As women, we have both the privilege and the responsibility to raise and nurture the generation to follow us. It has truly been said that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." We have a tremendous influence on our families, whether we realize it or not. It is up to us to make sure our influence is for good, and not evil.
Titus Chapter 2 tells us how we are to use our influence:
But you speak of the things which show sound doctrine: That the older men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The older women likewise, that they act in a manner that demonstrates holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, so 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, so that the word of God be not blasphemed.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is the grace of God that teaches us how to live, that we may in turn teach others. Our job, as older women, is to teach the younger women how to love God and live in a way that is pleasing to Him. It is our job to teach them to love their husbands and children. Some people (especially daughter-in-laws) think of that as "butting in", or trying to tell them what to do. But Titus 2:15 tells us:
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.
We have a God-given obligation to teach the younger women, and our authority to do so comes straight God's own Holy Word!
The job of younger women (listen up, girls!) is to learn from us how to love God, and then how to keep their homes in order, to love their husbands, to love their children. That isn't always easy. Children are pretty easy to love, at least until they get to be teenagers, but husbands.... Sometimes that's a bit harder. Sometimes we have to work at it, using the Word of God, rather than our "feelings", to determine what we should do.
Let's face it, ladies, whenever we get something stuck in our craw, we tend to brood. He says or does something we don't like, or fails to do something we think he should've done, and we sit and stew over it, getting angrier and angrier. Especially when he goes on, blissfully unaware that we are even upset.... He just hasn't got a clue! The more we brood about it, the more other misdemeanors come to our minds….. even things from 20 years ago ….. and the angrier we get.
If this goes on long enough, it breeds resentment: "He is always so thoughtless" or He never listens to me" or even, "He doesn't even care about MY feelings!" We feed our anger, and then stop treating him lovingly, stop being submissive to him - if we ever were, to start with! He gets one of two things: hot tongue, or cold shoulder ---- and he truly doesn't even know WHY, most of the time. In return, he gets angry, and it's like a snowball rolling downhill; and soon we are snowed under, because of our own negative thoughts. We focused all our thoughts on the wrong things, instead of on the Godly things.
Instead, what we need to focus on and think about are all the reasons we love him in the first place. The Bible tells us, in Philpians 4:8:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Believe me, that one little change in our thinking can make a BIG difference in your marriage!
It is of vital importance ladies, that we ourselves live as Godly women. We need to make sure we do as we just read in Titus 2:12:
"Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world."
That is the only way we will ever be able to exert our influence upon the generations to follow after us. Our families know if we are living hypocritically - saying we love the Lord, but living ungodly lives. Saying we love the Lord, but not being obedient to His word. Why should they be willing to learn from our example, if they see such hypocrisy in our lives?
The manner in which we choose to live is important, because the Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be a great "falling away" in the church. ( ll Thes. 2:3) We are only one generation away from total apostacy, and if we do not succeed in teaching the next generation, who will teach the generation after them?
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, liars, uncontrolled, fierce, haters of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For this is the sort which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, with their many various lusts. (II Tim. 3:1-7)
As women, we need to understand that we can easily be deceived. More often than men, we tend to let our hearts and emotions rule our actions, making it is easy for us to be led astray. That's a hard truth to face, but again, it is straight from God's Word.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman
being deceived was in the transgression. (1 Tim. 2:14)
We have influence, ladies, and it is up to us to make sure that we live Godly lives ourselves, and that we teach the generations of women who follow us. In the book of Esther, Mordecai asked his niece,
"....and who knows whether you have come to the
kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14 (b))
You see, Esther's whole life was a preparation for that one defining time, to accomplish a purpose God had prepared just for her. Her purpose was to influence the world around her, and thus influence the generations to follow.
God has a purpose for each one of us, as well. Before He laid the foundations of the earth, the Lord determined exactly where and when and how long we were each going to live.
This is our appointed time, ladies, to influence the world around us for Jesus Christ. To teach young women how to live Godly lives, how to love their husbands, and how they in turn can rear their own children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). This is our appointed time to influence our children and our grandchildren to live Godly lives. It is our God-given privilege and responsibility to teach them to love the Lord, and to eagerly await His return. May we never fail in that duty.