you asked the question: “so now what?”
we pray that “ezer’s handbook” offers you a variety of opportunities to help build a culture of life.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). (“Helper” in Hebrew is Ezer)
mentor from a house built on firm foundation!
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down (Proverbs 14:1).
- Build on the Word. Go to the Source of all wisdom. God’s Word contains everything a man or woman needs for living in today’s world, meeting today’s challenges, and mentoring generations. Paraphrased Bibles are fine for personal reading, but don’t count on them for accuracy. We recommend The Lutheran Study Bible – English Standard Version (ESV). The commentaries are exceptionally helpful with historical evidence and both Greek and Hebrew base.
- Prepare yourself for the battle of worldviews on gender. Use the Bible study Men, Women, and Relationships: Building a Culture of Life Across Generations for your women’s study group. (Note: This study is appropriate for single or married, college age or mature teens, men alone, women alone, or couples.) Order the 12-lesson study complete with leader’s guide (#901BS – $10) from Lutherans For Life or call 888-364-LIFE.
- Be equipped with resources. Married or single, a woman has a sphere of influence that leads others to – or away from – God. How are you mentoring Biblical womanhood in your home? From your office? At school? In the church and community? Make use of the resources on the Titus 2 website. “Google” other authors such as Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Dr. Judith Reisman, Wendy Shalit, Dr. Miriam Grossman, and Dr. Meg Meeker. Visit Concerned Women for America or the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
- Be careful who you let shape your worldview. Ideas of gender, feminism, abortion, motherhood, morality, dress, behavior, and life in general are mentored in one way or another by every news program, magazine, and web site. As a Christian, it is our responsibility to be discerning. CITIZEN andWORLD magazines contrast the worldviews of NEWSWEEK and TIME. Websites with current information offered from a Biblical rather than humanist perspective include: Parental Rights organization or Creation Instruction or Life News or Exodus International or Nation for Marriage or The Family Research Council .
- Use spiritual discernment. A Titus 2 mentor reaches out with the Truth of God – both Law and Gospel. We are called, however, to be discerning in the proper use of each. The woman who doesn’t recognize her sin is in need of the Law, but the woman who has been convicted of her sin longs for the Gospel (Psalm 32:3-5). A suggested resource for your personal study is Handling the Word of Truth by John T. Pless (Concordia Publishing House). This short but powerful book will help you mentor someone whose soul you care about.
- Mentor, don’t preach. The woman who builds her house on firm foundation must be prepared for “hot button” issues. Women’s ordination is one of those. Prepare yourself in presenting a Biblical worldview by reading pp. 297-301 of Rev. Klemet I. Preus’ book entitled The Fire and the Staff (Concordia Publishing House). A woman is called to mentor, not preach.
mentor confidence in the created order!
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)
- Find contentment in knowing our Creator is the God of order. Woman wasn’t created at the same time, in the same way, or for the same purpose as man. “Equal” does not mean “being the same.” What does it mean to be a “helper” (Hebrew: ezer)? What does it mean to assist as an ally? What positive difference does a woman make when she learns to complete rather than compete?
- Trust that woman’s identity comes from God… not from a man, how we look, where we live, or what we do. Our identity comes from God our Creator and Redeemer. God created us in His image and, although we fell from that perfect image, we were redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus Christ. We are heirs of the King! How does this knowledge change the way we see ourselves? The way we treat ourselves? The way we treat others?
- Build a Titus 2 accountability group.Surround yourself with other daughters of the King and remind one another to turn a deaf ear to rebellious feminism. Be alert to words, phrases, and age-old practices defined by God that are being re-defined by the world, i.e. marriage, family, modesty, purity, equality, submission, etc.
- Start a woman’s ministry Resources abound! Explore the pages of this web site; visit the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood; use portions of the Bible study Men, Women, and Relationships (order from Lutherans For Life888-364-LIFE).
- Set up a display of Titus 2 – 4 Life resources in your church (see Store).
- Host a Titus 2 Retreat in your home or the home of a friend.Invite college-age women, young moms, experienced moms, grandmothers, and Christian friends who have expressed discouragement in today’s culture. Help them see how they’ve been influenced by the world, then challenge them to trust and use God’s Word for making a difference where they’ve been “planted.”
- Host a Titus 2 Retreatfor the wives of pastors, deaconesses, parish nurses, human care workers, youth workers, or staff and volunteers from your local caring pregnancy center who are already ministering across generational lines but need “time out” for encouragement, discussion, and resources.
