Saturday, August 02, 2008

Older? Me?

Disclosure: Last week I turned 33.
It's funny, whenever I tell people who don't know me that I have four children...they tell me: "You don't look like you have four children!!"
This used to bother me. I mean...What exactly do I look like? Like I have five? or six???! Or that I look young? 
I don't know. I stopped analyzing it, and finally decided to just say, "Well, thank you!"

But I've also started thinking about this: Can a thirty-three year old woman be a Titus 2 "older" woman? (I'm actually asking this, so leave your answer in the comments.)

'Cause even though I may look young, I don't feel young.

I think about the 23-year-old me, and what I would have liked to tell that twenty-three-year old me. I've been a mother for 10 years, and a wife for 10 years. I've since added three more children to the mix. My kids are not grown, but there is some wisdom I can pass down to new wives, I believe.

Heck, I look to women my own age for wisdom in raising my children and keeping my home. I don't have a Titus 2 model consistently in my life, but I dream for it.

So, am I one of "those"? Or one of "those" in training?

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.
~Titus 2:3-5

(I'm still on a break from regular blogging. It always seems that when you take a break, then the ideas start flowing.)


Gina said...

A 33 year-old-woman absolutely can be a Titus 2 "older woman." You are older than someone else! You can be teaching a young wife. You can be teaching a young single woman. You can be teaching a teen. You can be teaching a young girl (a daughter, maybe?) AND you are a younger woman - who should be looking to an older woman to teach you to do all the things you're teaching a younger woman. I highly recommend Martha Peace's book "Becoming a Titus 2 Woman" on the subject of being "the older woman" in Titus 2.

I'm 43 with four young children (my oldest is 5, my youngest is six life is *insane*). The vast majority of the time, when it comes to parenting advice - I look to a friend of mine who has four children - all born in a 5-year time frame (her oldest is now 11 and her youngest is almost 6). My friend is 33. A full 10 years younger than me, but so much wiser in many aspects. She's also a very godly woman and can help me not only with practical matters but also in matters regarding the shepherding of my children's hearts. So, there are times when it comes to teaching me to love my children my Titus 2 older woman is chronologically younger than me. Though, I think ideally the set up should be chronologically older woman w/a younger woman.

Didn't mean to leave a novel for a comment! Just something I think is so important in relationships today! :)

Kimberly said...

I think we both.

We should be learning from those ahead of us, whatever that may look like, and be leading those behind.

Because as women today we are all over the place in ages and experiences we have a lot to learn from those both older and younger than us---if they are following Him.

I've been married for ten years, but only a mother for 2 1/2. There are those whom I may encourage as a wife, and yes, somewhat as a mother, but how much more I have to learn from one who may have been a mother longer, regardless of her age.

Just my thoughts.

laura said...

definately- we can be both. we are always learning. always growing (or should be) in our own walks with the Lord. i have been mentoring a young woman (4 years younger than myself)for three years. in the begining of our relationship, she was "never going to get married or have children" because she didn't want to give up her relationship with the Lord. Three years later, she is preparing for her own wedding! at the same time- i have been unofficially taught by women, slightly older than myself- either in wisdom or in experience- by blogging ladies (like yourself!) because i am one of very few in my church and the only one in circles of friends my own age (28) to have three children and be homeschooling. i have learned a tremendous amount from titus 2 women who write books as well- we are blessed to by wisdom which is so easily accessed in this day and age. my mother is not a Christian, so it is rather difficult to get solid teaching and advice from her, so i am so very thankful for women who are willing to walk alongside me as i stumble through this life- leading little ones behind me. thank you for the ministry you have worked in my life as well as many other women!

Stacy said...

Yep. Definitely think you qualify. I hadn't thought of myself (also 33) as one, either, until a few younger women joined our small group this year-- all newly married with no children or only one child. And it hit me- "Hey! I can offer something to these younger women." I've been married a decade longer than them, I have four children. Yes. I suppose that makes me "older". :)

So you, too, then!


Jess said...

I hear you, Andrea. I've been contemplating the same thing-- I'm about to turn 29... but I'm definitely older and more experienced than some. In looking at Titus 2, I look at what we're supposed to teach-- and there are things that younger "older" women like us can teach.

Anyway, I think once again you and I are on the same page, friend.

Jaime said...

