Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whatsoever Women

Typically our Whatsoever Wednesday posts have us talking about what we have read, watched, or listened to that helped us to think on pure, lovely, noble things.  Since we are talking this week about women and how they relate to one another, I tried to think of something I could read or watch (outside the Bible) that would fit right in.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the best way to think about interacting with women is to....interact with women!  

We have recently moved to a new state and have found a wonderful congregation.  But I have many fond memories of the church we attended before.  Many of those memories revolve around my Christian sisters.  This particular congregation has a very strong ladies program.  Women met together on Wednesday night for a class.  Every other year, we had a Ladies day, and on alternating years, we had ladies retreats.  Through all of these events, I was able to grow very close to the Christian women around me.  I found myself at both ends of the command in Titus 2: "Older women, likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored" (Titus 2:3-5).

At times, I was the "older woman."  It wasn't necessarily my chronological age that made me the older woman as much as it was my "Christian age."  I remember speaking to a young lady, just a few years younger than myself, at a ladies retreat.  I don't even remember what we were talking about, but it was a serious subject, one that was giving her trouble.  At the time, I didn't really feel like I was able to help her.  But months later, she thanked me for our talk.  It doesn't matter what our age is, there will usually be someone younger than us, either in age, in salvation, or in experience, whom we can encourage. Have you been married for several years and know a newlywed?  Let her know that you are available if she needs to chat about marriage. Do you have new coworker?  Help her to learn the ropes of the job.  I know I have an area in which to improve.  Teenage girls are not really my forte.  I was never a typical teenager myself, and I always feel quite awkward around girls that age.  But I also know that they look up to ladies like myself.  I need to follow the commands of Titus 2 with those girls on a more regular basis.

Just as there is always someone younger we can encourage, there is always someone older we can learn from.  (If you are 100 years old and reading this blog, then I give you a pass!) I learned a lot from "Mrs. B."  She has been married 50 years, and had five children, four of them right in a row, while her husband was serving in the navy.  I'd like to think I'll be like her in 40 years (minus a couple of kids).  She is married to the "strong, silent type," like I am, and she is a busy worker in the kingdom.  Even after multiple back surgeries and hospitalizations, including a massive staph infection that almost took her life, she took charge of our Ladies Day and taught many women's classes when there was a need.  Mrs. B took young Sisters under her wing, babysat young kids, and encouraged all of us to pray more earnestly.  I am so glad to have known her because I can learn so much from her.  I think about her when I think about positive Christian interactions.   Do you have any ladies you look up to?  Tell them "thank you" today.  And then learn from them.  Go to a class they are teaching; attend their Bible studies; follow their example.

When I think about the best way to treat my sisters in Christ, I have so many memories to choose from.  And I'm building even more memories at our new church.  I am the youngest in my ladies' class on Wednesday night by a few decades (most of the younger women go to the auditorium class), but I love the more intimate setting.  I know that they have so much to teach me.  And now I'm feeling some conviction to reach out to the teen girls and encourage them in their walk with Christ.  How about you?  Do you have any ladies that lift you up?  Do you have any ladies you encourage?  Let us know so that we can have a better picture of what it means to have good relationships with our Christian sisters.


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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