The Titus 2 Woman: Encourager of New Moms
Guest Post by Andrea Green of The Greenbacks Gal
Last year, when Stephanie confessed her feelings of being overloaded and overwhelmed, I knew exactly how she felt and my heart cried out for her. Although my girls are now teenagers, those years of raising young children remain one of the most difficult periods of my life. I remember many days where I just wanted help and having no where to turn. I still define those years of parenting as being “in the trenches” where some days you feel you are fighting just to maintain your very life.
During those years of raising young children, church was one of my sanctuaries. I loved to be able to sit in services and enjoy the peace and fellowship. However, there was one barrier to my peaceful Sundays. The church nursery did not have enough volunteers. Therefore, the parents had to take turns volunteering in the nursery once a month.
I remember one particular Sunday when a friend of mine and I were volunteering. She looked at me and asked, “Where are the Titus women?” Admittedly, I had no idea what she meant.
She explained she was referring to Titus 2:4 where the mature women of the church are tasked with teaching the younger women to love their husbands and children.
To teach is an active verb – meaning to take action she explained. Where were the mature women who were past this season of life who could come alongside us and help us in our time of need? If ever we needed someone to teach us to love our children it was during this season of life – when our very selves were extended to the point where we didn’t feel capable as mothers.
Since then, I have always remembered that when my children were grown, I wanted to be a Titus 2:4 woman of the church. Are you a more mature woman of the church? Young women who are adding to their families – like Stephanie – need us to support them. How can we do this?
Offer Your Time
Perhaps the best example of a Titus 2:4 woman I’ve ever heard of involves my friend Jennie. Jennie had her two children 16 months apart. Her husband was in medical school and they lived far from any family. A mature woman in her church saw the need and stepped up. She watched those children every week for 3 hours so Jennie could have 3 hours of free time to take care of herself. Jennie often talks about how this gift of time saved her during a time of stress in their lives.
Use Your Experience
Remember, in Titus we are appointed with teaching these young women to love both their husbands and their children. Just as these young women are becoming moms for the first time – the men are becoming fathers for the first time. These women need our experience in navigating not only their new relationships with their children, but in redefining their relationships with their husbands. Sometimes they just need to know – that it is all perfectly normal and this period of adjustment will pass.
There are so many ways you can demonstrate love to these young moms. You can start by bringing a meal. Most families get lots of meals within the first two weeks of a baby being born. Why not wait until week 7 or 8 when the family has been sleepless for several weeks and the offer for meals has dried up. Or how about just an offer to hold the baby. I loved it when my father-in-law would hold my baby during mealtime so I could just eat with my arms free. Admittedly, now that my arms are free, I love the opportunity to hold a squirming baby!
Those of us who have suffered burnout need to be attentive to those young women of the church and be on the lookout for signs of trouble. I know my husband had no idea how desperate I was, and so he didn’t know to get me help. How could he? I didn’t know I needed help myself! Take the time to really talk to those young women and if you see signs of trouble, offer to get them help.
Who hasn’t been to the mall or the grocery store and been irritated by the screams of someone else’s small children? Next time, instead of being annoyed, why not extend grace? Have you ever offered an encouraging word? We don’t know what circumstances that mom may be facing. Who knows what your small act of love and grace can mean to the life of that person. And isn’t that what a mature woman of the church is being called on to do?
Specifically, pray for these women for strength, for stamina, for wisdom, and for grace. Every new mom deserves to know that a prayer warrior is championing for them.
This has been much on my heart lately also. I don’t think that it is just limited to more mature women in age, but also in journey. For example, I’m only 28, but I’ve been married 8 years with 3 young children, and many of my friends are only just getting married, or just having children. So while I may not have the experience of years of parenting on my side, I can still use what God has taught me to help and encourage other moms! I know that it has made a huge impact on my over the years, especially from my mom and MIL and some women in our church, but I really feel that this is missing somewhat! I hope to become and train my daughter (and hopefully more!) to be this kind of woman who builds up into others teaching all that the Lord has taught her. Thanks for this great post and encouragement!
I totally agree with you Lauren… I think depending upon where we are in the journey we will be able to minister to different women. It’s all about opening your eyes and asking for the Lord’s heart for women who really need it. He is so faithful to bring people into our path who desperately need to know that He is faithful and He sees their needs.