I agree with your above commenters! We can all learn from anybody who has more experience than us, no matter what their age. I, personally, as a young mother with three children learn alot and gain alot of encouragment from blogs like yours.

Rose said...

you can be my older woman if you want! :) just suggesting 'the excellent wife' has been one of the best things anybody's ever done for me, as far as help with wife & mother things. so, thanks. :)

Mrs Wibbs said...

I am 34...
Have been married 12 years
Have 3 kids, 2 of whom have significant special needs
Have been through some major traumas over the last 10 years
...and I am finding that quite a few of the younger women in our church (as well as outside of it) are beginning to look to me for support, advice, and guidance.
I find this unbelievably daunting, and I feel pretty ill-equipped; but I guess God must have had a purpose in allowing me to go through all the 'stuff' I have gone through. I really believe that experience of any kind does indeed equip us to draw alongside those less 'experienced' or mature. Not that I am as mature as I want to be/ should be/ would like to be, or that I have finished growing, for this will take a lifetime!! And I in turn look to godly, spirit-filled women in the church who have more experience, more maturity than me, for advice, support, guidance...
So I guess in answer to your question, YES of course you are a "Titus 2 'older' woman"! This doesn't mean you have to have all the answers, and you are most certainly entitled to have your own 'mentors', 'older' women, whom you look up to and go to for support, advice and guidance yourself.
Boy! Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a ramble... I hope it makes sense :)
God bless you

Christine said...

I think you can! I just turned 35 and I found over the last few years that I became a Titus 2 woman and I didn't even know it! Women just a couple of years younger than me began telling me that they wanted my advice, or that they needed help with something or other with parenting. I was shocked! But I have embraced that to some degree and invite new moms over for lunch and take them under my wing so to speak. Even though we're "young", we are in a different stage than a lot of women our age so we're ahead in that way.

BTW, I just checked off a box for age "35-44" for the first time. Eeeek!

The Arnold Family said...

I am 24 with 4 children. I so appreciate your wisdom. To me you are a Titus 2 woman.

Beck said...

Happy birthday, Andrea! You are THREE YEARS younger than me - which shocked me, since I look up to you so much!

Moxie said...

Oh I feel a Titus 2 mentor can happen at a young age! Think about it......from birth those of us with daughters see the fact that from a very young age our daughters copy everything we do!! Every moment...every we treat/respect our husbands and honor our homes teaches (from the Titus 2 model) our daughters!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think the answer is yes! I'm 35, married 12 years, mother for 9 1/2. I have some wisdom to pass on and still need wisdom from those older than me.

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, I'm not telling you how old I am. Let's just say, we're in different decades. :)

Susan L said...

I missed this one somehow...

I'm 50 (!), and I consider you a wise woman worth reading regularly. I have learned much from you, and you've made me think hard about some things.

I know many, many older women who are foolish. They are not mentors in any way. They *think* they are wise; they promote themselves as experienced, wise women, but they have not shown trust in the Lord. They have not shown His peace. They have not shown the sweetness and gentleness of His Spirit. They do not know restraint. They have not proven Him faithful because they went their own stubborn way rather than His.

But you, definitely, yes. You are a Titus 2 woman, Andrea.


Monica said...

I so know what you mean. My husband and I have agreed that we will be perpetually 27 in eachother's eyes. As it should be.

I don't have tons of extra time in my life to "officially" mentor, though there have been some seasons of providing premarital counseling that have allowed this. In many ways I feel like my "younger women" are my daughters right now. They are continually watching and asking and learning from me what it means to be a godly woman, wife and mother. Oh the pressure!

I believe that these years will be in many ways God's preparation for when my children are gone from home and I have more time and opportunity to disciple others.

Just my thoughts.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Happy Birthday.

I didn't start feeling "Titus 2" until an older woman asked me to speak to the younger women in the church about something...

But by then, I'd gotten over being impressed with myself and didn't feel like I had anything to offer. Strange the way it happens...

April said...

Hi. This is my first time on your site & I find it very nice. I would agree with the other women that commented, you can be a Titus 2 woman. I am a year older then you & sometimes I feel really old or young depending on the subject matter & who I am talking to. Like another lady said, we are mothers to daughters (if God gave them to us) & we are mentoring everyday! I find this to be a huge burden sometimes but also helpful in training myself to be a Proverbs 31woman. Thanks for letting me share. God bless.