In many ways, women’s ministry veteran Susan Hunt has been a “grandmother” of the True Woman Movement. Her book Spiritual Mothering has equipped thousands of women to minister to one another. Our team asked Susan to share some of her life message of Titus 2 mentoring. Let’s listen in!
As you’ve gotten older, how have your Titus 2 relationships changed?
At age seventy-six I rejoice that my Titus 2 relationships have become deeper and richer. Women I have spiritually mothered for fifteen or twenty years still look to me for guidance, but they are aware of my physical limitations and are increasingly protective of me. This mutuality of love and care for one another is so tender. One of the joys of getting older is seeing spiritual daughters “walking in the truth” (3 John 4) and being the recipient of their life-giving ministry.
Explain in your own words “the Titus 2 way” of mentoring.
There are several characteristics of discipleship embedded in the Titus 2 passage.
1. “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” (v. 1).
This is written to Titus, the pastor. Titus 2 discipleship is to take place within the context of the sound preaching of God’s Word. It is to be under the oversight and protection of the leadership of the church.
2. Older women . . . are to teach what is good (v. 3).
Godly older women are to take the good, sound doctrine preached from the pulpit and help younger women apply it to their relationships and situations so they learn to think and live biblically.
3. Older women . . . train the young women (vv. 3–4).
The word translated train means "to show, demonstrate, or model," so this discipleship is not just academic. It involves a relationship. Biblical truth is to be taught in the context of a relationship that validates that truth. I think Paul captures the beauty of this kind of discipleship in 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8:
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
Titus 2 discipleship is sharing the gospel and our lives with other women in order to encourage and equip them to think biblically and to live for God’s glory.
What do you see as a common roadblock keeping women from mentoring other women, and what is a solution to that issue?
A young woman told me that she approached an older woman in her church and asked if she would mentor her. The older woman enthusiastically agreed. Then the young woman said, “That was six months ago, and I have not heard anything from her. I’m devastated.”
My response: “I am so sorry, but I suspect that woman is equally devastated. She readily agreed because she wants to do this, but she does not know how to mentor you. She wakes up every morning and feels burdened with guilt because she knows she should reach out to you, but she is insecure and fearful.”
I am convinced that a huge roadblock is that we tell women they should mentor other women, but we do not equip them for this calling. A Word-driven women’s ministry can break through this roadblock by teaching women the beauty of the gospel imperative for women to disciple other women, identifying and training Titus 2 leaders, and organizing Titus 2 discipleship groups.
What would be the impact if more women embraced Titus 2?
Paul answers this question for us—“that the word of God may not be reviled” (v. 5).
Imagine the contrast between a local church where women bring dishonor to God’s Word and a church where women honor God’s Word by submitting to its authority and sharing the gospel and their lives with other women. The contrast is compelling—one is life-taking, the other is life-giving. When women adorn the gospel and obey the mandate to disciple other women, community life in the church is sweeter and families are stronger. When women take Titus 2 seriously, there are generational blessings as one generation tells the next generation “the glorious deeds of the Lord” (Ps. 78:4). When women live out the beauty of the gospel together, they cultivate a life-giving culture in the church that honors God’s Word. Nothing is more impactful than that.
How can you live out the beauty of the gospel with others? You can hear more wisdom on Titus 2 mentoring from Susan Hunt at Revive ’17.