The following are notes meant to accompany Jean Williams’s article on women and discipleship in Briefing #378.
- Three books written to help women understand and apply Titus 2:3-5 are Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal (Crossway, Wheaton, 2004), Susan Hunt’s Spiritual Mothering (Crossway, Wheaton, 1992) and Martha Peace’s Becoming a Titus 2 Woman (Focus, Fearn, 1997). These books have their flaws, but they contain much helpful advice about Titus 2 ministry and the practical implications of biblical womanhood.
- One church’s stated goal for their women’s ministry is “to teach and train women in biblical womanhood for the sake of the gospel and the glory of God”. In practice, this means that all their events include teaching about the practice of biblical womanhood. See Carolyn Mahaney, ‘Implementing the Titus 2 Mandate’, 2005 (MP3 free download).
- If I were writing this article again, I would add a fifth point to my ‘Titus 2 curriculum’: godly character (coming in at point 3 or 4). As I’ve reflected further on Titus 2, it’s occurred to me that the godly character of the older woman is of paramount importance as she teaches younger women. The older women who teach younger women are to be “reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine” (Titus 2:3; also see 1 Timothy 5:9-10). Only then can they teach younger women, through word and example, how to live godly lives that bring honour to the gospel.
- At one point in my article, I wrote, “At the heart of godly womanhood is confident trust in God—an inner strength that comes from a deep knowledge of the Bible and of God’s sovereign purposes”. For more on this, see John Piper, ‘The beautiful faith of fearless submission’, 15 April 2007, and ‘The ultimate meaning of true womanhood’, 2008.
- Woman was made to be the man’s ‘helper’, serving God in light of the created order (Gen 1-3, 1 Tim 2:11-15). But how does this work out in practice? It’s sometimes said that “The man’s orientation is towards the task—the world of work; the woman’s orientation is towards the man—the world of relationships”. I prefer to think of it this way: both men and women are oriented to God, but this orientation centres on work or relationships. In other words, the primary responsibility of both men and women is to serve Christ and further his kingdom, and the primary sphere and disposition with which they carry out this responsibility will be uniquely masculine or feminine. For a married woman, the primary sphere in which she serves Christ will be husband and home, and for a married mother, it will be husband, children and home. For a single woman, being a woman will affect the disposition with which she works, offers hospitality, relates to men and women, serves Christians and reaches out to women in her community. Like the married woman, her focus will also be relational.
- One of my goals is to encourage as many women as I can not to go back to work when their kids are all in school! I know this decision won’t always be possible or even preferable, but I’d love to see more women devoting their time, once they’ve cared for their families, to teaching and training young women. If you feel ill-equipped, in some parts of Australia, there is training available for this kind of Titus 2 ministry:
- The Ministry Training Strategy is piloting a two-year ministry training initiative at Crossroads Christian Church in Canberra called ‘T2 Apprenticeships’. The aim is to recruit, train and mobilize mothers for ministry once their youngest child goes to school. For more information, contact the T2 coordinator, Michelle Philp, at
- Carmelina Read runs a two-year course called ‘Ministry Training for Women’ at the Presbyterian Theological Centre in Sydney. The course is aimed at training lay and congregational women in Titus 2 ministry. For more information, see www.ptcsydney.org.
- Heather Reid runs a three-day mentoring training course called ‘Building 1 on 1’ at Ridley Theological College in Melbourne. While specifically for Ridley College women, it could be adapted to other contexts. For more information, contact Heather Reid at