Saturday, September 10, 2011

Step Up and Step In

Have you ever wanted something, thought about something, and prayed about something for a really long time? What about wanting, thinking, and praying for someone to step up and step in to your life.

I have and here's what I mean.

Titus 2:3-5 "...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 train 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."

It's true, I could ask someone. But that compromises the purpose of the relationship before it's even begun: We are instructed to step up and step in so that we can train those younger than us.

Training sounds so scary and formal and haughty-taughty. But it doesn't have to be. Some of my best training has come from simply talking with, laughing with, and sharing with someone who has a few years on me that has insight and experience I can learn from.

Imagine the difference in your life if someone chose you - intentionally - to love, encourage, help, admonish, and train. I'm not talking about your Bible study leader who facilitates discussion for the other 15 women in the room. I'm not talking about your Sunday school teacher who oversee's the entire class. I'm not talking about your best friend who you see and talk to all the time. And I'm not talking about the nice woman you exchange minimal details with in passing when she asks how you're doing.

I'm talking about someone intentionally choosing you to display the Christian life to. Maybe you pray together, maybe you don't. Maybe you study the Bible together, maybe you don't. Maybe you expose your heart, maybe you don't. Maybe, though, maybe you just do life together - observe families, exchange ideas, share frustrations, admit failures, look for perspectives.

There are countless women in my church who I know are aching for help. Help with just doing basic life. Being a supportive wife, managing a home, caring for kids, serving in ministry... it's a lot.

What about the woman removed from the help of family because she lives miles and miles away due to her husband's career? Or what about the woman removed from the help of family because ministry needs has her serving hours and hours away? Or, what about the woman who, quite simply, obeys God's placement but struggles with how it's supposed to work because she's tired from doing it alone?

That's me. And, chances are, that's you, too.

What about the woman who isn't married yet but desperately needs direction on what matters in a future spouse? What about the woman who wants to make her future as a possible wife and mom count, but doesn't know where to begin because she's never had an example to learn from? What about the woman who is at a career crossroads and longs for some been-there-done-that perspective?

I know those women. And, chances are, you do too.

So where am I going with all this? Let me be specific.

It's my responsibility and my privilege to love and model God's love to other women. My fears will tell me I'm too busy for that person; or that I live too far away from that person; or that I don't relate to that person. But those are only selfish insecurities. There is a generation of women younger than me and on the brink of entering the phase of life where I currently am. And each of those women needs to know and experience the power from obeying God as it relates to college, marriage, finances, careers, children, ministry, and every other intricacy of life.

It's my responsibility and privilege step up and step in to someone else's life.

If you're an empty nester, what young mom are you choosing to do life with? That young mom needs to be encouraged. She needs a day out to run an endless list of errands without her kids in tow. She needs help organizing her cupboards and closets that she never gets to because she's consumed with managing her kids. She needs a date with her husband without the concern of paying for a sitter. She needs a hug and a prayer and an, "I know this seems like it's never going to end, but I promise this is just a phase."

Is that you? If so, step up and step in.

If you're excelling in a career, what new college graduate are you choosing to to do life with? That new graduate needs direction. She needs connections to introduce her to opportunities and individuals she wouldn't otherwise know. She needs affirmation in the talents she has in spite of the often unfair workplace. She needs practical examples of how to bring Jesus to work with her everyday.

Is that you? If so, step up and step in.

If you've know Jesus for as long as you can remember, what other long-time Christian woman can you choose to do life with? That woman in your choir row has tough questions now that her kids have hit the teen years. That woman on the other side of the room in your Bible study has a husband who refuses Jesus and she needs your encouragement to stay faithful. That woman down the street is tired from the same-old same-old pattern in her Christian life and needs you to help her rediscover joy and contentment.

Is that you? If so, step up and step in.

Galatians 6:9-10 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

3 comments:

  1. Thank you! I agree with all of this. I struggle with a lot of these things and feel all alone most of the time. Sometimes all it takes is a little note or call just so the person knows someone is thinking about them and cares.

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  2. Well written! Applies to men too...

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  3. Wonderful post, Sarah & I appreciate your call to intentionally encourage each other...in passing is nice, but how much better to do so with a purpose & plan!

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