- Consider being trained as a Titus 2 leader. Titus 2 Training Retreats are held in Linda’s home or, sometimes, in a local bed & breakfast, hotel, or your home. The training includes the actual retreat sessions, a walk through the Leader’s Guide, and consideration of resources.
- Host a “Girls’ Night Out” for junior and senior high girls and their moms.Build confidence in God’s design for womanhood by using portions of the Bible study entitled Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up (#DFL – $15 – from Lutherans For Life ). Host the event in someone’s living room where girls benefit from a Christ-focused home environment. Or, plan a series of “girls’ nights.” Conclude the series by taking a shopping expedition with the goal of finding modest clothes!
mentor biblical womanhood
A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
- Fear and love the Lord. Martin Luther begins each of the meanings for the Ten Commandments with: “We should fear and love God…” In a sinful world, “fear” and “love” hardly seem to fit together. But, the Heavenly Father can be both feared (for His justice) and loved (for His mercy). How does this give freedom to modern women? Does it make a difference when you know that “to fear” actually means “to trust”?
- Reject the deceit of the world!“You have been able to reject the deceitful glory of the world… you deserve to be praised for not being deceived.” (Church Father St. Bernard of Clairvaux, The Lutheran Study Bible ESV Commentary on Prov. 31:30-31, p. 1047) How was the first woman, Eve, deceived? Why did the deceiver approach her rather than the man? What is the deceitful glory of the world? How do you resist it? How do you help others resist it?
- Discern your own mentors. Who are they? Whose counsel and advice do you seek? Do you surround yourself with women in the same situation as yours or do you glean wisdom from “older” women who have beautifully matured in the face of challenge? What kind of reading material is on your coffee table or by your bedside? Have you been influenced by human reason and emotion… or the Word of God?
- Take time to build relationships – in a coffee house or your house, while quilting or scrapbooking, during Bible study or devotions, in a mother’s group or on a committee, in a time of crisis or celebration. Some of the most important, life-changing work you will ever do is to be available and encouraging with – not your word, but God’s Word.
- Take care not to burn bridges. You and a friend or family member may part ways in thought and behavior. Even so, the Spirit may keep that person close to your heart. He may nudge you to send a “thinking of you” card or gift on her birthday, or just call to say “hi.” Don’t resist the Spirit. Years after being caught in an awkward relationship, one friend said to another, “You took care not to burn bridges. Even though we chose different paths, you didn’t abandon me.” The friendship was restored in greater measure. Invaluable lessons of life were used to help others.
- Send a card! You appreciate being remembered and encouraged, don’t you? So do other women! If you can’t find the right message or can’t afford the pricey card, write a favorite Bible passage on a note and tuck it in an envelope with a tea bag or pre-packaged coffee pouch. Let a friend, neighbor, new church member, or relative know you’re thinking about her.
- Start a Titus 2 Book Club. Search bookstores and web sites for books that expose worldly philosophies and encourage Biblical manhood and womanhood.
- Host a Titus 2 Retreat. Practice the gift of hospitality in your home or the home of a friend. Invite Linda or a trained Titus 2 leader to present a day retreat or a Friday evening/Saturday retreat. Invite “older” and “younger” women. A Planning Packet is downloadable on the “Events” page of this website. Questions? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Host a Titus 2 Training Retreat. Invite pastor’s wives, deaconesses, family life counselors, and/or staff and volunteers from your local pregnancy center. Contrast the world with God’s Word! Encourage! Become confident as daughters of God. All materials are provided. Please email@example.com
practice & mentor hospitality
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality (Romans 12:13)
- Consider that a woman’s home is her first place of ministry – whether she is single or married.In Biblical times, when people of faith had to wander about, they were welcomed into the homes of other people of faith. This is a tradition for the family of God. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2). What significance do you find in this verse?
- Create a welcoming environment in your home. When others enter, what do they learn about you? Your faith? Your priorities? No matter how humble our homes, we can make them a place where others feel welcomed, respected, and safe. In what ways can a woman create a welcoming environment as a teacher in the classroom? In her office or place of business?
- Be a homemaker, not a housewife. A woman is not married to her house.
