Girly Coffee Time
”Girly coffee time is my home ministry to encourage and be encouraged by women that God has allowed me to meet. Here in the USA, I invite them to share a delicious cup of coffee and make a point to show them how special they are to me and to our Lord. At church, I will be teaching Bible Journaling Classes, as we have fellowship together. https://www. facebook.com/girlycoffeetime/ ”
A Woman of Titus 02
Written By Karina Barber
Edited by Kristen Paauwe
Welcome to another afternoon coffee! Today, I’ll meet you at my kitchen table. I have prepared for our meeting some delicious coffee and cheese bread, fresh out of the oven, mmmmm, delicious! As I have shared with you previously, my adaptation to married life was a real challenge due to several factors: Change of country, language barrier, and different culture. But believe me, if I could have changed one thing in my adaptation to this new life, it would have been the presence of a Titus 2 Woman in my life. Unfortunately, I did not have this direct and formal follow-up and direction in my church. But, God gave me much more than a Titus 2 woman to be my guide, counselor, and friend. He gave me as a gift a grandmother who adopted me as a granddaughter, filling this gap in a certain way. However, I have always felt the lack of a woman, one who was not necessarily linked to the family, a counselor for moments of laughter and tears throughout this period, with whom I could talk without barriers of family intimacy. I would love the possibility of having a mentor in my Christian life, teaching me the fundamentals of this new stage. In the relationship between Mentor and apprentice, there is a special bond that brings to mere human eyes the vision of Christ. Just as in the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus, we must practice the habit of seeing our companion as Jesus himself saw Zacchaeus. He looked into his eyes, showing respect and interest in his life, and called him by name, showing respect and acceptance for the individuality of Zacchaeus. We must learn from Christ Himself to minister to the most unique kinds of people and to see their spiritual needs above their physical attributes or material possessions (Lk 19). We must unleash Christ with a heart that does not judge when our companion acts immaturely (Mt 7) … Knowing that God can use us regardless of their understanding (Job 29:15). Always try to do good and encourage, even if it is undeserved and causes us discomfort (1 Thessalonians 5: 14-15). We must confess our envy of the qualities and possessions of others, remembering that love is not envious (I Cor. 13: 4). And last, and perhaps most difficult, we must remember that our liberty, purchased by the blood of Christ, should not be a cause for stumbling and falling in others (1 Cor. 8: 9). We must remember that at a table we all have the same height!
For a friendship to grow between friends, it is essential that there be a sharing between the two involved. Sharing familiar traditions, building memories together through hobbies, Bible studies, and physical activity are all very advisable. But we must not only recognize our similarities but also our differences because they will complement the friendship. Celebrate your unique gifts and the differences with which you live life!
Other important attributes of friendship are trust and responsibility. The responsibility to keep scheduled appointments, to arrive on time and to prepare for the studies to be presented, and confidence during the times you share your hearts with one another. It is necessary and vital that both demonstrate respect in keeping the conversations confidential and thus solidify the foundation of the relationship. For the mentor, it is also wise to make it clear to the apprentice that there will probably be a need for the mentor to seek advice from someone more experienced in some difficulty the apprentice may be facing, but that the mentor will always first ask permission from her to do so. Open communication is the best way to prevent misunderstandings and broken trust.
“Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble
is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.”
Confidence and security are the foundations for your apprentice’s spiritual growth. As she trusts you and does not feel judged, she will feel free to be transparent about her sins and difficulties, and you will be able to prepare her heart for the work the Holy Spirit will do and the truth he will reveal.
As in any relationship, it is necessary to establish limits. Be careful of these lies: Seeing a need necessarily means you are called to mentor, doubting why you are qualified, and feeling you are required to be available 100% of the time. Your apprentice will need you, but you have a life and you need to set your priorities before God, your family, and your ministry according to the Bible. Your ministry should only take a healthy amount of time away from your family. Do not be afraid to be honest with your apprentice when she goes overboard, but remember to be gentle and kind.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”
Matthew 12: 33-35
It is impossible to offer what we do not have … Keeping our spiritual reservoir full is crucial to being able to encourage others. When Jesus talks with the Samaritan Woman, they each use different words to describe the water. The woman uses the word for still water as a pond or a well. Jesus uses the word which refers to a spring or stream. Through Jesus Christ, we can fill ourselves with encouragement and thus pour out into the lives of the people around us. This process is done through prayer and reading the Bible. Prayer allows the river of Christ to pour into our lives the water of life so we can then give to our neighbor. We must pay attention so that our well does not run dry in the midst of our overloaded life. Let’s be careful not to get so busy with work for God that we forget to spend time with Him.
Another thing to talk a little about is the age of difference between the encouraging and the encouraged, and so I bring to you the example of Ruth and Naomi. Even with a difference of at least a generation between the two, these friends showed a lot of zeal and loyalty. Both brought different qualities and strength to their relationship of encouragement: Ruth brought determination to follow Naomi, strength, and stamina to work to provide food for both of them, and also the courage to following Naomi’s advice. Naomi brought her wisdom and knowledge of how the Israelite world and Jewish law worked, and she taught Ruth patience, which she herself had learned through her life experience. There is no age limit to encourage and be encouraged by someone. We should keep our hearts and minds open.
Since I have not had this woman in my life, today I devote myself to studying the scriptures and learning from the best teacher, the Holy Spirit, how to encourage women in my local church in an effective way. I ask for discernment to recognize their needs and the ability to encourage them.
And you, beloved, with which of these women do you identify in your present moment: Ruth or Naomi?
No matter who you are, let God help you grow, using your gifts and talents in today, tomorrow, and forever!