What does the Bible have to say on our origin, our gender identity and on the role of women, in society, in marriage and in the church?
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:3-5)
Really? Is this how the Bible regards women – as subject to husbands and busy at home? Haven’t we moved on? Surely society and culture – encouraging women’s rights and autonomy – mean that the Bible’s teaching on womanhood is now anachronistic and irrelevant? Can’t we ditch much of this teaching along with the headscarves we were once instructed to wear?
We want to give women at Dundonald an opportunity to take an in-depth look at God’s design for womanhood from a biblical perspective. This opportunity is offered by our Titus 2 courses which form a part of the TRAIN ministry. Our goal is to equip committed followers of Christ for their role – specifically in this context as women in London, in work settings, relational settings and in church. We think theologically and practically about the application of what the Bible really teaches rather than what we assume it teaches….
- What does the Bible have to say on our origin, our gender identity and on the role of women, in society, in marriage and in the church?
- What of the Bible’s teaching was only relevant to the original recipients of the instruction – and so can we identify what biblical principles continue to apply to us as women today?
- Do we know, understand and trust God’s goodness and purpose in creating us as women so that we can enjoy our identity and role?
Each term we aim to invite a couple of women at different stages of life from each of our four congregations (9, 10.45, 4 and 7pm) to form an 8 member “Titus 2” group to look at 6 different Bible studies on biblical womanhood. The goal is that, as we look at God’s design, as revealed in his word, we would see and understand our value and role as women. More than this, that the Titus 2 group would be a means of introducing “older women” to “younger women” so that as women together we can enjoy one another’s fellowship and wisdom.
The groups run for 7 weeks on a weekday evening. The understanding is that these groups are for women to attend in addition to their existing growth group – not instead of – so it is a serious commitment for the 7 weeks it runs.
Intrigued? Here’s what some former members of previous Titus 2 groups have said about the course…
“I really enjoyed the Titus 2 course with a group of women from different congregations, backgrounds, status and ages. I found the sessions very thought provoking and practical as each one faithfully looks at God’s word, addressing our role as women in creation, the effects of the fall and then each situation and relationship we find ourselves in.
For me personally, it was great to be reminded of our true identity as women as God intended. He really used these sessions to help me with the issues I was grappling with and how to change my perspective on them.
I was encouraged by everyone’s contribution each week and how we got real with one another. I praise God for all my sisters in Christ (young and old). Let’s use these friendships to train and encourage one another in the faith. The song ‘We are family, I’ve got all my sisters with me’ should be reworked into a worship song I think 😉” (A member of the 7)
“I signed up to Titus 2 because I knew it would be a challenge for me and I wasn’t wrong. I felt conflicted being told at my corporate job “to be a leader” but then as a wife and in the church “to submit”. I couldn’t (and if I’m honest, still can’t fully) make sense of it and “to submit” really doesn’t fit with my strong-willed personality! I wanted to be clear about what the Bible says regarding the role of women, not to rely on the thoughts and opinions of others. The course sticks closely to what the Bible says and it’s been a great experience to discuss this topic with other women. I’m coming away from the course feeling more informed about what the Bible says, but I will be honest and admit that it’s still a massive challenge. Knowing the theory and applying it practically are two very different things!” (A member of the 9)
“I was not sure what to expect when I first started Titus 2 but found it an eye opener!
It was encouraging to hear how each of us, married or not, faced life and that we can and should reach out to each other just like Paul says in Titus 2 v 1-5; this was study 7 “Women and their sisters”. Our status should not make us exclusive; that is, married club, then singles club.
The challenge for me is coming out of my single comfort zone, to reach out to my sisters in Christ; young and older, married or single and to be a godly example!”(A member of the 10.45)
“I learned so much from the others, it feels like an invaluable experience…. It really helped me feel that even I have something to give the rest of the group.” (A member of the 4)
There’s possibly a woman in your growth group or KG group that has already participated in a Titus 2 group– you could ask her what she thought about it and whether she’d recommend it and why?
If you want to put your name down on the list of those being considered for the next course (running in the Autumn term 2018) do speak to/email Rosie Dunn, Cathy Dalton or Gen Johnston as we’ll be planning the next groups later in the summer term and sending invitations out- probably before the summer break.
(Titus 2 groups are part of the TRAIN ministry which has the aim that everyone is encouraged and enabled for team ministries that will build up; the church and leaders are recruited, equipped and active for growing disciples.)