- Host a Homemaking Party. Invite grandmothers, mothers, single women, college women, and school girls to a “home-making” party. Make use of Emilie Barnes’ books, down-loadable resources on the art of hospitality and God’s Word. Practice setting a table and serving one another. Practice the art of conversation. Explain reasons for etiquette and good manners. Explain that making a home isn’t a matter of spending lots of money, but of showing respect for others, being creative with what you have, and nurturing a welcoming spirit. Be bold with a counter-culture idea: Host a series of Bible studies on God’s creation of woman with each night focusing on an area of hospitality, i.e. table setting, etiquette and manners, color schemes, organization, and the art of making a simple meal both healthy and pleasing to the eye.
mentor a changed attitude
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord… (2 Corinthians 4:5)
- Reflect Christ, not self.It is natural to default to self. We focus on our needs and defend our behaviors. But, it’s not about me! It’s about God our Creator and Redeemer! God created the first man and woman in His image. We have fallen from that perfect image, but because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, it is possible with the help of the Spirit to reflect the glory of God rather than self. What does it mean to reflect God’s glory? How does a woman who professes to worship God speak? Dress? Make choices? Treat others? What does it mean to live free of the life that you thought would make you happy? It’s not about me… it’s about Christ – and others. One of the best resources you’ll find is Max Lucado’s book entitled It’s Not About Me (Integrity Publishers, Nashville, 2004). It can be used as a Bible study.
- Practice a changed attitude. On brightly colored sticky notes, write: “It’s not about me.” Place them on your mirror, in your wallet, on your desk, by your sink or on the refrigerator, in your car, and inside your Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit for help and encouragement. Then, discover that all things are possible with God!
- Adjust your focus. Instead of losing yourself to a popular romance novel, women’s talk show or favorite “soap,” find yourself in God’s Word. Instead of treating yourself to a pedicure, invest in a prayer journal. Instead of reading People magazine, send notes of encouragement to friends or women living alone.
- Live a holy, not sexy, life. Remind yourself and others that God calls us to be holy (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Mentor others away from the self-focus of sensual dress by explaining our responsibility to help men avoid temptation. Use the Bible study Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up (available in a reproducible, PDF form from Lutherans For Life )
- Trust the reason for your existence. What is the one reason God awoke you this morning? Direct yourself and “younger” women to 1 Chronicles 16:24; Psalm 115:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 10:17.
- Be a “living sacrifice” in view of God’s mercy. The Law urges us to do good – or else. The Gospel invites us to care for others and serve them with kindness. In doing so, we may feel unappreciated and “poured out” (Philippians 2:17), but God is at work in us, moving us to hold tightly to His Word through which He extends His image and saving grace to others. Invite a woman whose parents and family live far away to come to your home for coffee or lunch. Be of encouragement to her. Pray with her. Be available to her.
- Analyze terms that focus on “self,” such as: “self-preservation,” “self-esteem,” “self-promotion,” “self-celebration.” In the last days, writes Paul to Timothy, people will be lovers of self (2 Timothy 3:2). Spend part of a day with an “older” Christian woman whose life appears self-less. Ask: Is it necessary to preserve self? From where do we get our worth? Is there benefit in promoting self? Is there any reason to celebrate self? What do you learn about attitude in Ephesians 4:22-24?
- Rebel against the culture! Resist self-worship and narcissism! Help a younger generation turn from “me” to others. Gather a small group of women together for an “It’s Not About Me” night. Instead of dining out or doing nails or hair, discuss what women can do to bring out the best in men by way of dress, speech, and behavior. Contrast the difference between self-esteem and Christ-esteem. Hold each other accountable. Design postcards that proclaim: “It’s not about me” with 2 Corinthians 4:5 printed on the card. Finish off with some stamping, calligraphy, or artwork — and send the cards as “challenges” to one another throughout the year.
mentor self control
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us… to purify for Himself a people… who are zealous for good works (Titus 2:12-13)
- Change old habits. Put self-control into practice. Self-control is mentioned four times in Titus 2:1-14. Using the Titus 2 model helps men and women, in their respective roles, to think of others before self, be accountable, train in righteousness, and build a culture of life while we wait for Jesus to come again. Think of ways you can help “younger” women practice self-control in the following areas: diet, exercise, speech, dress, relationships, homemaking, and shopping.
- “Run the race” away from “rights” to responsibilities.St. Paul encourages believers to “run the race,” not “aimlessly” but with self-control (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). The world convinces women that we have the right to dress, speak, or act however we want. At what point do our “rights” hinder others? Can our lack of self-control put the faith of others at risk? A pastor’s wife who coaches volleyball took the opportunity to use portions of the Bible study Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up with girls at Christian camp. The girls were “in training” – learning, as St. Paul says, to “exercise self-control in all things.” When we “run the race” well, we serve others well. Are the “older” women of your congregation actively seeking opportunities to help “younger” women “run the race”? What opportunities exist in your weekday school or youth group?
