February 21, 2024

Teaching the Next Generation

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One of the things that Christians are supposed to be doing for one another is helping each other in their walks toward being like Christ.  Since there is nothing new under the sun, one of the ways that this can be accomplished is by having those that have been there before training those that have not so that the young can benefit from the wisdom of the elder.

Teach Sound Doctrine

2:1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.  Titus 2:1-6 (ESV)

Both the older men and the older women are to be teachers of the younger– though usually the emphasis is placed on the older women (as a majority of this text deals with what things the older women are supposed to teach.

What I’ve found in my journeys in different churches is that this is not what you usually find in churches today.  What we find is that we group people in the church.  We have our Senior Saints, our Parents with Children, our Young Marrieds, College and Career, Teens, Kids (and you could divide this up into Beginners, Primaries, Middlers, etc) and the nursery.  But this is not the Biblical way to do things.

You see, during each of these time periods there are lessons to be learned and taught, and if we segregate ourselves in this way we rob ourselves of the blessing that can come from those that have gone before us.  Contrary to popular opinion– you have a lot to give when you’re a Senior Saint.

My church attempts to do this kind of training, but I believe it misses the mark.  We have attempted to pair up the Senior Saints with the teenagers– completely leapfrogging the Young Marrieds.  And yet notice a key phrase in this passage:  “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.”  You can’t train a teenager to love their husband– they don’t have one!  In verse 5 the older women are likewise to train younger women to submit to their husbands– boy could we go off on a tangent here!– and yet teens do not have husbands!

My point is, if we’re to model what Paul is telling Titus, we need to know who should be passing on what to whom, and follow the model.  There are great lessons to be learned and followed, and our churches would never be the same if we passed on our legacy in this way.

For more on how to mentor a young lady see “How Christian Women Can Mentor and Be Mentored.”

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