I was so encouraged just last week by a Titus 2 woman from my church. I am 35 weeks pregnant with #3 and have a 15 month old and a 2.5 yr old at home. This woman offered to come watch my children for a few hours during the middle of the day so I could take a break. She drove over 45 minutes to get to my home! It was such an encouragement to me and a much-needed break. I was so blessed by her generous offer and wish more women like her would step up to serve the young mothers and wives in our church body!!
Awesome article! I am blessed to have a mother like that!
My mother lives states away but her encouragement and faith in me has seen me through many trenches, and it is by her that I have learned the wisdom to love my husband and be as patient with him as I am supposed to be with my kids! Thanks mom! Thanks for the article, Miss Green!
We definitely need more Titus 2 women! My peers and I have often asked the same question (where are they?) even asking for help among the retirees inthe church (to no avail). With no family in town and 2 children who have yet to sleep through the night my husband and I are at our wits end. We are in self proclaimed survival mode and would give a limb for this kind of help. Please keep encouraging woman to look around and see the need. It is there for sure.
I love this. At first when I read this verse, I bristled just a tiny bit because I took it from the perspective of young mothers raising their young daughters just to take care of men and children. But after I read the entire article and applaud what you have to say. The pop culture saying “It takes a village to raise a family” was first penned by God, our loving Father. I really really like how you put this verse into modern perspective. I am soooo in the trenches right now with four young children, but I sincerely hope that when my arms are empty I can be that Titus woman. thank you!
Our church is host to a local chapter of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and we try to have a mentor Mom (moms with teens or grown children) at each table. That way women are building a relationships with someone who can provide insight. wisdom and support.
I want nothing more than to be a Titus 2 Woman………..the problem I run into is that the young women don’t want to be mentored. 🙁 My church is full of young Mom’s with little children. They do not seek out the older women of the church for help or advise. They all look to their peers for advise, not finding what they need because their peers are in the same situation. My question is…….where are the wise young women wanting a mentor?
I have experienced the same thing. Moms and young couples who are more interested in texting and going out to eat than establishing relationships. I wanted to work in the nursery. One of the daycare moms thought it was a right to bring her children to the nursery even when sick. She always gave them motrin before they came. After I came down sick and then the rest of the family multiple times, my husband asked me to stop working in the nursery. Out of all the women I am only one of two moms that stays home, so the working women seem more interested in spa days and shopping days. They wonder what to do with the debt and I have watched them seek counsel from someone that has declared bankruptcy instead of wise counsel.
I was thinking something so similar! I am young and don’t have children, but I have extra time and definitely offer to give some free babysitting to my friends from church who have young children. I don’t ask people I don’t know well — just a comfort thing for everyone involved. Anyways, I almost NEVER have anyone take me up on the offer! I’ve often wondered if some moms just don’t want to ask for help or if they think I can’t care for their kids because I don’t have children of my own.
God bless you (and Sharon and JNC)! Care to move to my hometown? Any of you? 😉
Sometimes it’s hard to take help because when you’ve reached your limit, you don’t want to put that work onto someone else – at least that’s how it is for me. Not that I have anyone asking to watch my kids for free, but it’s easy when you reach that point to forget that your kids are a joy. At least for a little while. There have been times it has taken everything in me just to get through the day.
When I was a college student I would go on “dates” with two families’ kids. I would ask if I could please take the kids skating, to a movie, to the arcade, whatever. I made it clear that it was as much for me as for them and the kids, and they always took me up on it. Maybe try the “I just love you kids so much, please, PLEASE let me take them to the park for a few hours this weekend!” tactic and see if that works. Your friends probably really need it but feel guilty accepting.
Whew…..let me just tell you, the part about extending grace to another mom with crying kids in the store really spoke to me. Because until I was a mom, I would go nuts at that. Now I just try letting her know that we’ve all been there.
I’ve blessed to have a great older mentor who is a Titus 2 woman for me.
Thanks for this fabulous article. I really enjoyed every single word.
I love this post for so many reasons. I’m in the trenches, and it encouraged me that feeling as if I’m in the trenches is OKAY! Sometimes, I just need to be told that. 😉 Great, encouraging post!