- Take a step toward happiness by learning to control your nature. Original sin is nasty. In a fallen world, we must daily fight our natural tendency to sin. The difference between male and female becomes obvious even in this area. Civilized societies and parents have always known the wisdom of helping boys suppress two of their natural tendencies: sexual desires and a predilection to violence. What are we doing to help girls suppress their natural tendency to be ruled by their emotions? From time to time, look for short Bible studies on this and other topics on the “Resources” page of this website.
- Resist “following your heart.” Ponder the following statements: “When it’s time to make a decision, I’ll trust my heart.” “He told me he loved me. The moment felt so right, so I said ‘yes.’” “I don’t feel like my needs are being met. I don’t feel loved.” “I’m not sure how this relationship will turn out, but I’m following my heart.” Can we trust our heart? What does God say in Genesis 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; and Matthew 15:19? How can we help “younger” women train their hearts? See Psalm 40:1-4; 119:41-48; Proverbs 16:20; Matthew 22:37
- Prepare young women to guard their vulnerability. First, read Unprotectedby Miriam Grossman, M.D. (www.amazon.com) Then, share this book with your friends who have daughters. Buy copies of the book and send it to young women in college. Encourage your women’s group to purchase copies for clients at your local caring pregnancy center. This powerful book based on biological common sense could prevent physical, psychological, and spiritual harm. Make this a hopeful venture! Write the toll-free number and website address of Word of Hope in each book: (888) 217-8679 www.word-of-hope.org
- Do a random survey of people in your congregation under the age of 20.Ask: What does it mean to be self-controlled? Next, do a random survey of people in your congregation over the age of 60. Ask the same question. Compile the answers. Next, using a Concordance, look up the Scripture verses about self-control. Share the survey with your pastor and encourage him to make use of your findings in a sermon. Or, use the research during Bible study.
mentor the vocation of motherhood
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20)
- Take a stand for life. Satan wanted woman to be the mother of death, but Adam named his wife “Eve” (Hebrew: chawwah, “life”) because she would be the mother of all the living. With this name, Adam expressed hope for the future through new life and, most importantly, through the promised Seed of the woman: Jesus Christ. How does God help us understand “choice” in Deuteronomy 30:19-20? Regardless of our choices in the past, what can we choose to do now? How does being pro-life affect the way we see ourselves and others? Celebrate Mother’s Day in your congregation with bulletin inserts, roses on the altar, precious feet pins, or “thank you Mom” cards to all the moms. Remember to pray for the moms who chose abortion, that they will know the welcoming love and forgiveness of Christ. For resources, visit Lutherans For Life and Heritage House.
- Be confident in your vocation as a mother. This noble, time-honored, and life-influencing vocation impacts the culture for generations. Read God at Workby Gene Edward Veith, Jr. (Concordia Publishing House).
- Trust God’s Word. You are, by God’s definition and design, a “helper.” With His Word, God has equipped you to help instill faith, raise standards of behavior, connect fathers to children, nurture moral character, encourage, and prepare children to stand against evil. Write this vocational job description on a notecard and keep it by your bed or on your fridge door!
- Create a peaceful home for your family and guests. Isaiah 32:18 tells us, “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” The world is loud, selfish, rude, stressful, violent, and disorderly. When your family and guests come in the door, they can enter a different environment. A man should strive to keep his family safe, but the woman sets the “mood.” A mom doesn’t have to be “super woman,” but she can keep her home clean, respectful of others, hospitable, peaceful, and Spirit-filled. Little things can help, such as: soft music (Luther said Satan abhors music), a scented candle, the table set and ready to receive your family, a visible picture of Jesus and a framed Scripture verse, your own composure, your choice of words, the practice of kindness, consistency with “house rules,” cleanliness, respect for some privacy, limited TV and computer time, establishment of family traditions, and carefully guarded boundaries around family time.
- Invite your pastor to bless your home. Ask a few Christian friends to join you, your family, and pastor for a short “house blessing.” Join in prayer and God’s Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to live in your home and to fill those who enter there with truth, compassion, and faithfulness.
- Start a Titus 2 Mother’s group. Be sure to include “older” and “younger” moms. See the Resource section of this website or the Titus 2 Study Guide for discussion and study helps.
- Incorporate Titus 2 mentoring into scrapbooking. While hands are busy preserving memories of children and families, keep conversations focused on all things good, right, positive, and hopeful. Visit one of the suggested web sites (i.e. Concerned Women for America — see above) and prepare yourself for Biblically healthy discussion. Or, focus on a current cultural issue such as same-gender marriage. Challenge each other to stay on topic and contrast worldly perspectives with God’s Word.
