Aging with Grace Sermon Series Sermon # 3 Jan. 26, 2014
Titus 2:1-8 “Godly Patriarchs and Matriarchs Mentoring the Next Generation”
Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church Pastor Louis Prontnicki
Introduction: It has been said that those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach. Anyone who has taught will certainly dispute that idiom, but I would like to turn it around and propose this:
“Those who have done, should teach.” That is, those men and women who have decades of experience in doing the work of marriage and raising children and living the ups and downs of life should by all means teach and train the next generation of young men and women. This is my message from God’s Word today
But first, a brief review from last two sermons:
Psalm 71 A psalm for older believers: using all that God has taught you to encourage yourself for the challenges that lie ahead in old age, as well as for encouraging the next generation.
Titus 2:2-3 What older believers should BE: godly patriarchs and godly matriarchs.
Today we look at Titus 2:4-7: What those godly patriarchs and matriarchs should DO:
We’ll do the ladies first, this morning:
I. Matriarchs should mentor younger women, with grace. (vv. 4-5)
Older Christian women, who have been enrolled in the Lord’s school of trials and hardships, and seen first-hand the faithfulness of God for decades, should use all that experience to become teachers. And who are they to teach and what subjects should they teach? Vv. 4-5 supplies that answer: “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Older women are to teach the younger women in three main areas:
A. How to love their husbands and their children;
B. How to glean the best of being Martha and Mary; and
C. How to find freedom under the umbrella of their husband’s care
Younger women need training in three areas:
A. How to love their husbands and their children. (This command has three assumptions)
i. Loving your husband and your children does not come naturally. Why not? Because it calls us you to be unselfish, to give out when you might get little in return, and to presevere in a hard task for years and years. Now it is true that some woman find this easier than others, but each wife and mother will need to cling to God’s love and strength, when their own runs out.
The Apostle Paul does not assume that the next generation of wives and mothers knew how to love their husbands and children. Many of those new believers on the Island of Crete had never seen a godly model of this growing up… and the same is true, more and more, of younger people in our culture as well.
ii. Each and every Christian wife and mother can be taught how to love her husband and children. This is true no matter how stubborn, inconsiderate, or unappreciative they may be. Nothing is too hard for the Lord, and He is able to pour His love into each woman’s heart, so that she can love her husband and children with God’s love.
iii. If a godly wife is going to love her husband and her children, then she must make her husband and her children her highest earthly priority. Her family must have a higher priority than her professional career, and higher than her own pursuits and pleasures. Where do I get this idea? I believe this is clearly implied in Gen. 2:24 (She is her husband’s suitable helper), in Proverbs 31:10-31 (a multi-talented woman who never neglects the needs of her husband and children), and in 1 Timothy 5:9-10 (the godly widow has distinguished herself by her record of faithfulness to her late husband and for bringing up her children.) Let me be clear here: this does not necessarily mean that this wife and mother has to spend more hours on her family than on her outside career, but it does mean that her family is a higher priority; she must not sacrifice their welfare for the sake of her own profession or pleasure.
Godly matriarchs need to train younger women in this area of loving their family.
Second area of mentoring:
B. How to glean the best of being Martha and Mary.
5 “to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind…”
Think of Luke 10:38-42, where we have the two sisters who were followers of Jesus. Mary was the more contemplative one, sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to what He was saying, while Martha was the more active sister, busying herself with all the food preparations that needed to be done, to feed Jesus and his disciples.
Ladies, some of you probably identify with Martha, right? You are active doers, and so Paul’s words, “Be busy at home” or “be domestic” comes easily to you. And if that’s you, then you need to glean from Mary’s example, and make sure you spend time each day “sitting at Jesus’ feet.”
But if you are more inclined to be a “Mary”, perhaps you need to glean from Martha’s example, and learn how to be more domestic, how to devote more time and energy to the things that need to be done around the house.
Whichever way you lean, whether you are more of a Martha or a Mary, your actions and words should flow out of a heart that is yielded to the Holy Spirit, and is strengthened daily by abiding in the Lord and his Word.
Older women, that’s what God wants you to grow in, so you can be examples of this to the younger women.
Third area of mentoring:
C. How to find freedom under the umbrella of their husband’s care
“to be subject (submissive) to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Perhaps the hardest thing a wife faces is learning how to be biblically submissive to her husband… especially when she may be more mature, more godly, and more serious!
