In a culture that demands formal teaching – from college degrees to seminar certificates – we often lose sight of the opportunities for informal teaching. We learn in the classroom; however, we also learn by observing – by seeing a skill or a lifestyle and desiring that attribute in our own lives. Often this learning happens without us realizing it.
As I was contemplating an upcoming change in my church culture, I thought about how many different ladies have lived their lives in front of me, teaching me lessons which God wanted me to learn. As I recalled times of working with them side by side in VBS, Pioneer Girls and in Sunday School, in planning retreats, washing dishes, praying for missionaries, and sharing testimonies, I realized the abundance of God’s offerings.
From Nettie I learned about continuing in prayer and unwavering faith,
From Ruth – passionate concern and prayer for the lost,
From Maryanne – joy in serving and in suffering,
From Elaine – laughter is part of living (and it’s OK to laugh!),
From Virginia – passionate encouragement,
From Shirley – contentment in life,
From JoAnn – selfless giving and serving,
From Joan – humility in excellence,
From Katherine – applying scripture in all things,
From Jo – steadfast service with encouragement
From Arta – keeping busy till the Lord comes,
From so many more . . .
I continue to learn from the ladies of my church who through selfless service, sacrificial giving, and endless laughter have helped shaped my understanding of God and my desire to serve Him in the same way.
Some of these ladies are with the Lord now. Some are too frail to serve actively in the church. How blessed I am to have known them. I am different because of knowing them.
I ask myself, what am I teaching the women in my church with my life?
Titus 2:3-5 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”