- Encourage the single moms in your congregation and community. Order copies of Not Alone, a devotional booklet for single moms (#901B – $2) fromLutherans For Life or call 888-364-LIFE. Wrap them up as gifts for Mother’s Day and either mail them or put them in appropriate church mailboxes.
mentor christ’s love for children
And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God… And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them. (Mark 10:13-16)
- Oppose the world’s view of children. The world views children as “my body, my choice,” “an inconvenience,” “property,” “a source of stem cells,” “an extension of myself,” “someone who will love me,” “a grandchild for my parents,” or even a “tax write-off.” To develop a Biblical perspective on human life, order an educational packet from Lutherans For Life by firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 888-364-LIFE.
- Encourage stay-at-home moms. The vocation of motherhood is a full-time job. However, the benefits and rewards seem elusive. Every mom who makes the choice to stay home with her children needs the encouragement of “older” women who have experienced the challenges, loneliness, and question of identity. Provide Bible study or a monthly “lunch out” including childcare. Mail a card of encouragement. Make a simple call to ask: “How are you doing?”
- Make life a little easier for moms who work outside the home. In today’s economy, many moms have no choice but to work outside the home. They may feel guilty about time away from children, yet be exhausted when they get home. Send a note of encouragement, prepare a meal, or organize a bi-monthly group of “molly maids” to bear some of the house-cleaning load and free mom for time with children.
- Let children know how precious they are. Order copies of It’s You and Me Lord (#730B – $2) for your Sunday school, week-day, or VBS children in grades 1-3. Make them available for your Moms in Touch group or young mom’s Bible study. Keep some on hand for gift-giving. Available from Lutherans For Life.
- Teach for life! Ask your Christian school to preview the curriculum Teaching For Life. Teachers will find a variety of ways to incorporate nine pro-life concepts for each month of the school year into religion, math, social studies, science, etc. Teaching For Life is positive and Gospel-centered. Learn more by visiting Lutherans For Life.
- Become a volunteer at your local CPC. Most caring pregnancy centers (CPCs) are appreciative of compassionate volunteers. If there is a CPC in your community, ask about helping with a young mom’s retreat, volunteer to mentor an unwed mom, or offer to teach a class on homemaking skills. Encourage your congregation to include your local CPC in the church budget.
- Help with the adoption of orphans. Learn how your family or congregation might financially help Christian husbands and wives adopt orphans. For more information, visit Steven Curtis Chapman’s website atwww.shaohannahshope.org or www.hisheartfororphans.blogspot.com Or, contact Bethany Christian Services or Lutheran Family Service of Iowa.
- Let single moms know you care. Purchase copies of Not Alone for single moms in your congregation or for clients at your local caring pregnancy center. This devotional book (#901B-$2) is a gentle, encouraging, Biblical reminder of the value of both mother and child. Call 888-364-LIFE or visit Lutherans For Life.
practice generational mentoring
One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts…They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness. (Psalm 145:4,6)
- Be aware. Before we can mentor Biblical womanhood, we have to know the opposition. Visual images of worldly messages to our young women are everywhere. Just go to the mall where Victoria’s Secret not only mentors our daughters but teases our sons. In the privacy of your home, discover the tactics of our opposition by viewing www.teenwire.org, the “teen talk” site of Planned Parenthood. Learn for yourself how the world is mentoring young women. But — then! Take heart! God remains in control. His Word is true and life-changing. Jesus is victorious. The Holy Spirit is at work.
- Don’t be intimidated by the world. “Older” and “younger” women (and men) are engaged in a battle for hearts and minds. We are equipped for this battle. Take up the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and stand where you have been placed by God. Make sure you are “dressed” for daily battle against powers and principalities before you engage the world on behalf of your children, grandchildren, and neighborhood of children.
- Build a bridge between generations. Use Generations of Hope for Generations to Come (#906B) as a gift booklet or discussion guide. Available from Lutherans For Life .
- Equip the youngest generation to trust God’s Word. A Barna survey reports that 61% of today’s young adults who had been churched are now spiritually disengaged. They are not reading the Bible, praying, or attending worship services. Why? Documented research shows that children who were taken to Sunday school but not taught how to defend the Christian faith fell away when challenged by worldly opinions. If boys and girls are taught that they are created by God, but not equipped to defend the authority of God’s Word, how will they “hold up” under the pressure applied by an evolutionist or atheist teacher or professor? Use Already Gone (DVD or book) by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer (Available from Answers in Genesis ) for small group study and discussion. Learn what you can do to help young men and women defend the Christian worldview.
