I am in my tenth year as a high school teacher and although the subjects I’ve taught have changed and the school where I teach is different, one this remains the same- God’s next generation girls need our guidance more than ever. While the issues they face are actually no different from those faced by their older sisters, mothers, grandmothers, or teachers- their teenage world is unbeknownst to us.
Theirs is the world of constant change and of image saturation; the culture of validation through social media and found worth from the acceptance of others. Theirs is the deep thirst for love and hope and discipleship; the need to witness both imperfection in older women and the completeness those women find in Christ. Theirs is the urgency to see a sophistication and classiness that is counter-cultural to the definition of beauty as the world sees it.
Titus 2 commissions the older generation- both men and women- to pour into the lives of those younger than us.
the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:3-5
An initial reading of this sounds as if those older than myself, a thirty-something, should be teaching me the secrets of homemade meals and the true value of homemaking itself. Does Titus 2:3-5 totally discount our teenage girls? Heck no! Especially if you put into context that in biblical times, and really up until recent history for that matter, teenage girls were at the age to be married. So this passage was written to direct older women to disciple younger women (teenagers) in their daily lives.
But how does this apply today? I love the part of the passage that tells us to be reverent in behavior and teachers of good things. This is a direct authority from God over our younger women and a direct call to live a life that is visible of grace and love, of intelligence and self-control.
What I have learned from my tenure working directly with teenage girls- both as a teacher and mentor- is that they intrinsically crave older women whom they can look to as a model of Christ-like living. They seek women who are visible and bold in their faith, who live in true rebellion against a world that is sucking them into the lies of evil himself.
You may not have the opportunity to pour into the lives of teenage girls every single day like I do. But we all have cousins and nieces, babysitters and daughters, neighbors and teenage girls at church– we all have young women in our sphere of influence, even if we haven’t noticed their need for us in their lives. Start there, with that one girl that seems to enter your sphere more than others.
Then pray for her big prayers of intercession at the foot of the cross because you might be the only woman in her life praying for her. Start a conversation by asking her a question about how things are going and then really listen because she might desperately want to share that hurt on her heart with someone. Sit with her and teach her one of your favorite hobbies because she might need space in her life for positive interaction. Pour into her by living out loud a bold-faith that is only found in Christ.
It’s time that we, the older generation of women, grab tightly onto this authority. In a world that is tearing our teenage girls down, they need us more than ever to be teachers of good things and bearers of authentic hope.
About Cricket. I am a dreamer, a creative soul. And while I am also a full-time teacher, wife, and mother; I find rest and purpose in writing. Suffering for years from low spiritual self-esteem and struggling to find a medium to share all that God has done in my life, I am finally out of hiding. Embracing a new found confidence in Christ, I am learning the sweetness of stepping out in obedience and living life in a position of bold-faith. Through it all I run on Jesus, coffee, and lipstick… in that order. Tweet with me @CricketButler and read along at www.cricketbutler.com