Women Energized by Grace
- Tuesday, June 19, 2007
When the Gospel of the life-changing grace of Jesus Christ entered the Roman world of the New Testament, the condition of family life was very bleak. Paganism had all but erased the plans God had left for marriage and the family.
When Christ's church entered the world sharing His grace, life was very dark. Christian marriages and homes were started in a sin-warped, sin-darkened world of mixed-up marriages, sin-scarred lives, and confused families.
Men didn’t know about their role as men in the home and church; and women didn’t understand their gender-specific roles in the home and at church.
Husbands had never heard about servant leadership, and women had never had gracious, Spirit-energized submission modeled for them by their mothers or anyone else they knew.
The grace that Titus 2:1-13 offered, empowered the believers to overcome every level of culture in the New Testament world that was completely antagonistic to the Christian home.
• First, the Old Testament Jewish culture had moved away from God’s plan for marriage and the home by expanding the divorce provisions of Deuteronomy 24 top include anything a husband didn’t like. By Christ's day divorce was commonplace and expected. Many men felt women were only an object to be used. A common prayer that has survived through the centuries contained the following words that reflected the perception of women held in those days: “God, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” Grace taught them to deny this error.
• Next, the secular Greek culture that had influenced the world before the New Testament times had decimated women. In Greek society men were allowed to have concubines and consorts and maintained wives for legitimate heirs. Culturally across the pagan world, women were considered to be little more than servants . Grace taught them to deny this error.
• Finally, the first century Roman society, built upon the Greek society, plunged the family even deeper into darkness. Divorce became widespread, and as affluence increased—family life decreased. Many women of the Roman world chose to not have children because it ruined the looks of their bodies. Grace taught them to deny this error.
So what plan did God have to penetrate such an antagonistic culture? How would God get His gospel to the furthest corners of the Roman World of Paul’s day? The plan was simple. God said His saving grace would change people from the inside out. Then His grace taught, modeled, and exhibited by Paul and Titus would produce matured believers.
Steeped in such a family-unfriendly culture, men and women who were gloriously saved did not automatically become great wives and mothers, or husbands and fathers. When they came to Christ and were forgiven, God graciously gave them everything they needed to become godly wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers. But, they needed something else. They need worship services that taught them to believe correctly, and then they needed matured believers to disciple them in how to behave correctly.
Then mature godly women would each find a younger woman in the church and spend time with her teaching her how to change her attitude, her marriage, and her family.
These new believers needed coaching, training, modeling, and encouraging in a one-on-one relationship. Godly behavior is a series of choices; and those men and women had to be nurtured in daily skills that would lead to loving marriages and families.
Modeling seems to be among the big dreams of many young ladies in our culture today. But the best and most rewarding modeling career is with God. The spiritual shape of a woman is what matters eternally, not her physical shape. And, with godly modeling the rewards last forever!
And that is the vital spiritual mentoring ministry which we find captured for us in Titus 2.
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