Key Verse: Titus 2:3, “…not to be slanderers…”
First, let me tell you what a slanderer is. A slanderer is someone who defames; causes calumny. Slander is a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report; an oral utterance. The Greek word, specific to the New Testament, for slander is Psithuristes and means a whisper, secret slander, and detractor.
How I would hate to be known as a slanderer. Wouldn’t you? The truth is that we all have been put to the meaning of this very word. Because we are human and we have this sin nature thing, we have all accused falsely, even if just in our own thoughts. As a young woman I was constantly worried about what others thought of me. My emotions, I wore those on my sleeve. When it came to friendships, I coveted a deep kindred relationship that would forever be with me. I took many comments that were meant only to shield me, guide me, comfort me, and warn me as attacks on my judgment and good nature.
I have this amazing friend. We have comforted each other during devastating times in each of our lives. We have been far away from one another and yet when we get to talk or see one another it is as if we have never been apart for more than a day. Ours is a friendship that is more than “friend”, she is a sister to me and I love her more than words can express. I can only describe it as outstanding, luxurious and an impressive relationship. It has been the best relationship I have had with a woman my age, but this friendship has had its share of hurt and injured emotions. I have said words that cut her deep to the point of tears and she has said words that wounded me to my core and, at one point, more than a year went with no communication between the two of us.
Several years ago, while our family was in the first six months of living in Alaska, David and I wanted to bring more children into our home and give them what they were lacking; love. We had our four and loved them so much, but we felt we had more to give so we went to classes on becoming a foster parent. During this time we had also just started our homeschooling experience. I dove into schedules, coops with other homeschoolers, and started with all four of our children at once.
So, we were new to Alaska, just started homeschooling four kids, and really only knew a few people from the coop and our new church. I was so excited about becoming a foster parent and being able to mother children who needed love and so much more. I wanted to share this excitement with my best friend who I thought would share this same excitement with me. I have to tell you that she is my very best friend because she grounds me when my head floats to the clouds and while I am a visionary and gung ho kind of woman, she is opposite to me; practical and level headed. She thinks, researches, and plans before she heads into anything she is doing. This time, for some crazy reason, I expected her to be different for just me. Instead of praise and excitement with giggles shared, I received her very cautious words of “please step back and look at what all you have going on right now before you jump into something that is very serious and demands much more of your time than you think”. She was watchful for not only me, but my family. I turned those guarded words into what was not meant. I saw them as an attack on my mothering, on my ability to care for more children, to take on more and do it all well without going crazy. I was offended and wounded to my core. I could not move beyond my own pain inside to even see the tenderness in which she was reaching out to me with. My response was sharp and stabbing and meant to hurt a very dear friend who loved me enough to tell me the truth of life. I allowed a full year to pass before I broke the walls of bitterness and hurt to pass.
There was a false accusation, on my part, toward my dear friend. I accused her of not caring, not loving, not knowing the truth of the situation. I defamed her Christianity in my mind and I caused a great deal of pain where there never should have been. Though your story may look a little different than mine, I am sure you have shared an experience similar.
A Titus 2 woman is a woman who does not attack others on their words. This woman does not publicly expose another of faults or cause harm to another woman’s character. She does not insult, cause calumny or accuse falsely, even if to only herself. As a Titus 2 woman we are to be gracious, understanding, gentle with words, loving, uplifting, truth seekers and truth teachers. Sounds like a lot right, but it is one hundred percent achievable because we have the One who will lead us to, remind us of, and lift us up.
Lord, the call to be a Titus 2 Woman is a high calling and quite difficult, being human and all. Guide my steps, my words, my thoughts, and my heart into only what will be honoring to You. I accept the call to be a woman that glorifies You in every part of my life. May I share my life in a way that encourages and helps other women to see You more clearly. Amen.