Last time we talked about our need for each other in Warning: Do NOT Attempt Alone. Today I would like to continue that discussion by focusing on Titus 2:4:
Then they (older women) 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.
As a younger woman (I think :) transitioning into the older women role, I just want to say to all you "older women" that you are needed! Many women get caught up in feelings of failure and thinking that they have nothing to offer. I want you to know we need you, and we already know you are not perfect and that you probably have failed but you can still teach us something, even if it is from your failures.
I am blessed with a good relationship with my mother-in-law. She was a stay-at-home Mom and she loves to cook and serve her family. I have watched her through the years, and I have learned a lot from her about how not be selfish and self-serving and instead to put others first. I know having her in my life has helped me to love the role that I am currently in as a mother and a wife.
The Scripture says that older women can train younger women to "love" their husbands and children. The word love here is the Greek word "Philo" which refers to love through the daily grind. This verses shows us that this type of love is not something that is innate. Our society believes in falling in and out of love. This ends up being the crux of many divorces. The "Philo" love discussed here is the kind of love God wants us to have in our families, because there will be times when we do not "feel" in love with our spouse or children. But there is a love that goes beyond emotions and can bring us through those "other" days. It is something that we need to learn. Contrary to the new educational philosophies, the best way to learn actually occurs through teaching! Older women do need to teach the younger women how to do this. Again, this doesn't have to be through a "class" but it can occur through relationship with one another and by being real together.
Our society is very individualistic and as a result we have lost some very valuable things. One of those valuables we've lost is the idea of learning from one another. The younger generation, has a very "I know it all, if I put my mind to it I can do anything." The key word in here, I. As a result of thinking I can do it on my own, we haven't looked at the value and the need we have for one another. In regards to our children, we feel that we are the child's mother and therefore we come fully equipped for the task of raising them. Unfortunately, this is not the case and soon we will fail. Instead of getting caught up in feelings of failure we should ask for advice. Young women, let us set down our pride and be willing to be humble and ask for help. I know as a stay-at-home Mom some days can be long, hard and overwhelming. I love the advice I have gotten from former stay-at-home Moms that this time does go FAST and that we need to enjoy every moment. The little monotonous things we do everyday are valuable and we are laying a strong foundation for our kids, even on the hard days.
Older women: I know your generation is sometimes at a quandary. Many of you were born when going back to work was the thing to do and that is what you did. You were not supported in your mothering years by others because you were either working, or if you did stay at home, you were at home on your own. You didn't have the support of play groups, etc. Therefore, you might not have had an example of an older women/younger women relationship. Just know, we do care what you have to say and you can be an encouragement to another young women. God will show you how!
Hopefully, when we truly get that life has its trials its ups and downs but there is a better way to get through them we will begin to offer that life, help and support to one another.
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