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Spiritual Mothering

God’s calling to be a Spiritual Mother is quite an honor indeed. The call is for all “Aged Women” – Greek word from Strong’s Concordance presbutis, pres-boo’-tis, feminine, an old woman in spirit. So it is not necessarily limited to age, but the maturity of spirit.

Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Wow, that is quite the criterion for the mature women of the church isn’t it. Some link the word sober to alcohol, which of course we are to not do, but the Greek word for sober used here is sophronizo, so-fron-id’-zo and it means to make of sound mind, i.e. to discipline or correct:–teach to be sober. It is more an announcement here to be of sound mind, to recall to ones’s senses, restore one to his senses, to moderate, control, curb, disciple, to hold one to his duty, to admonish, to exhort earnestly, Titus 2:4 – embrace the cultivation of sound judgment and prudence (discretion). So, in other words we are to mentor the younger women that are new in the faith and those who have not been discipled. What a responsibility which should be taken very seriously.

Spiritual Mothering is not smothering, over-protecting, or trying to control what happens to these young ladies/new converts. Just as with raising our own children we sometimes must step back and allow God’s spirit to grow them and get them through hurts and mishaps that will shape them into the Godly women the Lord needs them to be. Our work is to be a Godly example to them by directing them to God’s Word and to encourage, exhort, and lift them up. They most certainly will have times of spiritual warfare, as we all do. They must learn how to recognize evil attacks from the enemy for what they are, by being sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit, and call on the Lord for His power against evil, and they should know that they may call on us for prayer and support at any time.

Why are we to behave in such a Godly manner if we take on this awesome responsibility? “that the word of God be not blashphemed” – Greek – blasphemeo, blas-fay-meh’-o. – to vilify; to speak impiously; speak evil of, rail on, defame, revile. Okay so in essence it means to use to bring down another’s value, honor, due-respect; to injure another’s reputation in the eyes of others. And it is not just in our speech, it is our demeanor, dress, holy attitude toward God. We must exhibit holy behaviour and Godly conduct, dress, and conversation.

There are, of course, warnings we must keep in mind as we try and be an example to the younger women in the church. We are not to slander (find fault, gossip, falsely accuse, or be drunk). Those actions do certainly blaspheme our Lord and Saviour. God also gives us His words of advice: We are to be: lovers of our own husbands, be submissive, esteem and respect them; lovers of our children; sensible-minded; chaste or sexually pure; homemakers; good. These are all just common sense values all Christian women should want to exemplify in our lives.

The Rewards: We prevent blasphemy of God; we give young women the opportunity for spiritual ministry (Titus 2: 12-15 “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”; and we guard the sanctity of the home.

Biblical Examples:

Naomi mentored Ruth: Naomi won Ruth to faith in Yahweh – Ruth 1:16, 17 “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

Naomi gave Ruth wise counsel to win the heart of Boaz – Ruth 2:20, 22; 3:3-6 “And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen…And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field…Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.”

Naomi helped nurture Ruth’s son Obed – Ruth 4:15, 16 “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.”

Deborah mentored Barak: Deborah guided Barak into battle – Judges 4:6, 14 “And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?…And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.”

Deborah accepted Barak’s call for help – Judges 4: 9, 10 “And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.”

Deborah celbrated the victory in song – Judges 5: 1-31. (Please look this one up. The whole chapter is a great blessing to read.)

Elizabeth mentored Mary: Elizabeth encouraged Mary – Luke 1:41-45 “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Elizabeth offered Mary Hospitality and RefugeLuke 1:56 “And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.”

Priscilla mentored Apollos: Priscilla, with her husband Aquila, received Spiritual preparation from the apostle Paul – Acts 18:1-4 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”

Priscilla and Aquila patiently shared their understanding of Scripture – Acts 18:24-28 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

Priscilla kept her home open to believersRomans 16:3-5 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”

Unfortunately, we are not seeing much of this mature-women mentoring in many of today’s churches. I cannot help but think that our young girls and women would have more modesty in dress and behaviour if this was happening. They would be strong in Godly example to their children and therefore, raise them to be strong, Godly adults. I believe this to be the biggest reason that our families and homes are falling apart. I am a firm believer that when the family life is destroyed in a country, the country does in time crumble. Just look around!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Lydia-An Influential Businesswoman

In my last post I shared another instance where God’s servants were imprisoned for teaching God’s truths, and God sent an angel to miraculously free them. Once again, the ‘brethren’ had been together in one accord, praying fervently for Paul and Silas. This time, they were together in the home of a woman named Lydia.

