And we are desperately in need of it.
The hard part is that it isn't within our control to acquire it. It is, in many ways, up to other people.
The "something missing" is sound Biblical teaching for women. The ones responsible for teaching it are older women. The one responsible for teaching them that they are responsible for this is the pastor.
But, like I said, it is missing.
And worse, it is considered "legalism" to believe what God says about women.
I know that at my church, I've seen the older generation seem to disappear. Perhaps it is because they want to do other things in their retirement years. Perhaps many have also passed away. But it is also because they are being asked to step down so that younger generations can take their places in leadership.
We seem to have become a youth group for adults, a constant retreat with fun and games....all while we ask the wisdom to exit left.
As one of many women in a generation wholeheartedly seeking God and seeking His will for us, and one who has, for years, searched and searched for older women to teach me about this calling, I find myself still seeking and, yet, finding no one.
The reasons are many...but the main two reasons that I've found are these:
1) They were not taught by their mothers to live the Titus 2 way, and so they did not live that out. Then, they feel inadequate to teach us something they themselves did not do.
2) They are all at work. Some of them, working in jobs for a church.
As I have sought the Lord on this matter, He kept repeating to me, "Read the book of Esther."
I kept ignoring the prompting. I thought to myself, "I already KNOW that story."
Or, "Yeah, yeah...I got it...Vashti...sent away...Esther made queen. Got it."
But still, I kept hearing, "Read Esther" from every source.
So one day I did....
I sat down one night when my husband was at work and the children were all in bed...and I read Esther to myself. I read it aloud so that I could "hear" what I was reading. (I grasp more of what I read when I "hear" it....auditory learner.)
It didn't take long for me to hear what the Lord wanted me to hear! Right there in Chapter 1, words jumped off the page! One part of this story answered all the crying out to God asking Him how to influence toward truth...and it answered my question of "WHY doesn't anyone else seem to believe and live the same truth?"
(Please know I do not say that with arrogance here...I say that with a genuine, heart-felt concern over the lack of teaching of "sound doctrine" that is found in the church today.)
Here is the section that I read:
"This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present. For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.
Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas—to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.
“According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”
Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come. This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
“Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue."
Allow me to paraphrase:
The King sent for his queen to come. She refused. King sought counsel from other leaders in surrounding provinces. They said, "Because of what the queen has done, all of our wives/queens will do the same...and they'll do it worse. There will be no end to the disrespect."
That last part jumped off the page of my Bible! It was right there in the story the whole time, but I was focused on watching for Esther. I totally missed the lesson from Queen Vashti herself!
But that passage, and paraphrase, tell me what the missing ingredient is...or was. No, I am not necessarily talking about disrespecting our husbands here, but our entire life!
Whatever a woman of influence and position does, those watching her fulfill her position will follow in her example....whether good or bad.
In the story of Vashti, it was her disrespect of her husband that was predicted to spread throughout the land as an example for all other queens and wives to imitate.
So what does that have to do with Titus 2 or the missing ingredient? At some point, women stopped teaching this sound doctrine in the church. At some point, culture took over. And at some point, this sound doctrine began to be called legalism.
Because Generation A stopped valuing the life described in Titus 2, they stopped teaching them to Generation B. Because Generation B had no teaching on these things, they did not live them out. And because they did not live them out, they will not teach them to our generation, Generation C.
I am on a mission. I am on a mission to live out the doctrine (the sound doctrine) of the younger Titus 2 woman. Why? So I can teach it to the next generation when the time comes that I am the "older" woman.
I also continue to lead women's groups where we can study this doctrine, hoping that one--at least one--woman grabs hold of the truths in Titus 2 and applies them in her life. Why? So that she, too, can teach them to younger women when she is the older one.
Let's do our part to connect the links again, Ladies!
I know I am not alone in seeking, and not finding, mentors willing to teach the doctrine presented in Titus 2 (and that which is called "sound doctrine"). What about YOU? Have you found mentorship somewhere? Or are you, like me, trying to figure it out yourself, hoping to pass it on to the next generation? Tell me in the comments!