Throughout Titus 2, Scripture celebrates the importance of female leadership. In Verse 3-5 we read about how women should be "in behavior as becometh holiness... teachers of good things"
From Esther to Mary Magdalene and Priscilla, Deborah or Lydia - all these strong characters illustrate examples that go beyond just staying home with their families; they were trailblazing leaders who didn't let any convention stop them from making a difference in our world. Let us similarly encourage fellow sisters everywhere to step confidently into their potential!
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Welcome back to the Milk and Honey podcast. I am so excited that you’re here because this is personally one of my favorite topics of all time. And so we’re gonna dive in today into Titus two a little bit, and what leadership actually looks like and what Titus 2 actually says. And so I’m just gonna dive right in.
Verses three to five says, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
That’s from the N I V. I love Titus 2 because I think it provides such good insight, right? I mean these are all things that I think are good. We’re supposed to be reverent, we’re not supposed to be gossiping. We’re not supposed to be addicted to alcohol, and we’re supposed to teach what is good, and I’m gonna come back to that in a minute.
And then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and their children to be self-controlled, to be pure, to be busy at home, to, you know, be submissive to our husbands so that no one will malign the word of God. Our behavior is a correlation of how people feel about God once you accept Christ, and I tell my kids this all the time, everything that you say or do is going to have a negative impact or a positive impact on how people see the Lord because people know that they’re Christians.
They’ve been very vocal about their faith at school and you know, in sports teams and all these things. And so because they’re vocal people are watching them, you know, even their little nine and 10-year-old peers are watching them to see what their behavior is like because that’s gonna influence how they feel about God.
I love this verse because it says that our behavior should be becoming of somebody who is a Christian and should be worthy of being followed, and so this is what I really love about this. First is that we are supposed to be able to teach what is good so we can mentor other women. This whole section is about discipleship.
And so often women will come to me and they will say, well, Titus 2 says we’re supposed to be at home and we’re supposed to do these things, and so, therefore, we can’t run a business. Therefore we can’t be influencers. We can’t do these other things. We can’t run businesses. We can’t be in the spotlight.
There’s no place in leadership for us because Titus 2 doesn’t say there is. And I wanna be really clear, Titus 2 does not limit women in their sphere of influence. It simply says that we should be. doing these. Like we shouldn’t be alcoholics, we shouldn’t be gossiping, we should be self-controlled. We should be kind. We should be busy at home.
Nowhere in this verse do I think this is a bad thing because I can run my business and also be a homemaker. I can do both. I can be really present for my family, but also still run my business.
I want to talk about some examples of leadership in the Bible because the Old Testament and the New Testament is full of leadership. And so the very first person that I always think of is gonna be Esther. It’s one of my favorites.
You should see my Bible. It’s completely highlighted. 975 times over in Esther. So Esther was Jewish and became the Queen of Persia right after King Xerxes banished his wife because he felt embarrassed by his wife after a bunch of debaucheries basically.
Because he wasn’t Jewish he wasn’t behaving the way we would expect our husbands to behave.
And so, I think this is a super important verse because Esther is then put in a position of power and influence. And this is all part of God’s plan, right? It probably felt really terrible for King Xerxes’ first wife. It probably didn’t make sense to the other women that he was courting.
But Esther, who was orphaned she was chosen by God to step up and save her people, which I think is really amazing. So there are a couple of leadership traits that I wanna pull out from Esther. So first of all, Esther was in a position of influence and power and she used it for good.
I think the world does a really good job of pitting women against each other. People stepping on one another to rise to their position of power. But Esther used her position of power for a positive.
Esther had such a good position of power. Not only like amongst the nation, but with her husband. She approaches King Xerxes without being summoned, which then could have gotten her killed. But she had such influence that she waswelcomed.
I want to encourage you because just imagine what your position of power and influence could do for somebody. What could you do in the world? If you rose to a level of influence and used it for positive change. I always say I don’t want people to look at me and glorify me. I want them to look at me and know that I am here for the Lord.
That’s the only thing I’m here for. And so when people look at me, I don’t want my name and lights. I don’t want any of those things. I want whatever level of influence I have to be used to glorify God and to use it for a positive outcome.
The next thing I wanna talk about with Esther is the best verse. Esther 4:14 is Mordecai talking to her. The last line says “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
What they’re saying here is that Esther was chosen for a specific purpose by God, right? It was never about Esther. It was always about God. And God uses her as a vessel. And so what I wanna draw from this is that God will also use us as his vessel. God will also use us for a very specific purpose.
