(Lesson 4 in the Adorned Study)
Being only 4’9″, I never had any aspirations that I would ever be a model, but now that I’m an older woman, I’ve learned that a modeling career is indeed a part of my life! Unlike those who walk the runways, my modeling has absolutely nothing to do with physical beauty. Sound impossible? That’s what our God is all about – doing the impossible!
Paul wrote in Titus in chapter 2 –
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
When older women model the beautiful, winsome spirit of a woman who is filled with the Spirit of God, we also know that this did not happen overnight. This has come as a result of years of walking with the Lord.
What kind of things will we be modeling if we’re this kind of woman? What kind of woman will we be? Paul gives us six characteristics here in Titus 2.
- Sober – The first literal application that comes to our minds is being free from the intoxicating influence of alcohol. But being sober-minded in a biblical sense is broader. It involves not becoming drunk on any of the many excesses available to us in the world.This woman has learned what really matters and leans her heart in the eternal satisfactions instead.
- Grave – This means to be discreet and reminds us to be honorable and appropriately serious about life. Sounds boring, right? A woman like Katherine Brooks in Anne of Green Gables comes to my mind (see picture above). But this doesn’t mean we live life without joy, because joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It means we see the seriousness of living with an awareness of eternity. We realize that heaven is nearer, that our days to live for Christ are shorter and that gives us an appropriate seriousness about how we live out our days. We live out our life with dignity and that is always a lovely thing to behold!
- Temperate – This comes from sophron, two Greek words, one meaning saved or sound and the other, meaning a mind. Being temperate is to live out life with a sound mind. Phron is related to the modern Greek word for brakes. The self-controlled person knows when to stop. The Holy Spirit controls her.
What do we need Him to stop?
The poor use of our time.
A relationship headed in the wrong direction.
Anything we might want to do in excess. A temperate woman will put on the brakes.
- Sound in (the) faith – The word sound implies health. This is so encouraging when it is applied to our lives as older women who are experiencing declining health and strength! Even as our bodies are slowing down, we should be (and can be!) in the best shape of our lives, spiritually speaking!
- Sound in charity – Love – This is having a great capacity for love. We don’t just have this head knowledge of God and His Word. We demonstrate it with His love. This will show itself in how we live out the Gospel. We will show kindness, sacrifice, and forgiveness.
- Sound in patience – steadfastness
I’ve heard so many older people say, “The golden years are not golden!” Their reason for saying that is because they are experiencing hardship. Scripture doesn’t say we won’t have any trouble as we age – as a matter of fact, Psalm 90:10 says, The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.
To be patient is to abide under this heavy load. We’re not going to cave in under this hardship that might be coming. We won’t just be gritting our teeth and squeezing by, we will bear up and glorify the God we love and trust.
Sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, charity and patience – what a beautiful model for younger women to watch and imitate. Who comes to your mind when you read those characteristics? Would YOU come to another woman’s mind? These attributes can be a part of our lives as we walk with God, study His Word, and learn His character.
You will become like the One with whom you spend time!
Walk the walk. You are the model younger women need to see in this upside down world.