My husband and I have no family near by to help so we were always really on our own. In case of emergency we had a friend we could call, though. In my church it has often been those of us in the trenches who were also doing all the volunteering and there has been much burnout. We struggle with finding enough volunteers. I left teaching Sunday School because it was adding too much to my workload but my 12 year old daughter and I volunteer twice/mos in the nursery and love it. I do feel that because I am no longer in baby stage, we can go in there and have fun enjoying the babies and toddlers and give moms a well-needed respite. I admire the few ‘older’ women still involved in ministry with children and hope I can be that person later in life too.
I was desperate for encouragement when my first two kids were little and found it, to some degree, through a ladies Bible study. That two hours a week (with child care provided) was a life saver for me.
I have always loved bringing meals – that is my #1 fall back, but I can see where I could offer more of me to those who could use it. Funny, as a foster mom I often get thrown into situations that dramatically change our family dynamics and create realities where it seems like we have a “newborn” in the house! I can say that it would be nice if others saw that situation the same as a natural birth…..I can also see where I have become blind to others in need. Thank you for the fresh perspective!
I yelled at an older lady in the store the other day for stalking a young woman and her two children around (who – by my standards – really weren’t even being that ‘bad’!) just to say snide comments. I think the older woman’s stage whispers of ‘If MY child was that ill behaved I wouldn’t even take them into public!’ bothered me far more than the woman they were directed at. I don’t typically holler at people in the grocery store but I lost it. Because really? This is the trenches. And I would just like someone to bring me some dry socks some days…
Once, I was in a grocery store and my then-2 year old (my first child) was having a fit. I pulled our cart off to a corner of the store in a rarely used aisle, so that I could sit there and talk to her and wait for her to change her attitude and obey me so that we could continue shopping. Her temper tantrum could be heard far and wide as I tried to stay calm and patient and deal with the situation without losing my cool. About 5 minutes in to this, a middle aged woman approached me and looked me in the eyes and gently said, “You’re doing a good job. Keep it up.” Then she smiled and walked away to let me finish dealing with things. It was so incredibly encouraging. Talk about bringing me dry socks, right? I think we all (young moms and older moms) need to be willing to speak hope and encouragement to other moms who are also in the trenches. It really can make a huge difference.
i love this post, can i just say that to start?!
i have a couple women, besides my extremely supportive mom, who have helped me in so many kind small ways the past 2 years. we have 4 boys and are expecting a fifth in less than 6 weeks!
ways i have been helped: one gal brought me diapers after my 4th son was born nearly every time she would come over (she was in our homegroup) and it blessed me like crazy! sometimes money was extremely tight and it was so thoughtful and practical for her to bring them without even asking.
a gal and her husband and 4 teenage kids watched my 4 small kids christmas a year ago for free (so my youngest was only 6 mos) AND gave us a gift certificate to go out to a very nice restaurant. i was so awed at their thoughtfulness on many levels.
another gal has helped me the past month with deep cleaning some areas of my house that just don’t get done with 4 small boys. we worked together and talked and it was so encouraging to have someone come and help me and clean WITH me!
i try to do what i can for my friends i see having a hard time in motherhood, but it is just so valuable when seasoned moms do it because they are already out of the trenches.
thanks for posting this again!
God is the Lily of the Valley! In other words the Lily of the trenches! The land of Mothering is filled with mountain top experiences and valleys (trenches) If we look to be lifted out of the valleys where would all our Lilies be? It is finding the Lilies when you refuse to be rescued.. it is looking for the Lilies that we build stamina and God deliverance. I love how Hezekiah said his soul was delivered… the circumstance did not… These are the Titus 2 lessons that move me to love and cherish these trench experiences as I change the world by nurturing my children. In Titus 2 the word ‘love’ means ‘Philo-teknos’…. to actually want to hang out with – as a friend who wants the best for them. The Titus 2 woman is not there to rescue you from your trench… but to show you how to be a good mother in the midst of it… for valleys are there to grow Lilies and then before you know it you will be on another Mountain Top 🙂 Happy mothering to all of you… especially when you go through the Valleys.