For his purpose, and we just have to lean in and trust his purpose no matter how scary it is. I’m sure it was terrifying for Esther, but God has a very specific purpose for us, and I think that is something we need to lean on because our purpose does not have to be limited to our household. Yes, I think that your household is your first ministry.
I think it is your first priority, but there are other things that you are capable of doing. God gave you gifts and talents for a specific purpose, for a specific reason, and you just have to lean in to figure out what that is.
And then the next thing I just wanna highlight is that Esther spent a ton of time in prayer and fasting. So she did a three-day fast.
And then when it’s done, she’s going to go to the king, even though it’s against the law. And if I perish, I perish, she says.
Few things here. One, when we remove the temporal needs, when we remove food from our lives, right, it really removes distraction and it allows us to hunger for God.
It’s so funny because you always think you’re gonna be so hungry. Like there are mornings I will wake up and I’m like, geez, I’m starving even though I just had dinner last night. But when I’m in a fast, I don’t feel that at all. It’s, it’s so miraculous to me how when I’m fasting, I don’t feel the hunger that I feel on a day-to-day basis because the Lord is sustaining us.
And when we remove those distractions, we can hear from Him more clearly. We can be more intentional with Him. And I just think it builds a stronger bond.
And then the other thing that I love that she says is this last line. And if I perish, I perish. And so Esther is fully aware that she’s going to break the law for her people.
She’s gonna break a man-made law for God’s chosen people and God is with her through the whole thing. But she accepts whatever there is, and we see the same thing in Daniel, right?
And I know that God will deliver us, but if he doesn’t, that’s okay too. Because I’m trusting in God’s plan. I trust that God is sovereign. I trust that God has a plan and a purpose for me. And so you have to trust that God has a plan. Any purpose for. You as well. You have to trust that God knows exactly what he’s doing and that he has called you to a level of leadership right inside your home and outside your home, right?
Because you have leadership capability inside your home too for a reason, and you just have to trust that reason. So if you felt this pang in your heart to do more right to step into a calling that God has for you, I encourage you to do so because there are plenty of examples we can draw from.
Just imagine if Esther had felt like that wasn’t her role. What if Esther. had been shamed, right? Let’s pretend that Esther had read the New Testament, right? And women were coming to her and saying, your only role is to serve the household. If that was her only role, what would’ve happened to the Jewish people?
And here, this is a Holy Spirit download. While I’m saying this, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. And so if we are supposed to care for our family and take care of our household, doesn’t that mean everybody else? Doesn’t that mean everybody else too? And so we can step up and serve them in the way that God calls us to serve them.
Okay, the next person I wanna talk about here is Deborah. So we read about Deborah in Judges. Deborah is amazing. If we look at all the things about her. Deborah is a judge. She is a warrior, she’s a poet, and she’s prophetic, she also sings, which is just wild.
She’s one of only like five women who are described as a prophet in the Old Testament, which is really cool too. When I think of Deborah, I think about Joel 2:28, which says, Then your sons and daughters will prophesy.
I feel like that was a really radical prophecy from Joel because there are so few women that have like a prophetic gift.
And so I just thought that was like, just such a beautiful fulfillment of that. Seeing women lean into whatever prophetic gifting that they have now, and another thing here is Deborah’s the only female judge in the Bible, okay? She is the only female judge. And so I want to encourage you here.
There was a place for her in a man’s world. There was a seat at the table for her in the men’s world. I think that is super important to lean in on because for so long, I think this is a design of the enemy, the world has done a really good job of telling women they don’t have a seat at the table of saying. The only table that you can belong to is the one in your kitchen, right?
And I think that is so intentional to silence women, to keep women down, to keep women from sharing their stories, to keep women from sharing their gifts. Because we show up in leadership differently than men do, right? By design. We are different than men. And so we show up differently than men.
When it comes to our leadership abilities and how we serve people. So Deborah, being a judge, shows that women are capable of leadership, but the enemy has done a good job of saying, no, no, no. The only seat at the table that you have belongs in your kitchen. And I want to just break you free of that bondage of that lie from the enemy.
I rebuke that lie from the enemy because Deborah proves that we belong not just in her kitchens and at our homes. There is a place in leadership for us and so I want you to go study.
You can go read Deborah’s story more in Judges 4 & 5. What I think is really cool is Judges 4 is a lot more pros, but then Judges 5 is poetry.
Here she is stepping into a role that was traditionally designed for men. Men had held that role and there could have been other women, right? They are just not mentioned in the Bible, but. , the fact that there’s this balance between her professional life and who she is, you know, who God created her to be.
