It was the neighbor ladies’ typical gab session, and it must’ve been getting pretty juicy because my grandmother shooed me out of the house promptly when she noticed my wide eyed interest in what they were saying. It made quite an impression on me. I remember her distinctly saying, “You’re too young to be listening to this!” and she pushed me out the door into the hot summer sun on the front porch.
“Gab sessions” like that are far too common among women (probably men, too, I’m just not the one to tell them). This summer we’re studying the instructions found in Titus 2:3–5:
[box]Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.[/box]
On Monday, we started off looking at what it means to be a “reverent” woman and that led into a few days of studying what the “fear of the Lord” looks like. Having a fear of the Lord is actually a protection against slander. If we’re not functioning under an active practice of fearing God—we will be making decisions driven by other fears and that affects how we use our mouths.
Today, I thought we’d consider how to guard against slander and it really stems from “the fear of the Lord” being an active reality in our lives:
- A Reverent Woman Lives in the Awareness That She is In the Presence of Holy God
Having an awareness of God at work in your life, being in touch with Him through prayer and connecting with Him in His Word provides an accountability factor when we open our mouths. When we approach a conversation with another person, knowing there are three, not just two, involved in that conversation—is a great deterrent to slander.
- A Reverent Woman Asks God for Grace as She Speaks
Lift requests like this to God: Psalm 19:14; 141:1–3 while you are in conversation with others, especially during a conversation when you are tempted to share things that are not appropriate or would reflect negatively on others.
- A Reverent Woman is Open to Accountability in Her Speech
A woman who desires to glorify God with her life will be open to accountability in this area. I’ve often had to go back and ask forgiveness for using my mouth in a way that didn’t glorify God; when I do that, it is letting other women know that I take my walk with God seriously in this area.
When a woman did that with me this week, it was a way of her opening the door of accountability, as she asked forgiveness for how she spoke of someone else. In this case, she wasn’t slandering someone and I don’t believe said anything inappropriate . . . but her desire to speak in a God-glorifying way caused me to pause and consider my own conduct. And that’s always a good thing.
This is the fourth week in our summer study using Nancy Wolgemuth’s book: Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. This week’s posts includes my teaching notes for the session from our church’s women’s study, but instead of unloading it all on you in one SUPER LONG post (like last week), It’s divided up in five days with the homework portion below.
Homework Assignment: What if you lifted the request of Psalm 19:14 as a prayer—daily and often—would your conversation be different? List what Ephesians 4:31 and Colossians 3:8 tell us to get rid of, that we should not indulge in.
Ephesians 4:29 gives us the filter we need for our mouths and describes how to use our mouths in ways that will bless others. I encourage you to memorize and live this verse.
Continue reading Adorned (pages 91–128) and be sure to do the “Making it Personal” questions at the end of each chapter. Be ready to dive into Week 5 on Monday!