- Stop criticizing and start helping. If you are concerned about the dress of younger (and older!) women in your family and congregation, do something about it! Order the Bible study entitled Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up (#DFL – $15). This ten-lesson study expands on the modesty life-style show scripted by Linda Bartlett. After taking the interactive life-style show “on the road,” Linda was encouraged to write a study that could be used by young women and their moms or mentors at home, in a retreat setting, or as part of preparation for confirmation. Reproducible lessons cover such topics as Biblical womanhood, glorifying God rather than ourselves, respecting men, the look and behavior of love, and why we wait for the white wedding dress. Warning! This Bible study is counter-culture! You may download a reproducible PDF file from Lutherans For Life.
- Equip young women for the battle of worldviews. Ask: How does God want us to live? To dress? To treat others? The answer should be: As women who glorify God on their journey to heaven! Ask: How does God’s worldview differ from our present culture’s worldview? Which one provides a future of hope? Use the brochure, Dressing for Life, as a mini-discussion guide or Bible study ($.25 each). Order the brochure by e-mailing email@example.com or call (641) 648-3785. Host a “Girl’s Night Out” (see “Mentor Biblical Womanhood” above) or sponsor a series of “Moms & Daughters” or “Women Only” nights using the Bible study Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up.
- Go shopping. As a follow-up to the Bible study, Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up, plan a shopping expedition. Include moms and daughters, grandmas and granddaughters, aunts and nieces, older and younger friends. Challenge the girls and women to find modest and appropriate clothing that honors God.
- Communicate with store owners. After your shopping expedition, gather together for a letter-writing night. Let store owners and designers know what you think about their clothing. Commend or politely critique their selection of appropriate or inappropriate clothing.
- Host a small mother-daughter-grandmother “tea.” Include women whose mothers live far away or who have no relationship with their mom. Practice etiquette at pretty tables! Inspire confidence in Biblical womanhood! Build nurturing relationships for life! As one woman explained: “I moved far away after getting married. I didn’t have my mom’s support nor did I have benefit of women in a congregation who held me accountable and mentored Biblical womanhood. This made it easier for me to come under the influence of the world and make some poor choices.” What are the “older” women in your congregation doing to reach out to and welcome “younger” ones?
mentor purity & chivalry
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)[Treat] older women as mothers… younger women as sisters, in all purity (1 Timothy 5:2)
Urge the younger men to be self-controlled (Titus 2:6)
- Host a Parent Night in your home or at church. Encourage parents in their vocation. Remind them that God has entrusted children to fathers and mothers, not to schools. Order copies of The Failure of Sex Education (#601B) andPurity, Mystery and Modesty (#903T) from Lutherans For Life or call 888-364-LIFE. Use them for discussion. Contrast God’s call for parents to instruct children in purity with the world’s method of educating in sex. Don’t be intimidated by the worldly philosophy that we have to make our children “comfortable with their sexuality” or that they are “sexual from birth.” These are philosophies of Alfred Kinsey that have taken parents and children captive to deceit. God wants us to protect the innocence of childhood. He doesn’t want us to “arouse love before its time,” break down the protective barrier of modesty by teaching intimacies to boys and girls in the same classroom, or instruct children about the act of sex He created for one man and one woman in the faithfulness of marriage. To further help inform parents, we suggest Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences by Dr. Judith Reisman and The Kinsey Syndrome (DVD)www.thekinseysyndrome.com Help reveal how most modern parents have been taken captive to false teaching… then begin to make positive changes.
Provide resources for parents and Christian teachers. Order copies of the following brochures for your congregation’s youth group, middle-school or high school: Fig Leaves Are Not Enough (for girls – #612T), Real Love, Real Life(#615T), More Than Sex Can Say (#609T), More Power (for boys – #606T),Mystery of the Mixed Message (#610T), What Is Real Love? (#603A), or Why Not Just Live Together? (#607T). Available from Lutherans For Life.
- Don’t be intimidated by your own past. Confessed sins are forgiven by Jesus Christ and hope is evidenced in new beginnings and a changed life. Biblical heroes were sinful men and women yet they trusted God’s Word and used it to train children and grandchildren. What does Psalm 78:1-8 say to a parent? What does Exodus 20:5-6 say to a parent? While it is true that sins may be visited upon the third and fourth generations, mercy is shown to thousands of generations.
