Training Our Young Ladies
As we start this blog post, if you are not aware of the difference in role-distinctions that God has given men and women, I suggest you go here first: http://truthfortheworld.org/women-in-the-church-tract. Then return and read this blog post.
When our young Christian men reach a certain age, we begin training them to lead the Lord’s church. For instance, we will have classes on how to say prayers, how to participate in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper. We train them to lead songs, and on some occasions we teach them how to teach and preach in public. All of these things are great, and appropriate. We need to be training our young men to learn these things and so much more.
However, it seems that we focus so much on our young men that many times our young ladies get left out. I know we do not intentionally leave them out. Perhaps we just do not realize that young ladies need to be trained too. Or perhaps we think if we train the ladies they will get the wrong idea of what their roles might be. (If trained properly, then they would not get the wrong idea of their roles.)
The Bible states:
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 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.(Titus 2:3-5)
Without breaking down this passage and making a commentary on it, I simply use this passage to show that there is supposed to be a training of our young women. The precedent is that our older faithful women should be teaching our young ladies how to be good and faithful Christian women. Our young ladies need to be trained, just as much as our young men need to be trained.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that we allow our young ladies to stand in front of Christian men and deliver lessons, nor lead singing, etc. However, we all agree that women are an important part of the Lord’s church. Since they are important to the future of the Lord’s church, we should spend time training our young ladies for the future of the Lord’s church too.
I have discussed this very topic recently with my sister in law. She has two daughters who are teenagers, who have struggled with where and how to be plugged in, and trained as young ladies should be. The following are my sister-in-law’s thoughts as she has put them on paper. I include some of her thoughts here:
BUILDING a connection
All baptized believers are a part of the congregation, regardless of their age. Just as new adult members are presented with a list of opportunities for service, all new Christians should have this same opportunity. Providing teenage Christians with the chance to serve and contribute to the congregation builds their connection to the body as a whole, rather than just to the youth group. They develop an attitude of service, and relationships with Christians of all ages. These opportunities also teach them how ministries within the body work, and how to plug yourself into a new congregation. This increases the chance that they will remain faithful as they move into college and adulthood.
TRAINING our daughters
We often focus on training boys to be leaders in the church, asking them to step outside of their comfort zone to lead prayers, lead singing and serve communion. However, we overlook our daughters and the equally important task of training them. Although attending their own classes increases their knowledge and encourages spiritual growth, it does not prepare them to teach and lead in the future. As our young women are baptized they should be included in preparing and teaching in the younger class rooms. There are three types of participation that stand out: preparing classroom materials, assisting an experienced teacher in the classroom, and eventually being the primary teacher in a class. Each of these roles calls them to challenge themselves, increase their biblical knowledge and grow spiritually.
FORTIFYING against feminism
As our children grow up and go out into the world, they will be faced with liberalism. One common theme is the role of women in the church. It is a common claim that women are restricted from serving God because they are not allowed to be public leaders. Providing teen Christians with the wide variety of opportunities to serve within a congregation shows them how many ways every Christian can serve. Because many of these roles are hidden behind the scenes, young Christians are easily persuaded that these opportunities don’t exist or are less valuable. By plugging our youth into these jobs, they learn the valuable role each member of the body plays, men and women; and by training our daughters to teach and lead within God’s instructions, we arm them against the lies of feminism, and show them the vital roles God has called them to fill.
I am thankful to my sister-in-law Laura for these thoughts.
The truth is, we should be as concerned with our young ladies as we are with our young men. We should find ways to plug our young ladies in. These should be scriptural ways of course—but ways that will allow them to build their own spiritual lives, strengthen the youth of our congregations, and prepare them to be future teachers of ladies in the Lord’s church.
We should train our young ladies to be encouragers. They should want to encourage the young men to stand up and do what is right. They should encourage one another to love and to good works. They should be examples to their own age group and all ages of the church. There are plenty of works that our young ladies can do, works that are within their scriptural roles, but we need to be training them for these roles.
Every individual needs to go through a training process. We suggest that both our young ladies and our young men be trained in their God-given roles, in ways that will help establish the Lord’s church now and in the future.