In my opinion, most Christian women’s ministries aren’t biblical. I realize this is a highly contentious statement and sets me apart from most folks in the church but it’s not people we are to please; it’s the Lord. And according to His Word, Titus 2 commands older women to teach younger women to love their husbands, their children, and their home. This is what we are to teach women and the opposite of what most Christian women’s ministries teach.
Titus 2: 3-5, The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
These verses have been explained away and glossed over for far too long.
Let me ask you something: Does your church–through the pulpit teaching, classes, encouraging an interaction between older women and younger women–encourage older women to teach younger ones that their primary calling is in the home? That they are designed by Creator God to function in an utterly different way than men? Are they being taught to love their husbands, children, and homes, and equipped with the skills that would enable them to minister to their own families? If you have or support Christian women’s ministries are they ground in Titus 2?
Probably not. I’ve been members of many different denominations and I’ve never seen that kind of teaching. Most women’s ministries are culturally relevant, feelings based, and deeply influenced by feminism.
God has made men and women equal in importance but not in function. How many churches teach this? Few indeed. Yet this understanding is the foundation for teaching younger women to fulfill the duties assigned to them by the Lord.
Men are stronger and women are weaker. Men are made to lead in the church, in the home, and in society. Women are made to be led and to support men’s leadership. Men are made to protect and defend and women are designed to nurture and love. Scripturally speaking, this is a beautiful thing, a wondrous design, that ensures the fulfillment, happiness, and contentment–as well as the success–of both sexes (let’s do away with using the word gender, shall we?) and of the family, church, and society. Yet it’s a teaching basically unheard of in most modern churches.
Most Christian women’s ministries simply don’t follow the biblical prescription as to what women’s purpose is. They seek to prepare young women to find fulfillment, follow their hearts and dreams, go to college, be a leader, have a career, indulge in self-care, and so on. Scripture is twisted or nearly non-existent or both. And the women who are influenced by them look, sound, dress, and act just like the women around them. Such women are loud, brass, self-centered, focused on culture, devoted to selfies, promoting themselves, lazy, unorganized, with few or no homemaking skills, little desire to marry and have a family, immodest, and crude in speech. Yet these women are both told and believe that they are following Christ.
Proclaiming Christ isn’t the same thing as being in Christ but from the teachings she receives in these so-called ministries, you’d never know that.
A woman’s ministry that seeks to prepare women for leadership or any of the above said goals is missing the mark altogether. Women aren’t made to take leadership positions not in the home, the church, or in society; this might be an unpopular take but it is the biblical one. We weren’t designed to be the primary provider for our families or to have a career that takes her out of the home and away from her family a good portion of the day. The Lord didn’t call women to submit to a boss but to a husband. God didn’t call us to fit into the culture but to be light and salt to it; a task that’s impossible if we aren’t in Christ and look, sound, and dress just like everyone around us.
In God’s design, we are to minister one to another. One on one, day by day. Older men to younger men. Older women to younger women. So, first, the women of the church ought to be following this design taught in Titus 2: 3-5. An older woman teaching the younger woman to obey her husband, love him, love her children and serve her family with gladness is what is pictured in these verses in Titus. Younger women ought to be taught to value and master her duties as homemaker. If she lacks skills in organizing, cooking, cleaning, etc., the older women ought to be prepared either to help her in these areas or to point her in the right direction.
And if there is a more formal women’s ministry, it ought to do the same.
Unfortunately, many older women will simply ignore the duties given to them and, if they advise the younger ladies, advise them in ways that are contrary to God’s will. If a younger woman expresses a desire to marry, have babies quickly, and be a homemaker, the older women in the congregation will advise them to “Take some time. Follow your dreams. There’s no hurry. Why don’t you go to college and start a career first?”
First is often instead of.
The idea that a woman ought to prepare for a career that will take her out of the home, away from family, or be in place of a family is in no way biblical. Notice what I didn’t say: I didn’t say a woman doesn’t need marketable skills. But there is a huge difference in marketable skills and in a career. A woman doesn’t have to go to college to get marketable skills. There are abundant opportunities for learning skills that she will later be able to make money on should she need to; better still, once she marries, she can help her husband in his business should he have one or by following his vision, whatever it may be.
So, where does this leave us? What are the marks of a God-honoring Christian women’s ministry?
– Scripture must be emphasized, the whole counsel of God must be taught.
– The headship of men ought to be understood as being applicable in the church, the home, and in society.
– Women ought to be taught the importance of the duties given to them by God, and to love and respect their husbands–even those who do not obey God (unless the husband is leading her to disobey God).
– Children ought to be seen as the blessing that they are; guidance in godly child-rearing ought to be taught.
-Homemaking should be looked upon with honor; a young woman should be taught skills that will enable her to bless her family and others.
-The women ought to be prepared so that one day they might be the older women who are capable and ready to teach “good things” as defined by God.
Sisters, there is much repentance to be done. Soul-searching and crying out to our Father ought to consume us, both for ourselves and our daughters but also for our churches. Let us seek God’s way and no longer seek our own.
We can change our churches and our nations only when we ourselves are changed by the grace of God and then we set about reforming our families. A Christ-centered women’s ministry, whether one or one or more formal, that doesn’t bow to the culture, feelings, or feminism, that emphasizes the truth, not only of Titus 2 in light of all of Scripture is a good place to start.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash