No one is without something to give.
My mom told me stories of her missionary days. Of going to see a family so poor, and how they set before her two eggs, all the food they had, and how she couldn’t think to eat it, she, who had grown up in the depression working in her father’s restaurant. But she sat down at the table because over her protests their shining eyes showed their love for God, and for her too, and she accepted their gift.
I was thinking about this story and I realized its timeliness for our Titus text today.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they 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.
The young man Titus is told to teach older women to be reverent in the way they live. How? Is what follows a list?
Not be slanderers
Not addicted to much wine
Teach what is good (the old women, to teach…whom?)
Is teaching others what is good a way to live reverently to God?
Because we revere God we tell others about him, teach them how to do what is right.
Because I love to eat baked goods I teach my daughter how to bake, and turn her lose on a recipe once she can read adequately, and now she has her own cookbooks and gets to make cupcakes on Wednesdays.
Is it like that?
Then, having learned not to gossip, not to abuse substances, but instead to live reverently and teach others about it, then the older ladies can be of help to the younger.
The verb train sounds stronger than teach, more work over time, more like mentoring or coaching than classroom teaching. Because younger women do need help, and it’s not from a man (Titus)! They need help from older ladies who often don’t even know they have something to give. Older ladies that can serve up their two eggs with love in their eyes. “It’s not much, but here’s what I have from God.” He makes it exactly what they needed, served with love.