- Start an e-mail chain for Christian parents. Challenge parents to contrast worldviews. Many voices compete for the attention of our children. Help parents discern what is from God and what is from the world. Invite parents to “sign up” and be included on an e-mail list. From time to time, share helpful books, websites, and resources that offer healthy, God-pleasing, common sense. For starters, we recommend Unprotected and You’re Teaching My Child What? by Miriam Grossman, M.D.; Hooked by Joe McIlhaney, M.D.; and websites such aswww.megmeekermd.com and www.medinstitute.org Compare the moral messages of these authors and websites with the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and tantalizing message of Planned Parenthood (view a sample of their message at www.teenwire.org)
- Host a sleep-over or “girls only” retreat. Encourage young women in their unique role as God’s daughters and challenge them to dress for life. Use the Bible study Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up as a tool for mentoring Biblical womanhood. This reproducible ten-lesson study boldly contrasts Planned Parenthood, Victoria’s Secret, and Abercrombie & Fitch with God’s Word for life! Questions about men and women, emotions, beauty, and intimacy are answered from God’s perspective. Invite a few of your daughter’s friends and their moms to your house for a sleep-over. Or, make it a special Friday night and Saturday in a hotel with Bible study, a little shopping for modest clothing, and mature conversations about life. Or, make use of a retreat center for “girls only” from your youth group. The Dressing for Life Bible study is downloadable from Lutherans For Life.
- Host a Chivalry Camp Out Bring fathers and sons, grandfathers and grandsons, “older” and “younger” men together for a time of encouragement in Biblical manhood. All boys need a Christian male role model to help them learn about the Father God and the Savior Jesus Christ. Resources for such a retreat or camp out abound. Begin with Vision Forum or Answers In Genesis. Glean ideas from the “4 men” page of this website.
mentor a respect for human life
You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works… Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me
- Proclaim God’s love for human life at every opportunity. Order brochures for your congregational tract racks and displays from Lutherans For Life
- Raise funds for a local caring pregnancy center. Many communities have some kind of CPC. These pro-life centers do not take federal or state funding so appreciate the donations from congregations, civic organizations, and individuals. Ask your center’s director what their specific needs might be. Sponsor a bake sale or garage sale, then give the proceeds to your CPC’s educational or care-giving outreach.
- Support a family in their efforts to adopt. Pray for them. If they’re balancing counseling sessions with work schedules, surprise them by delivering a meal or two.
- Order brochures on end-of-life issues for your congregation. Lutherans For Life has a host of brochures and Bible studies suitable for pastors and laity. They include: Before I Die: A Practical Guide for End-of-Life Issues (#809B) orVentilators, Feeding Tubes and Other End-of-Life Questions (#800B). Provide your pastor with LFL’s Living with Dying Manual which contains a wealth of information on difficult issues of life and death. Available by calling 888-364-LIFE or visiting Lutherans For Life.
- Reach out to a family whose child has a disability. Deliver a meal, offer to child-sit while the parents go out for dinner, or help with household tasks.
- Be a companion for those who are lonely, sick, or dying. Read to them. Write letters from them to loved ones. Take them for a drive. Pray with them.
- Be open to “holy interruptions.” In the midst of your busy day, you might be interrupted by someone with a request for help or a listening ear. Instead of being irritated, choose to see this as a “holy interruption.” The moments in our day are God’s. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use them to our Father’s glory and the benefit of others.
- Show compassion to parents who grieve a miscarriage or stillbirth. Give them Into His Loving Care, a little devotional booklet with Scripture (#902 ). This booklet was written after a pastor requested help in consoling grieving parents. It is a tender reminder of the Shepherd who loves each child – even those we never get to hold. Order from Lutherans For Life.
mentor hope & healing
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… to comfort all who mourn
- Pray for and support the ministry of Word of Hope. Encourage your congregation or women’s group to support this caring ministry directed by Grace Kern. Since 1997, Grace has been answering the calls of hurting and despairing women following sexual abuse or abortion. The calls come from Lutheran and other Christian homes, congregations, universities, high schools, prisons, and military institutions. Donations may be sent to Word of Hope, 2717 York Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523. To speak with Grace, call toll-free (888) 217-8679. Brochures and resources are available. Visit Word of Hope.
- Share God’s Word of hope with a woman after her abortion. The devotional called No More Weeping is ideal for use by pastors, caring pregnancy centers, women’s ministries, or Human Care ministry. The design is simple with several devotions tucked into an envelope. Order by calling (888) 217-8679.