Acts 16:40 “And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.”

Lydia came from Thyatira, a city in the western province of Lydia in Asia Minor. Her name originally might have been the designation of her home, “a woman of Lydia.” At the time Lydia met Paul, she lived at Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia on the European continent.  As a wealthy and influential businesswoman, Lydia sold articles dyed purple, a prized color made from certain mollusks–a respectable and lucrative trade. She had a spacious home that could accommodate many guests and servants to meet their needs. This had to be a rare achievement in her day. I would say that she was indeed a hard-working, bold, and intelligent woman to have achieved the success that she enjoyed. She also was a true child of God who understood that everything she had was a blessing from the Lord, to be used for His glory.

One Sabbath day, Lydia went to the river’s shore that had been designated by the Roman authorities of Philippi as a place of prayer and worship for the Jews. There she met Paul and Silas, who had been in Philippi only a short time. While others along the river may have rejected Paul’s words about Jesus, Lydia accepted them and became a Believer. Once she believed, she made a confession of her faith to her whole world through baptism and then, she assembled her entire household, told them what had happened to her, and she asked them to believe. After her entire household accepted Christ as Saviour and were baptized, Lydia invited Paul and Silas to stay in her home. When Paul and Silas were thrown into a Philippian prison, Lydia visited them and attended to their needs. Her house became the meeting place of the first European church.

Lydia was quick to understand that what had been hers before her conversion–home, business, and possessions–now belonged to the Lord. She had a new partner, the Lord Jesus; a new purpose, to serve Him; and a new satisfaction in seeking to be effective and successful in order to glorify the Lord. Her career aspirations did not hinder her sharing the gospel with family and friends. She was not too busy to take time for hospitality – Acts 16:15 “And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”

Lydia’s name appears in Scripture only twice. She was seemingly the first Gentile convert in Europe, the first Christian businesswoman, and the first Believer to open her home as a worship center for European Christians. Not only to Paul and the early church, but also to the generations to come, Lydia proved the importance and influence of a woman of determination, foresight, and generosity.

What a wonderful, Godly example! Oh, how we could use more like Lydia in our world today!

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Godly Women

 

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Becoming a Godly Woman Part 4

Portrait of two women and a boy by Charles Bay...

 

Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

“Teachers of good things”.

Teacher: Instructor, Educator, Mentor

I like to think of us as mentors to our younger Christian sisters, much the same as our younger siblings. To be teachers of good things, we are to be a good influence for the younger women and teach them God’s doctrine and principles. The Greek word for teachers of good things is kalodidaskalos (kal-od-id-as’-kal-os) meaning teachers of the right.

What are we to teach that is right? Titus 2:4, 5 “4. that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

1. “be sober” – Greek word sōphroneō – serious, self-restrained, of a sound mind, temperate (control our tempers?)

2. “love their husbands” – This goes above and beyond just “loving” our husbands. It is to be lovers of our husbands, putting our love into action by putting his needs above our own. This is the foundation for all domestic harmony as a Godly man will, in turn, do the same.

3. “love their children” – Godly women not only nurture their children physically, but train them up in the Lord as well. We make our homes and our families our priority.

4. “be discreet” – self-controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion) probably from an obsolete Greek root phrao (to rein in or curb). Could this possibly be referring to curbing our tongue? I would say so, but I would say that we are to also curb our thoughts that lead to what rolls off of our tongues.

5. “be chaste” – the Greek word hagnos means pure in our thoughts as well as in our behavior – innocent, modest, perfect – being faithful to our husbands

6. “keepers at home” – Guardians of the house – here again this has to do with keeping our homes our top priority and fulfilling our household duties, even if we work outside the home, our families need to come first. If we are training our children in the Lord, they will chip in and help. Godly families work together as a unit.

7. “good” – kind (Greek word ag-ath-os’) beneficent or thrifty as housewives helping our husbands to be good stewards of what God gives us

8. “obedient to their own husbands” – submission to our husbands. Please see my SIDE NOTE in my Enter Evil posting for the best description of wifely submission.

We are to teach our younger women this lifestyle so that “the word of God be not blasphemed.” We are not to bring shame or reproach to God or His word.

In conclusion, as teachers of good things we not only do what is good and right, we teach our younger women to do the same and pass on Godly precepts to the next generations. And this we do, not just in church, but we let our very lives show them how to become Godly women. They want to hear us and see us portraying these wise, Godly principles, not just mouthing them.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Godly Women

 

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