Contagious Life-Giving Encouragement
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5 ESV
Today’s Treasure can be a daunting passage for any woman. “Me, teach younger women? I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time How can I possibly teach anyone else!”
Yet, Paul doesn’t leave room for any of us to beg off of this duty and privilege of passing on to others what we have learned. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and I’m pretty certain I will make many more as I muddle my way through life, especially the challenging days. But perhaps that is one of the beauties of the Gospel. We don’t come to Jesus all fixed up. We come broken. When we embrace His forgiveness and redeeming love, it’s easier to offer our messiness as a means of offering life-giving encouragement to another. In fact, sometimes my mistakes make me more qualified to come alongside a younger woman and encourage her through my own mess ups.
Such relationships create a platform for contagious life-giving encouragement. One woman shares her life with another, that woman shares what she is learning with a friend. That friend passes on to her daughter the life-giving encouragement. This kind of life-giving does not need a classroom setting or require attending a Bible study. But sometimes we need a nudge that helps us see the opportunities in every day life for offering help and hope to others.
In her book, Spiritual Mothering, Susan Hunt says:
“According to Scripture, the “curriculum” that parents are to teach their children is not found on the pages of a textbook and is not to be taught at 7:00 A.M. The curriculum is a way of life based on biblical truth. You are to “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
“In a similar fashion, the spiritual mothering curriculum is to be impressed on younger women as you prepare the fellowship supper together at church, as you make blankets for the home for unwed mothers, as you sort clothes for the homeless shelter, as you talk about how to maintain a devotional life with three preschoolers competing for your attention, as you walk through the factory making delivers or into the courtroom to defend a client…
“Spiritual mothering has more to do with demonstrating ‘the shape of godliness’ than with teaching lesson plans.”
This week we will focus on how life-giving encouragement can create an ever widening circle of friends helping friends to walk by faith in the pathways God has marked out for each of us.
Treasured by Him,
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Read Chapter 8 in Treasures of Encouragement by Sharon Betters
Check out Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt
Read Psalm 92
When you attend church today, watch for vignettes of life-giving encouragement and how you can pass on that same encouragement to others.