Working on Titus 2... a continual process

We've all read plenty of Titus 2 analysis that laser-beam-focuses in on that whole "keepers at home" part. It's good, it's significant, and it's biblical to learn this part of young womanhood, and it's a particularly hard lesson for young women of my generation, who have been taught that anything-- ANYTHING-- is more significant than "just" staying home.

But for my part, it's a lot harder to read other parts of that text... because they cut right to my sin and struggle; I'll bold them here:
train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
For me, other parts of that aren't so difficult to live out (although I definitely don't have those "in the bag")... but that whole self-controlled part... that's not anywhere near easy. I am sad to say it-- but there is no doubt in my mind that the word of God has been reviled many times because of my lack of self-control. There are times when I am out of control in any of the following areas: words, letting everything I'm thinking spill out without a biblical "filter", eating, anger, letting discouragement cloud out everything good that is happening in the world, time on the computer, and more...

And, yowzas!, that little four-letter word, "kind"! For some of you, that's probably second nature... maybe you're as Melanie Wilkes as they come. For me, it's so very difficult. It is easy for me to quickly slice and dice someone, their words, or their behavior/attitude/personality in my mind... and too often, out loud too. My deficiency in this area of kindness is severe-- whether or not I ever say a word. I know, even if no one else sees it, the depth of my own unkindness. And it can be u-u-ugly.

Thank God for GRACE!
We all are works in progress... there is a "working out" of our salvation... there is sanctification... there is a continual process of casting off the old and putting on the new. I am so thankful for His grace in my life... because while I can fairly easily check off the boxes of "working at home", or "loving her husband and children" (even though both of those still need work and attention at times and to varying degrees), there are some parts of Titus 2 that (for me) aren't easy at all.

Perhaps your rough spots are different... but aren't we all in need of grace? While I think it's biblical and right to encourage women towards "working at home" or other parts of specific mandates towards Christian women, I don't want to overlook the twin planks of unkindness and self-indulgence in my own eyes.

18 comments:

Cindy (and Brian) said...

Boy, did I need to read this!
Great post! Just recently found your blog and am loving it :)

watchthesky said...

This is exactly what I was praying about this morning. I woke up with a headache, my kids woke up 30 minutes early, and I have a lot on my plate today. I needed all those things that were SO not there yesterday when the same thing happened! None of the good stuff comes easily to me. Its easy to stay at home. Its much harder to be that good kind of woman while I do it!
I'm off to milk the cow, bake the bread and get school started....

homeskoolmommy said...

Amen! I need to read this post EVERYDAY! It is easy for me to be kind to most anyone, except for my own children when I'm having a bad day. It's so sad how unkind I can be to those I love the most. And self-control...ouch! I've been lurking here for a few days. Loving your blog!

Blessings!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Yes, yes, yes! You are SO right. Keepers at home, if I may be so presumptuous to say it, is the MINOR requirement here compared to the spiritual qualities. Do you realize that there are many, many unbelieving stay at home moms? Atheist ones even? What makes us different is not that we stay at home, though that's great. It's HOW we live while we're staying at home. And as you so eloquently stated, it's about our heart attitudes. Great post, Jess.

Megan P. said...

Jess, I'm so realizing this same lack of kindness in myself, especially toward my children! I've been getting such ugly things coming out of their mouths, ugly tones, demanding, unkind words... and finally I realized they're just reproducing what I'm modeling. I'm working on only speaking to them like I want to be spoken to, treating them with respect and like a person, not someone whose behavior I'm trying to control, taking time to explain instead of just saying "because I said so." Truly establishing authority in love, gentleness, kindness with a shepherding heart.

But I really appreciated you taking this beyond the walls of our home and extending that same kindness to others around. That needs to be my next step in my thoughts. I"m so much like you, eager to form my opinion (judgement?) of someone and put them in that box. Thanks for this encouragement to keep looking to the planks in our own eyes. Seems I've been hearing that a lot lately!

Bekah said...

Oh Jess, thank you for being transparent! I have really been struggling with kindness lately. I can relate with your confession word for word. In fact I think I might like to post about this on my blog...would you mind if I link to this post?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord I fail at all of them. Amazing Grace is an understatement.

Mx5 said...

I'm leading a book study by Carolyn Mahaney called Feminine Appeal, which is based on Titus 2. Needless to say, you are right on the money when it comes to those parts of those verses that give us a lot more to think about than merely keeping our homes. Self control and kindness seem to be the things with which most of us struggle. We can hide those flaws from others, but the Word of God pierces through it all, doesn't it? Good post!

Laura said...

Augh! I'm not even a mom, and this was incredibly convicting to me -- my sin just comes right to the surface when I'm dealing with my students, who are, by every reasonable standard, lovely, sweet, affectionate, obedient, and delightful. But I still lose it with them about once a day!

You know what I would LOVE? A post about apologizing to and seeking forgiveness from your kids. That's what I need major help on!!

Luke said...

Umm... self-control and kindness?

Yep, those are major ones for me too.

It's a good thing God loves me and has grace enough to continue to shape me because I'm lost without it.

~Luke

Christine said...

I certainly struggle with kindness and self-control, as well. God is most glorified when he can mold the weakest vessels into something beautiful. I am glad that He hasn't given up on me, no matter how many times I have fallen short of His Glory!

A Marriage After His Heart said...

Wow Jess
thank u so much for sharing your shortcomings. As the other ladies who commented I too struggle with being kind to my kids. "Howbiet this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" so I guess I better get started. Lord have mercy on me.

Claire said...

Self-control? I fail every.single.day. It's frustrating, but as you said, I am thankful for God's grace.

Kindness? Hmmm....because of a certain event in my life a few years ago, I stopped being so kind. I felt like a door-mat, so I went the polar opposite. I'm making my way back, but it's so much easier to have diarrhea of the mouth, and hurt others than to have self-control and use kindness.

Anonymous said...

I have been struggerling with feeling this way so much in the last couple of months, I so needed to read this Thankyou.
Our God is so awesome.
Mary
Raisinggodlydaughters

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jess for writing this, I really have been struggling with alot of these things. I am by no means Melanie Wilkes as you put it, my words come out the way I don't mean them so often. In reality they are really unkind and lacking in self control.

Anonymous said...

You used to write posts on different personality types.

Surely God understands that we have different strengths and weaknesses, and not every woman can live up to the Titus 2 model in the same way.

Laurie B

VideoBride said...

Oh my goodness your "out of control" areas are exactly the same as mine. My tongue can be so bad sometimes! (And often without my knowledge!) And now that I'm in my late 20's, I'm having to start watching what I eat. I've never done that before and I find that I'm always finding excuses for why I can indulge this one time. My anger can sometimes boil completely out of control (onto my husband, of course), and the computer, oh the computer. I am constantly sucked into it at the expense of outdoor activities, hobbies, housework, sometimes even eating! Girl, I need some self control!

Ann said...

Are the author of the book "Stepping Heavenward"?

I laugh, but only because you sound so much like Elizabeth Prentiss.

I assume you've read it. If so, perhaps you would enjoy reading it again. If not, you simply must!