Titus 2: Woman-to-Woman Discipleship

Women have become a highlighted topic not just within the culture but in the church as well. There is one discussion that is lacking in the church when it comes to women: discipleship

A healthy implemented discipleship program is the marker of a healthy church. 

Discipleship is intentional in building not only relationships but addressing spiritual health areas that sermons cannot. This is essential to spiritual growth. It is so important, in fact, that teaching is part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Woman-to-woman discipleship is crucial to the Body of Christ. It is vital to the health of a female believer in their walk. 

Men cannot speak into the lives of a woman in the way another woman can. 

Paul’s Teaching

Titus 2 is the model for woman-to-woman discipleship within the church. Paul is writing to Titus in Crete, where he was left to help set up and equip the newly established church. A great deal of the letter focuses on the health of the church and the roles of leadership. 

Paul was likely either addressing issues that the church was facing by giving specific instruction to Titus on how to teach and appoint the church’s leaders. 

Within Titus 2, there is instruction specific to women regarding discipleship. In a way, it is descriptive of the discipleship life cycle of the church. 

Looking at the full passage, it speaks to men and women equally, but we can note the special instruction for women specifically:

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:1-5

There is specific behavior from older women that should be present if they are to teach younger women. 

Reverent in their behavior – For a woman to disciple another woman well, she must lead by example. She is to be a woman seeking to walk holy as God is holy. The phrase I use often is that she must be a woman who practices what she preaches to other women. Older women are to live out the example of spiritual maturity.

Not slanderers – Unfortunately, women are known for gossip. Our words matter to God. What we say about others has a great impact. Women who are seeking to disciple, just like I said before, should be the example. Their words should be as reverent as their behavior. 

Not slaves to much wine – Being a slave to wine will directly affect your behavior. If we are to guard our hearts against sin, we must put off what can cause us to stumble. 

To teach what is good – Women and men are called to teach sound doctrine and the scriptures and to point to the gospel in all things. They cannot teach what is good if they do not know what is good. Older women should be trained to disciple younger women. This is what I call the life cycle of discipleship. Older women train younger women. Younger women will become older women, and the cycle will continue. 

What Are Older Women to Teach?

What exactly are older women called to teach younger women? We know they are to teach sound doctrine and what is good, but there are specific areas where only a woman can speak into the life of another woman:

To love their husbands – Older women who are experienced in marriage can speak to the areas of marriage where a woman may struggle. They can encourage and even reprove where needed. Older women can give knowledgeable advice when it comes to marriage. This doesn’t mean you must be married for fifty years to qualify. To a newlywed in her twenties, I am an older woman who has been married for sixteen years. (There will always be a woman younger than you). 

To love their children – This could look twofold. While older women should encourage younger women to love and care for their young ones at home, they should be encouraged to disciple their children. Those we love should be our priority for discipleship. Mothers are the first line of gospel truth in the lives of their children. 

To be self-controlled – Self-control is a skill refined over the course of our lives. It is one that we often must be reminded of daily. For a young woman, self-control often comes in battling selfish desires or even dealing with disappointment. Older women can help be a constant reminder of what really matters in our day-to-day lives as believers. 

To be pure – We are to be pure, chaste, and holy women. One of the main things we should be doing as believers is pursuing holiness. It is a day-by-day action of walking holy as God is holy, and we are to be encouraging one another to pursue holiness. 

Working at home – There are many places within scripture indicating that women are the managers of the home. Women handle the day-to-day activities of the home, delegate tasks, and even control the emotional temperature of their homes. Women have a great deal of control over the home and should be encouraged to embrace the task with grace rather than resentment. 

To be kind–- All believers should be marked by kindness, not just women. 

To be submissive to their own husbands – The word submission leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. However, wives are called to be submissive to their husbands. They are not to be submissive to abuse or to be lorded over. Just as a wife is instructed to submit to the leadership of her husband, so her husband must submit to the leadership of the Lord. In the case of discipleship, older women can instruct in what submission is and is not. Older women can also be the first line of defense in abuse that may be taking place within the home. 

The end result ensures that the Word of God is not “reviled.” According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word reviled means to criticize, abuse, or angrily insult. Proper discipleship leads to a proper attitude towards God’s Word. It protects believers from erring and guides them in how to walk rightly.

All these things are written so that we may know God and honor Him with our lives. 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.

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