who will challenge me on my walk with God and encourage me to first seek the biblical view. (And then I feel pangs of guilt in thinking somehow this means I am denying the awesome and incredible power of my own amazing mother, which I certainly do not deny. EVER. Since my Mom is one of my five blog readers, I feel like I should make this explicit! Then I remember the concept of “it takes a village” which I think, knowing Mom, would be ok with her.)
While Sheryl Sandberg would say, “don’t ask someone to be your mentor!”, I figure we live in such a big world and I go to such a big church in a crazy metro area where self-advocacy might be the only way to stay afloat at times so….I am opening up the courage box and reaching out. This is scary as it implies that I am seeking help for what seem to be selfish need(s). Our times are not like the times of Paul and Titus where the village raised up around its people. Our times are busy, crazy, and revolve around a much more complex world. So if it is wrong to jump out in faith and courage and ask for a spiritual mentor, then I’m ok with being wrong. For this crazy Christian walk, we need each other. And I’m so thankful for the courage and grace to take the leap.
Titus 2: Teach Sound Doctrine
2 But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. 2 Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
3 Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.
6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
9 Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back,10 not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
15 Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one look down on you.