Let’s be clear here: both the husband and the wife are equal in the sight of God, and they are both co-heirs of the gift of life (1 Peter 3:7). Yet within the sacred bond of marriage, God has given to the husband the role of the servant-leader, (reflecting the loving and sacrificial servant-leadership of Jesus Christ). And God has likewise called the wife to be one who responds to her husband’s servant-leadership. With submission and respect. It’s a beautiful dance that takes lots of practice!
Picture a husband and a wife walking arm in arm in the rain, and God is calling the husband to hold the umbrella over both of them, but he is to make sure that his wife is especially protected from the rain. She will find. Under God, her freedom and security under her husband’s umbrella. (And for those who are single or widowed, you will find more of your freedom and security under the Lord’s umbrella, which may include the pastor and elders of your church.)
Ladies, if you are married, then God has designed you to blossom and bloom most fully under the servant-leadership of your husband… but this will not come naturally to you. In fact you will kick and scream against it (see Gen. 3:16 “Your desire will be for you to rule over your husband.”). But God will teach you much about submitting to the Lord as you learn to humbly submit to your husband.
Godly matriarchs, set an example of this, and train the younger wives to have their hearts softened in this crucial area. More experienced, godly women need to come alongside the younger ones and offer training, advice, and encouragement… and the younger women ought to take it!
Now to the men….
II. Patriarchs should mentor younger men, with grace (vv. 6-7a)
“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” A patriarch who is aging with grace should be a natural example to the younger men in all areas of life.
Patriarchs should mentor younger men in two main areas:
A. Learning how to apply the brakes (Self-control) (6)
Most men, and especially younger men, have little problem with the gas pedal in a car; we love to put the pedal to the metal and go fast in life. But we often struggle to find the brake pedal; we have a hard time saying “No” to things that will enslave us if we don’t apply the brakes, through some God-empowered self-control.
The word for self-control in v. 6 conveys the idea of “brakes” (such as in a car or on a bike), of someone who knows how to stop, when to quit and when to say “no”. A lot of men know when to start but not when to stop! What are some areas or examples of this? Anger, driving cars, drinking, lust, pornography, physical violence, abusing girlfriends, wives, and children, gambling, and spending money on “toys.”
But note that Paul writes to Titus that young men can be taught to develop self-control; they can, by God’s grace, gain mastery over those habits and desires and addictions that at times seem so out of control.
Let us be clear about where this self-control comes from: Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”
It is by understanding, appreciating, and applying the grace of God which saved us that we are taught how to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.
Godly patriarchs need to help younger men learn how to apply the brakes of self-control.
B. Being an example in every area of life (7)
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” (ESV: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.”)
Notice that older men are to both encourage and to exemplify/ embody; we are to both train and typify what God desires younger men to be and do. And this is so important in our culture because there is a lack of godly young men out there!
There is a desperate need for younger men to see godly models in older men. Men need mentors: if not their own father or grandfathers, then other men in the church. They need to learn by example how to love a woman, how to raise a child, how to be a spiritual leader in the home, how to be wise in decision making, and how to deal with suffering and loss.
The Greek word for “example” or “model” refers to the model, pattern or mold into which clay or wax was pressed, that it might take the figure or exact shape of the mold.
It is notable that in here Paul didn’t say “tell them” but rather “show them.” Paul wrote more about Titus the example than he did about Titus the exhorter! Titus was himself to be what he wished others to be.
And that’s how it should be with godly patriarchs. Older men, does what you say by your life validate what you say with your lips? Even our most forceful and compelling arguments will fall on deaf ears if our lives fail to back up what comes out of our lips.
Writing to Timothy, Paul says in 1 Tim. 4:12, “Don’t let anybody look down on your youthfulness.” Don’t let anybody criticize you just because you’re young. “But rather show yourself an example,” the very same phrase he gave to Titus. But here he delineates five categories…speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. In all those areas of life, Timothy, I want you be a pattern that other men can follow.
Perhaps each man could ask a close friend, or a son: “In which areas of my life am I setting a good example, and where do I need improvement?”
Of course, ultimately, our highest example is Jesus Christ Himself: In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul writes, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.”
Younger men and women: I urge you to latch on to a godly matriarch or a godly patriarch and learn from their wisdom and their example. You need it!
Older men and older women, I exhort you to make it your aim to mentor and influence the younger men and women that God has brought into your life: sons and daughters; sons in law and daughters in law; grandchildren; nephews and nieces; people at church and people in your neighborhood… even those living far away, through e-mails, calls, and skyping!
You are being given by God the great opportunity to impact the next generation for the Lord Jesus Christ! You have wonderful prospect of molding future leaders in the church, home, and society by your example!
May the last season of your life be the most influential one, for God’s glory!