My interest in studying this passage first arose through hearing an interview with Carolyn McCulley, a single woman, who explains that married or not, the principles expressed in this passage are commands for all women to follow. Her simple, yet profound statement cause me to ponder these few verses differently. They are instructions for me, not because I'm a wife and a mother, but because I'm a daughter of God.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5 NASB
One of the books I've been reading in accompaniment, and a gift from a mentor, is A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. In her book, Mrs. George basically breaks down the entire passage (v. 3-5) as it relates to women, and gives testimony to how she has learned to apply these principles in her own life. One point that she speaks on is how the admonishment to be "busy at home" keeps us occupied with our own affairs rather than becoming meddlesome or gossipy about others, two behaviors that fall into the sin category. This is in part what convicted me to trim back on facebooking during this time of mothering and finishing my degree. Also, before we left Israel, I made it a point to become "busy at home," organizing and cleaning our house, making it a pleasant place to live, but also preparing it for our time away.
During this Titus 2 journey, I've sincerely developed a love for caring for my home, and I've learned ways to go about this task that work with my personality and my parenting style. One thing I have noticed about Aviel is that he LOVES to "help." When Devin and I are cooking, the one of us has to hold him so he can watch. He wants to help with dishes. He loves sweeping and vacuuming, and if I'm wiping something with a rag, he has to have one of his own.
My sister, who is Montessori style homeschool mom, has shared with me some of the observations of Dr. Maria Montessori, one of which being that children develop a love of learning through participating in daily activities with their parents. This coincides with the research about Babywearing that Dr. Sears has compiled in ,The Baby Book, which basically says that when mom's "wear" their babies, the babies learn more because they become part of their mother's world rather than being off by themselves somewhere else in the home.
Its always exciting, to me, when research backs the authority of the word of God... not that it needs to, of course. Specifically, the revelation I had was that God is so good to command us as women, to go about a lifestyle that is naturally good for our children, as it keeps us set apart for him. It is good for Aviel for me to be busy at home, and it is good for Aviel to be included in these endeavors. This causes me to think differently about how I go about my chores, as well. Rather than taking a busy "Martha" approach, I'm beginning to view them through the lens of "Mary" allowing the Lord to speak to me as I work, and not being bothered that certain tasks might take longer with Aviel tagging along. On one hand, maybe I'm not able to accomplish quite as much, but on the other hand, maybe I'm accomplishing more that I could ever imagine.
On Mother in Israel
Babywearing Around the House
I love Babywearing