Your post was so encouraging. The Lillies the valley the mountains. I’ve been
Serving young moms lovingly thru in depth bible study for over 6 years. My high
Schoolers however need me the last few months before they graduate from high
School. Need is more like being available and praying them thru their valleys
How would you in the transition back explain the leave of absence to the young
Moms. I don’t want them to feel I’ve let them down. I have a replacement but
I’m leaving mid year.
I think that every Christian woman can be a Titus 2 woman to somebody. Please don’t relegate it only to the elder women and say “where are all the Titus 2 women” expecting to be served. Genuinely seek out to serve others and the Lord will bless your efforts.
What a great post. I do agree with a previous commenter that it is not always age but situation in life. If you are a stage ahead of someone else you can be such an encouragement. Also, I think there needs to be a call to the younger to go ask the older. But like you said, sometimes we don’t even know we need help. Great thoughts. Thank you.
Even before I ever knew what a Titus 2 woman was, I was blessed to find a wonderful mentor in my church. I was 15 when I started babysitting for her family and now 10 years later her children were in my wedding and she was with me every step of the way. I have a wonderfully supportive mother, but in my opinion finding someone outside my family to teach and give perspective is always helpful (and sometimes it’s easier to take the “hard” advice fom someone else).
She taught me to cook, she helped me learn to care for her children (and many others…. I’m a teacher now), she taught me to be myself, and she is teaching me how to be a loving wife. I know that one day when I’m raising children, she will be the first person I go to when I need advice!
The role youre describing sounds more to.me like someone with the gift of service or encouragement. My titus 2 women show me how to mother, love, discipline, be joyful in hard times, share their wisdom about parenting issues, respecting husbands, etc. they both still have young children as well as teens, so I do not expect them to help me but instead try to help them with practical things, while they serve me by mentoring.
I didn’t think titus women existed any more. I have been looking for that kind of church for a year now. they are not like they use to be. People in the churches don’t care like they use to. It’s more out of habit now for most people to go to church.
To have such women in your life is truly a blessing. A couple of years ago, I was having a very hard time as a wife and mother. Two older women in my church were kind enough to take me under their wings and provide prayer and guidance during that difficult time. Since then, I have seen a Titus 2 ministry start up in the church they attend. It has been wonderful to see and many of us mothers of younger children benefit from this ministry. If it hadn’t been for the generous heart of such women, I don’t think I would have made it through the difficult time I was having without truly wrecking my marriage.
The Lord always sends the encouragement we need at the right time! I have been married 8 years and my husband and I are blessed with 4 beautiful children. I have many days when I feel I’m in over my head. I am so glad to have many Titus 2 woman in my life! They help me to keep my focus as a mother to know that what I am doing is exactly what God desires for me.
Thank you for this entry! It has come at a time when I really, really needed to hear these words. My husband and I have been helping lead the babies ministry at a little church plant over the last year now and while I love it- I was just made aware by another older woman that I never get to be in service. This article makes me just thankful that God has provided a different service for my husband and I- the service of learning humility by caring for little ones. I hope and pray that I may be a Titus 2 woman! May all mothers know that they are blessed to have children 🙂
Hi, I’d just like to encourage all young moms and older moms, out there. Often, as older women, we have missed the opportunity, to just be there for younger women. Well, it is never too late, older women
No matter, who you are…when a young mom is in need of your support, just ask for creative ways to be there for her. Many young women don’t have close family around and sometimes there are difficult life experiances that they need an hour or so of your time or an encouraging word of prayer, to know, “they can make it through”!!!
Yes…I was a single mom of 5 and for a while I thought that if I could be the super single mom of the day, and that it would be this wonderful testimony to all! Well, the truth is, I wasn’t perfect, and there were many times, that I longed for encouragement or for a break, to just regroup and gain perspective. Grace did come, but often, discouragment nearly blocked it! When I was younger, even one encouraging word from an older woman, was like a golden apple that helped to fuel a fresh perspective! Often, what hindered me was an independent attitude or a pitty party. Oh,… those emotions that women have!
I really do think that if I simply would have asked more earnest questions in a healthy way, to mature women, it would have helped a lot.
The LORD did pull me through, but I’m sure He wanted a whole lot more interaction, with me and others. That’s LOVING one another!
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