Becoming A Woman of Impact
Happy Mothers’ Day!
How did it all start? This special day for mothers go all the way back to the 19th century.
Meet Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis. She was a daughter of a Methodist Minister in Virginia.
Tragedy brought out the best in her. Four out of her six children died of various diseases. All but one of the dead children had been born healthy. In those days, illness in children was swift and fatal. She blamed it to the unsanitary conditions of the slaughter house nearby.
But she did not sit down and watch the rest of her kids die also. She took matters in her own hands. She organized a women’s group called “Mother’s Work” to promote community health. Their motto was “Mother’s Work — For Better Mothers, Better Homes, Better Children, Better Men and Women.” And, through patient, hard work, they succeeded in their campaign. And, when the Civil war broke out in America, her group worked for peace in their town throughout the war.
When she died on May 10, 1908, her daughter Anna wanted to honor her mom. At a memorial service for her mother, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation to each person who attended. It was her mother’s favorite flower. She also suggested the national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her own mother so dearly.
Soon, her idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity in major cities in the USA. Six years later, in honor of Anne Marie Reeves Jarvis, by an act of the US congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 2nd Sunday in May as Mothers’ Day.
Now the question is… Would you be honored with a special day because of your life?
Well, the Bible teaches us how you could become a woman of impact. And we find it in Titus 2:3-5…
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 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.
To fully enjoy the richness of this passage, let us look into its context.
Note the word “Likewise”. This word gives us a clue that the verses are connected to each other.
Paul wrote to Titus who was pastoring the believers in Crete so “that [he] should set in order the things that are lacking” in that church.
Paul also instructed Titus in 2:1 and 15 that he “must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. … These, then, are the things [he] should teach.” Note the phrase “sound doctrine”. It means that these teachings are not bad but good for us.
When your son is sick, he may not like the taste of the medicine. But, if it is what the doctor prescribed, he has to take it. It’s the same with the Word of God.
There are times that a pastor is afraid to tell the truth. He fears that he might step on someone else’s toes. But Paul commanded us to “encourage and rebuke with all authority” and that we should “not let anyone despise [us].”
If we would read the rest of chapter 1, we find that false teachers were attacking the early church. That’s why Paul gave instructions on what to teach to various groups in church. In verse 2, he talked about the men in the church. In verses 3-5, the women. In verses 6-8, the young people. In verses 9-10, the slaves. I encourage you to read the whole book. It’s very short.
Note that Paul focused on relationships, particularly the family. Always remember that, “As the family goes, so goes the church.” No amount of success in business or ministry will ever compensate for failure in the home.
Then Paul links our conduct in our families with the grace of God. In Titus 2:11-12 it says, “God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people. He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world.”
God’s kindness teaches us to live decent and honest lives in this world. What makes us good Christians ought to make us good fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. That’s why the strength of the entire church depends upon the strength of the families in the church.
If we live the way God wants us to live, it says in verse 5, “no one will malign the word of God.”
If we live the way God wants us to live, it also says in verse 8 that “those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
And if we live the way God want us to live, it also says in verse 10 “that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”
People will ask what made you different. And then you can share to them that Jesus changed your life and your family. And the Lord can change their lives and families also.
With that in mind, let us focus now on our passage. How then can you become a woman of impact?
First, to become a woman of impact, you must set an example in the way you live.
Older women must set an example to younger women what a godly woman ought to be. They must “be reverent in the way they live”.
And a godly woman does not engage in slander or gossip. You don’t meddle with other people’s lives. Let us spend more time praying for people than talking about them.
She is also not addicted to much wine. This may refer to other vices in which women are also addicted. Like wasting so much time watching soap operas or telenovelas. Or it may also include shopping. You buy things you don’t need with the money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.
Instead of doing these things, a godly woman “teach[es] what is good.” Women, you are commanded to involve yourselves in a ministry of women ministering to women. Who can better minister to women but women?
That leads us to our second point. To become a woman of impact, you must encourage other women.
It says in verse 4 that, when you live the way you should live, “then [you] can train younger women.” All of us—men and women—are commanded by the Lord Jesus to “make disciples”. To “teach what is good” is to “train” others.
In one translation it says, “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to…”
You have to walk the talk. Then you can talk the walk. You model it. Then you mold others to become models also.
What are you going to teach them? First, train them “to love their husbands”.
Women of impact are devoted to their husbands. Ladies, the best way to show this devotion is by being “subject to [your] husbands.” And to submit to your husband is to put your husband first.
It does not say, submit if your husband is worthy of submission. It says submit. Period. Of course, that does not mean you can’t disagree. But you do it in such a way that you don’t rebel against your husband. You can disagree and still submit.
This flows naturally to the next: “train the younger women to love their… children”
Someone wrote, “A right relationship between a husband and wife is the first responsibility and priority in the home for this relationship is foundational to the parents’ ability to properly love and care for their children. The home is where life makes up its mind for it is in the home that children develop a proper view of men and women, of love, marriage, respect for others, and even of God’s love as they see it modeled in their parents.”
You also “train the younger women… to be self-controlled and pure”. Self-control is a quality all Christians need in all areas of life. But in our text the focus is more a self-control that promotes sexual purity. And we are not just talking of avoiding adultery. We must also avoid mental and emotional adultery. That is, we must keep away from lustful thoughts.
You should also be careful in the way you relate to men other than your husbands. Women, you should be closer to your husbands than any other men. Your husband should be your best friend.
It also says that we should “train younger women… to be busy at home”. Ladies, you are not a prisoner in your own homes. You are the manager. Don’t ever say you are just a plain housewife. Say, “I am a creative housewife.”
This text does not prohibit married women from working or being employed outside the home. It talks about making your home your top priority, not your work.
Lastly, it says that we should “train younger women… to be kind”. That means you should be gentle and considerate even with those who do not deserve your kindness.
How do you become a woman of impact? First, you must set an example in the way you live. Second, you must encourage other women.
Would you be honored with a special day because of your life?
You may not be a mother physically. As in, you may not have given birth to a child. But you can be a mother spiritually. As in, you can lead a person to Christ and take care of that person so that she can grow in her faith in the Lord.
And when you do that, you can also become a woman of impact. You may not be honored with a special day but God will surely honor you.
Again I say to all the mothers here, “Happy Mothers’ Day!”
Note: This sermon was preached by Pastor Cortez at the Chinese Service of Makati Gospel Church last May 8, 2005.