Shortly after I got married, at age 22, I picked up a copy of Becoming A Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace. I flipped through, skimming some of the text, and put it down to rest on my bookshelf for many years, unread and collecting dust. I can’t remember what prompted me to get the book because I had no idea what a Titus 2 woman even was and, I’m not sure I cared enough to find out. Recently, though, I’ve been able to spend a little more time with the fruits (I suppose they’re fruits) of my former paperback-hoarding habit. I’m digging up some titles that I didn’t know I had and wondering why I hadn’t read them sooner. This book is one of those. Much like The Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene Schacht, I find myself reading pieces and parts of it it whenever I have a second. Friends. I’m learning some great stuff from this book!
I want to tell you what’s on page 123 of Martha’s book. She shares an important attribute that I definitely need to work on – using a kind voice. She states that becoming a Titus 2 woman means speaking in a voice that’s gentle and, therefore, kind. This is in accordance with Proverbs 31:26 (The Proverbs 31 woman can be recognized, in part, by the “teaching of kindness on her tongue”). There are SO many occasions when I raise my voice louder and louder to reach my children, to get their attention quickly. On these occasions, I just want them to stop whatever offense they’re committing and behave. I’m not instructing their hearts by doing this, just trying to quiet their actions. And, that’s a bad habit to have.
When I compare the occasions I’ve raised my voice to a disobedient child as opposed to the times I’ve sat down with an offending child to have a conversation about changing his or her heart instead of just behavior, the later has been far more effective. When we speak to children shrewdly, quickly, loudly, etc in an effort to cut-corners in parenting we aren’t speaking to their hearts and, what’s more, we’re not teaching them how to use their tongues for kindness either. If all they hear is STOP. DON’T. I MEAN IT. RIGHT NOW, with no further heart-work, what do we really expect from them at this point? We must be obedient to refine our tongues along with our hearts so we can train them to do the same. I certainly don’t want a child that yells and screams to get his way, but essentially…isn’t that what we do when we instruct them this way? We try to be authoritative with our voices, not our hearts. This is one Titus 2 truth I plan to work on more diligently from now on.
I know other moms struggle in this area as well; maybe you’re one of them? It’s my fervent prayer today that we will be able to tame our tongues so that Christ’s love that lives within us and may be made known through our hearts and words. I pray that we will take the time to implement righteous discipline in the hearts of our children, instead of cutting-corners to get the message across as quick as possible. We cannot afford to be too busy to properly care for our blessings and I pray that each one of us has the strength, wisdom, and Holy guidance to instruct the hearts of our children AND others with kindness, instead of harsh and sharp words.