- Encourage your congregation to sponsor a Day of Hope and Healing.Help pastors, caregivers, Human Care ministries, pregnancy centers, school counselors and nurses, parents, and physicians become aware of abortion’s pain, its impact on family and society, and the hope for healing in Jesus. For help with resources, suggestions for workshops, and a list of presenters, call Word of Hope (888) 217-8679 or Lutherans For Life (888) 364-LIFE.
- Speak your pro-life convictions with care. We may express our pro-life beliefs with confidence, but how are these words heard and received by the man or woman with abortion in their past? Do our choice of words and manner welcome people… or turn them away? Practice speaking God’s Word of life with a welcoming spirit.
- Offer hope and healing in private places. Place brochures for hope and healing after an abortion in the women’s restroom at church or in the college dorm. You’ll be surprised how quickly they disappear. Make them available to the school nurse. A sample pack of brochures is available by calling (888) 217-8679 or (888) 364-LIFE.
- Place the Word of Hope hotline number in your church bulletin. That number is (888) 217-8679.
mentor & encourage biblical manhood
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25)Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness… urge the younger men to be self-controlled. (Titus 2:2, 6)
- Honor God’s created order by being a helper. God is the God of order, not chaos. Woman was created by God to be a “helper” (Hebrew: ezer) for man. There is no shame in being a helper. Jesus called the Holy Spirit a “Helper” (Greek: parakletos, “comforter” or someone who appears on another’s behalf – “advocate”) in John 14:16. In what ways does a Christian woman help or hinder a man in a dating relationship? In the workplace? In what ways does a Christian wife help or hinder her husband? In what ways does a Christian mother help or hinder the father of her children? In what ways does a Christian mother help or hinder her son?
- Mentor sons. A woman is needed to mentor her sons, grandsons, and all of the boys God brings into her life. She doesn’t do this like a father. Some believe that a woman should bring out the “feminine” side of a boy. Do you agree or disagree? In light of God’s creation of two genders, how does Proverbs 22:6 assist a mother in raising her son? Give your mom’s group an assignment! List all the ways mothers can help their sons toward Biblical manhood. Then, encourage dads to do a study of Proverbs 4-7 with your sons. The Lutheran Study Bible ESV with commentary provides plenty for discussion. If a dad isn’t present, study these chapters from Proverbs with your son. Help him avoid “the temptress.”
- Encourage fathers to be “heroes” and defenders of their daughters.Suggest that your husband and/or men’s group read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D. (www.amazon.com), or read the two-part article entitled “Dad: A Girl’s First Hero” (refer to the “Writings” page of this website). Why is it that evidence proves girls will wait longer to become sexually active if they have a dad who provides appropriate attention? What does it mean when a father gives his daughter’s hand in marriage? What does it mean when he lifts his daughter’s veil?
- Resist the feminist’s disdain for patriarchy. Patriarchy is God’s plan to bring order into a chaotic and sinful world. Men are held accountable for loving their wives and passing on the Truth of God to their children. Encourage the men of your congregation to use the Bible study entitled Men, Women, and Relationships: Building a Culture of Life Across the Generations (#901BS) fromLutherans For Life . Of particular interest to men’s groups will be these chapters: “Modern Man, “ “The Abuse of Sex,” “Husbands and Wives,” “Heroes in a Culture of Life,”, “Bearers and Defenders of Life,” and “Building a Culture of Life.” Each lesson includes a leader’s guide.
- Raise the standard for men. The way a woman chooses to dress, speak, and act can either raise – or lower – a man’s standard of behavior. Suggest that your women’s group read Christian Modesty and the Undressing of America by Jeff Pollard (www.visionforum.org) or google “Wendy Shalit” and check out her books on modesty. Don’t forget to make use of our Bible study: Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up. Help young women know how to raise the standard for men by not being a “temptress.” (Available from Lutherans For Life.)
- Encourage, respect, and appreciate men. Purchase the Bible study Called to Remember (#302BS) and give it to your pastor, men’s Bible class leader, husband, son, or other male family members. The study calls men to accountability while also showing appreciation for their faithfulness. Available from Lutherans For Life.
- Encourage a Titus 2 for Life mentoring group for men. A study guide for men’s retreats doesn’t exist (yet), but appropriate resources include chapters from Men, Women, and Relationships as well as Called to Remember(Lutherans For Life).
- Go to the “4 men” page of this website and click on the links to articles that encourage and support Biblical manhood. Thank God for humble, praying, and faithfully involved fathers, grandfathers, husbands, sons, pastors, and friends.