Just in the style of writing of the scripture, I think is really beautiful and it speaks to the capabilities of women a lot. I think women are capable of operating in roles of leadership but are still true to who God created them to be. And that I think what Deborah exemplifies is that we can, we can step into leadership and still be the feminine woman that God created us to be.
And I think that’s really beautiful. Okay, next I wanna talk about Mary Magdalene. She is one of my favorite. She’s the one whom I’m writing my book about. Everybody always talks about your Esther season, and God told me it was a Mary Magdalene season, and I’ll do a whole episode on what that means.
But Mary Magdalene was one of the first called with the disciples. Mary Magdalene is known as the Apostle to the Apostles. Mary Magdalene was there hearing all the revelations from Jesus. Mary Magdalene helped fund the ministry. Mary Magdalene was the first one at the tomb, which is so incredibly important to me because women back then, I think their testimony was only counted for two-thirds.
It didn’t count as a full testimony, which I always find so interesting. Again, designed by the enemy. Here’s Mary Magdalene, she’s the first one to see a resurrected Jesus, and He tells her to go and tell others. He trusts her in a time when women’s testimony did not count for much.
He trusted her to go and share the good news of the resurrection and that I find just so incredible. That shows the value that God has on women and our leadership abilities. But the fact that in biblical times right here is a woman called to serve alongside Jesus. And I feel like not very many people talk about her.
And here, this always irritates me too, is that up until the sixties, the mainstream churches were promoting this idea that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, and that’s not at all the case. And so, and they’ve since corrected that. But I remember growing up in an anti-Christian household and believing Mary Magdalene was a prostitute until a few years ago.
So this idea of putting Mary Magdalene down and calling her something that she was not only attempts to further diminish her role in leadership and only further diminishes her role in the plan that God had for her life and the trust that Jesus had in her.
And so what I want you to take from Mary Magdalene is that first of all, our past does not have to define us in any way, shape, or form. Once we’ve accepted Christ we can move forward and be new, but there is a place for us to hear a revelation. There is a place for us to be disciples. There is a place for us to go and share the good news and the way that we can share the good news is in some level of leadership.
Whether that is you running your business, whether it’s blogging, whether you’re posting on TikTok, or whatever it is you’re doing, you are showing up as a thought leader and influencing people around you. And that’s okay.
That’s okay to do. People will look to you as a leader. But the most important thing is that you don’t glorify your own leadership, but that you point it back to Christ, and that’s exactly what Mary Magdalene did. Even though she’s known as the apostle to the apostles, she’s still pointing everybody back to Jesus.
She’s still talking about Jesus nonstop. And so Mary Magdalene, to me, is one of the best examples of leadership in the Bible just because it was such a radical thing for Jesus to do. Jesus did some pretty radical things, and so that to me is a pretty radical thing that he did.
Next I want to talk about Priscilla.
Not somebody that I feel like we always spend a ton of time talking about. So Priscilla worked alongside her husband to start a church and they share the gospel late into Paul’s ministry. And probably after Paul died. They start a church in probably one of the worst areas ever.
They’re in Corinth and their church is thriving. What I feel like we can use, what we can take from this is that God can use the talents, the skills, or whatever gifts He has given you to go out and preach the gospel. So here’s the thing about Priscilla, because she worked alongside of her husband, she was really good at tent making.
She was really good at hospitality. She was really good at theology. And so I just find this. so fascinating because here’s Priscilla doing these things that were traditionally reserved for men. She’s a theologian, and so she’s able to go and use that to bring people closer to God because she is an unlikely theologian and I love that.
Here she is church planting. She’s working alongside her husband in an equal partnership and never says that she is lesser than her husband. So here she is, an equal partnership with her husband out preaching the gospel, planting a church, and watching that church thrive. And so if that doesn’t scream there’s a place for female leadership, then I don’t know what does, because Priscilla, I think is a beautiful example of what it looks to lean into the gifts and talents that you have, to develop your gifts and talents, and then to use those to further the gospel.
And I also think that Priscilla is a beautiful example of what it’s like to have a true partnership in your marriage. And we could really talk about that one day too. But having a true partner who sees and values the gifts and talents that God has given you only helps you further exemplify those gifts and talents.
I know my husband is frequently pouring into me. He is encouraging me to work on my skillset. He’s encouraging me to work on my leadership. He’s encouraging me to share more, to be bold, and to do all of these things because he recognizes the talents that God has given me and just as I do for him. And so I’ve seen a radical transformation in my husband.
He’s seen a radical transformation in me, and it’s because we have a true partnership where we recognize God has given us each a talent and an ability and a purpose for those talents and abilities and to go out and use them. And so God has given you talents and abilities and gifts and he wants you to develop them so you can go out and lead people back to Him.
