Titus 2: 1-5, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 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.”
Women’s ministries are very common these days. From the popular ones down to the in-church ones, they abound. This in itself isn’t surprising. After all, women have traditionally had a greater interest in the things of God than men did. Most churches have more female members than male ones. One preacher even said that most churches that he has seen are run by the women. He’s probably right. Because of all of this, women’s ministries tend to be very popular. The question is, are they set up and run in a biblical fashion.
In preparing to write this article, I visited the websites of many different women’s ministries. Very few were founded upon Biblical principles. Oh, they quoted Scripture…a lot; they proclaimed boldly that they were interested only in being founded upon the Word of God; they spoke openly of preparing women to serve in leadership positions; they spoke of the need for women to make a difference. The problem is what most of them didn’t say: that they were preparing women to love their husbands, their homes, their children and serve other women.
God has clearly laid out the Biblical principles of what He wants women to focus upon. However, in our cosmopolitan, me-centered, success-focused society, these principles are just so…old-fashioned. So while most “Christians” wouldn’t dare go so far as to deny what is contained in Titus 2, they feel free to take many liberties with it, in order that…well, that it might speak to women where they are…today…in our society. Instead of raising our standards to meet the Biblical demands,instead we re-interpret the Scriptures in light of today. The effect is one of dumbing down Scripture, lowering standards, and moving from a God-ordained and family centered women’s ministry to one that is God-condemned and self-centered.
One by one, we’ve denied, re-interpreted and mis-applied Scriptural injunctions. We’ve done away with just about everything that made the Gospel the Gospel. By doing so, we’ve invited the world to move in as Captain and tell us where we are going. She gladly accepted and is now running the ship. With her at the helm, women’s ministries, like everything else, pale in comparison to what Scripture has set forth as Truth.
I would like to see this change. It will only happen when we are willing to lay aside all of our ideas of what truth is and return to Scripture to see what God says Truth really is. God has made men and women equal in importance but not in function. What the church once knew and accepted without question, now most “Christians” will argue to the death about. Equal isn’t Same but most “Christians” want it to be. Men are stronger and women are weaker. Men are made to lead (in church, in the home, in society) and women are made to follow (in all three). Men are made to protect and defend and women are made to nurture and love. We’ve gotten our heads screwed on so crooked that we have trouble seeing straight even when we try to. It’s time to lay aside our ideas of what a women’s ministry ought to be and get into the Word and stay in the Word until we can understand what God has said it ought to be.
In order for a women’s ministry to honor God, it must be firmly grounded upon what the Word of God says. Scripture must be interpreted in light of Scripture. The whole counsel of God must be taken into consideration. A women’s ministry that isn’t cross-centered is me-centered. It is Christ we must seek and ourselves that we must deny.
It also must be home-centered. A woman’s ministry that seeks to prepare women for leadership is missing the mark altogether. Women aren’t made to take leadership positions. A woman would be better served if the ministry taught her to obey her husband, love him, see value in children, love her children and serve her family with gladness. She should be taught to value her role 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.
Lastly, a women’s ministry that is guided by the whole counsel of God will prepare the younger women so that they might one day be older women who are prepared to teach the younger women. The cycle ought to naturally continue itself.
In closing these should be the marks of a God-honoring women’s ministry:
- Scripture must be emphasized, the whole counsel of God must be taught and the theology must be Cross-centered (so that she might see the vileness of her sin).
- The headship of men ought to be understood as being applicable in the church, the home and in society.
- Women ought to be taught to love and respect their husbands–even those who do not obey God.
- Children ought to be seen as the blessing that they are; guidance in godly child-rearing ought to be offered.
- Homemaking should be looked upon with honor; she 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 anxious to teach “good things”.
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 that emphasizes the truth, not only of Titus 2, but of all Scripture is a good place to start.