Marker No. 4
Is my heart adorned “with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4)?
Titus 2:4 calls older women to “train the young women” and gives examples of some practical lessons young women need to learn. To train means to show or to demonstrate. Paul describes this kind of discipleship in 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8:
We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
The mother imagery is striking. Covenantal discipleship is neither merely academic nor merely relational. It is a beautiful blend of sharing the gospel and our lives with one another. Jesus used the mother imagery: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . ! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
Marker No. 5
Am I a gatherer? Do I gather women into my heart and home and tell them about the Savior who gathers us under the protection of His wings? Do I pray for the Holy Spirit to change my selfish heart into a welcoming, nurturing heart that shares the gospel and my life with other women?
Paul tells us why we should make such a costly investment in others: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. . . . [We are] waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11–13). Jesus first appeared in grace, and He will appear again in glory. Between these epiphanies, we are to make disciples.
Marker No. 6
Am I motivated by gratitude for salvation?
Paul assures us that it is the gospel, not our effectiveness, which saves and sanctifies God’s people. “[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (2:14).
Marker No. 7
Do I rest in the power of the gospel to redeem and purify God’s people?
The magnificent mandate in Titus 2 is timeless. It transcends age and role. College women can nurture high school girls. Single women and women without children can be spiritual mothers. Whether Titus 2 relationships are informal or formal, the command is clear and the result is compelling: “that the word of God may not be reviled” (v. 5).
Becoming is a hopeful word, a transformative idea. I cannot do everything I could ten years ago, but the markers God’s Word gives are not limited by age and circumstance. I am becoming what I behold. “Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).