Behind the Scenes: Discipleship

In Titus chapter 2 Paul gives a command to Titus to speak the things of sound doctrine—of sound teaching. He then gives him a list of things to teach the older men, the older women, the younger women, and the younger men. But the key to all that teaching is found in verse 7—in all things Titus is to show himself as a pattern of good works. Titus was supposed to become the pattern for the men under his pastoral care to become like. The best way I can explain it is to think of a pattern for making a dress. I am sad to admit I wouldn’t have the first clue what to do with a dress pattern. But from looking at it, it seems to me that a pattern is actually a model for putting a dress together. It goes beyond just a step by step process. There is actually what looks like a picture of parts of a dress to cut and sew together. It’s like that in God’s Word. He gives us so much more than a list of steps to follow to live a life that would honor Him. He gives us patterns, examples to follow. And we disciple others by becoming patterns for them to follow.

dress pattern

That is what Titus chapter 2 is all about. God could have just given us a list of rules to follow. He could have given us a 12-step program to follow. But he knew we would need more that that. He knew we would need a pattern of Godly living; we would need a life that we could try to mimic. You see, God doesn’t teach us truth by just giving us the facts. He gives us a person to live out that truth. For instance when God wants to show us how we should face suffering he does not list facts and say point one, point two, and so on. Rather, He gives us the life of Job to see how one should endure suffering. As you go through the Bible, you see that Abraham was not just an end to bring about the nation of Israel; He was an example of a life that demonstrated faith.

So, how then do I get help in real life? I look to God’s Word and see the patterns He has set forth for me to follow. Kind of like a dress pattern—it’s more than just a set of steps. God gave us patterns in His Word to follow. And He through Paul told Titus to make himself to be a pattern for those around him to follow. And as we study the lessons Titus was to teach his people, we will also see that we are to be patterns for others to follow as well. So, how do we go about becoming that pattern God would want us to be for someone else to follow?

First, our lives must be lives worth patterning after. What does a life worth patterning look like? Titus 2:3 says, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh
holiness.” We must be women of the Book. We must have a walk with God. We must love our homes and children. We must be involved in our church. How can we disciple others and live patterns that are worthy to follow? We have to be a good pattern for discipleship before we can actually disciple.

Think about Dorcas in the book of Acts. She was full of good works. She was loved by the people so much that they begged for Peter to come without delay. They showed him the things she made to help others. Peter prayed and God raised her from the dead. In fact, many believed on the Lord as a result. Even in her death, she was a pattern that drew people to the Lord. Peter may have been the one to pray and ask God to raise her, but if she had not been living a life worth patterning after, no one would have had reason to seek Peter and have her be raised to life again.

So how can we apply this to our lives? What can we do to show we are worthy of having others pattern themselves after us? We must spend time in His Word and ask Him to show us how we can be more like Him. We must respond to the things we read in His Word—taking away the things that don’t please Him and adding the things that would.

We must get around younger women and show them how to live. Titus 2:4-5 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Teaching the younger women, discipling them, is how we fulfill the Great Commission. It’s how we get our next group of leaders in our churches, ladies. It’s how we get the next missionary wives from our churches, by training the next generation.

Think about your children. From day one you are working to teach them how to live. You feed them. You hold the bottle until they can hold it themselves. You change their diapers until you can teach them to go potty all by themselves. You carry them around until they learn to walk. You dress them each morning until one day they’ve learned dress themselves. Everything you do for your child is teaching them how to live whether you intend it to or not.

It has to be that way with the younger ladies we know! We can’t just be people who hear the truth and all of the great things of God and keep it all to ourselves.  Would you do that with your own children? Would you never show them how to become adults who can be responsible for themselves and have their own families and raise their own children?

So, how do we make this happen? How do we teach the younger women those things? They will learn by watching us. That means they will have to be with us in our homes and see how we care for our husbands, how we serve our husbands, and yes, sometimes even how we may handle an argument with our husbands. They will need to be with us to learn how to be discreet and chaste; to learn how to keep their home, to learn how to properly love their children. They will learn by the opportunities we give them. That means they will have to be with us in the nursery, in our Sunday School classes, in helping us set up for the next meal at the church. They will learn by doing ministry right alongside of us. They learn by seeing and doing. We come along and help them. Then one day we look at them and they are running the show. And if we are successful, they will be running it better than we ever could.

This example was given by Jesus; it’s how He trained His disciples. He was the perfect pattern. He trained them by being with them. He ate with them. He traveled with them. Anywhere Jesus was, the disciples were typically there. He trained them and even told them in John 14:12 that they would do greater things than he did. So, if Jesus Himself trained His disciples by spending time with them, how is that we have come to think that our younger ladies will learn everything they need in order to become mature Godly ladies by simply sitting in a Sunday school class and sitting in church for a few hours a week? Christ didn’t do it that way!

So, how do we apply this to our lives? First, ask yourself some questions. If Jesus were here today would He say that you are a woman whose life should be
patterned after? Are you saved? Do you have a close personal relationship with the Lord? Are you a biblical woman? Do you regularly spend time with the ladies who are in spiritual leadership at your church? Do you think that it is your responsibility to be around the younger women to teach them? How much of your time a week is set to teach the younger women to live godly lives?

If you aren’t already discipling others and want to start, but don’t know where to begin, I would love to hear from you and help get some material in your hands! Please feel free to reach out to me at kellicanfield at gmail.com! Here are some first steps to take as you begin working to teach those around you:

Spend time daily with the Lord. Read your Bible to obey it! Love your husband. Be a keeper at home. Go to church regularly.Teach a young lady how to love God like you. Pray to God to get this young lady. Be loving. Don’t be a know it all. Act like she was your daughter. Worry about her success. You won’t be a success unless she is. Teach her how to do what you do in the church. If you aren’t doing anything that you could teach to someone else, get involved yourself first! Make a plan to make yourself patternable. Carve out time in your schedule Don’t give yourself excuses A plan only works when you work the plan!

We must train the younger generation. They will be trained by someone. May it be our prayer that God would use us to be training them to live a life that would honor Him. May our lives be the pattern they would follow!

 

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  • 4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Discipleship

    1. Kelli thank you so much for this post! I loved the part that said “If Jesus were here today would He say that you are a woman whose life should be patterned after?” such a great reminder

    2. This made discipleship a visible, tangible thing I can see in my mind! Wonderfully put. I like how you said to “Worry about her success.” That one phrase convicted me. Too many times we worry about momentary performance, not true and lasting success. I can’t expect her to fit in a mold so she will look and do right for ME. I should love her through her ups and downs and patiently show her the right way as God works in her heart.

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