The blessing and beauty of motherhood is one of the patterns rejected by many in our American culture. As followers of Christ, we must reexamine the biblical patterns that guide our understanding and practice of this important role. Paul gives us clear teaching on this in Titus 2:3-5.
The first part of the pattern is – motherhood is providentially assigned. God has assigned the “older women” to be teachers and mentors to the younger women, and especially to younger mothers. With age and experience come wisdom, and many older women have gained tools of godly living in relation to their husbands, children, and neighbors, and in the workplace, that could save younger women a lot of unnecessary grief. And when the unavoidable trials come to the young woman, who better to guide her through than an older sister who has been through it before?
Verse four says the older women are to teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, and to love their children. This teaching is not so much the imparting of information, but rather the discipline and training that leads to holy living and godly decision-making.
The next part of the pattern is – motherhood is morally refined. Paul uses the words, discreet and chaste. To be discrete means “To be self-disciplined in one’s freedom; to be self-restrained in all passions and desires.” It also carries the idea of being “careful of appearances.” This is so important in our Western climate of moral looseness.
The final part of the pattern is – motherhood is domestically inclined. Paul says the older women should teach the younger ones to be “keepers at home.” The literal meaning is, “those who stay at home,” and carries the thought of being domestically inclined; having a desire to create a home and to use it as a primary point of ministry and service. This is a special challenge in our day when motherhood is viewed as an inferior choice by many.
May God grant grace and blessing to mothers!
-J. Mark Horst