So go study Priscilla. I think she is just really incredible. I 10 out of 10 would recommend going and reading her story. You’re gonna hear about Priscilla first in Act 18, and then 2 Timothy 4:19. Go check those out too.
Another one I wanna talk about is Lydia. So, Lydia came from this little area in Asia Minor.
Lydia was in Philippi right when she met Paul. Here’s what I wanna talk about with Lydia. Lydia sold clothes, right? She sold like dyed purple, which, you know, is expensive. So she’s a businesswoman. She had this very lucrative business. She has a big house that could accommodate a lot of people and servants to meet her needs.
And so when I think about Lydia, I’m like, this is a hard working, super bold, super smart woman who is achieving really incredible things. And so Acts 16:14 talks about when Lydia accepted Paul’s words about Christ and how she became a believer and then she made this big confession of her faith.
She assembled her entire household, servants included, and told them what happened to her and asked them to believe, and then her whole household accepted Christ, right? And so then Lydia invited Paul Silas to stay at her home in 16:15, and then while Paul and Silas were in prison. Lydia visited them and attended to their needs.
It’s her house that becomes one of the first churches in Europe. Just wrap your mind around that. So Paul preaches the gospel, and she accepts it. She immediately then turns to her whole household, tells them what happens, tells them her testimony, and tells them how Jesus has changed her life. They accept Christ, her whole household.
And then she has a household that is big enough to accommodate the first church. And then she’s taking care of Paul and Silas while they’re in prison. All because she started a lucrative business. She was smart, she was hardworking, she worked smart, and so she had a lucrative business that was able to make a generational impact.
It is because she stepped up into her calling of leadership and that she transformed an entire generation. So what would it look like for you to have a lucrative business. What could you do with that? I know as I talk to women that I mentor all the time, and we talk about what would our tithe look like if our business was doing really well and we were tithing $20,000 a month, what would that look like for your church?
What if I could donate to my favorite charitable organization. My personal favorite is local to me and it’s Foundation’s Resource Center. It’s a Christian crisis pregnancy center. We’re right by a collegeand we help women in all stages of life. You know whether their child is 10 or they are just finding out they’re pregnant, we walk alongside them and provide resources that they need.
So we’re not just supporting them through their pregnancy, but through their whole life. And so I’m like what would it look like if I could donate $10,000 a month to the organization? What good could they do with that? That’s what having a lucrative business can do. What could you do if you had a lucrative business?
And Jesus was at the forefront of that. And so Lydia, to me, again, exemplifies female leadership in some of the best ways possible because here she is stepping up to her calling. She is leaning on the gospel here. She’s training her household. She is able to provide the first church in that area. She’s one of the first churches in Europe, her household, and it’s because she worked hard that she had a household big enough to accommodate that many people.
She had servants to accommodate that many people. That’s amazing to me. What would it look like if you were able to have a home big enough that it didn’t matter how many people needed to come into your home? And I’m not saying you need a large home to have a large home, but what would it look like to have that space. Maybe you don’t even have space to host a small group right now, but what if you did?
What if you made enough money that you could start hosting a small group? I remember when I lived in Pennsylvania, it was just my ex-husband and I in this two-bedroom apartment for a while. So I remember there were a few times we would host a small group for young single adults.
When a family member was in need, and we had a teenage family member with nowhere to go, we had the resources to provide for her, and she came and she moved into my household. We took care of her, we fed her, we clothed her, we got her into the church, we got her into sports. We were able to pay for all of those things.
I’m not saying that to brag, but because I had set myself up for success, I had the extra space when an issue arose, I was able to meet that need.
And my church family helped me too when she first came because I had no idea what I was doing. I was25 and with a 15-year-old in my house. I have no idea what I’m doing. And my church family rallied around me. They helped me get her some of the things that she needed and it’s because they were also in a position to meet a need, and so what would it look like if we had businesses that were lucrative enough that we could meet a need? What would that look like? I want you to seriously think about what you would do if you had a lucrative business. What would you do? How would you impact people?
What level of leadership would you aspire to? How would you serve God’s people? Is there something that you’ve wanted to do, but you feel like your bank account was holding you back? What would you do if you had a thriving business? Because we see Lydia had a thriving business, and when Lydia started her business, she had no idea what was gonna happen.
She had no idea the impact she could make. I want you to lean on that because you have no idea the impact that you could make by stepping up into your level of leadership, whatever that looks like for you. However it is that God wants you to serveHIs people, however you’re supposed to serve in the marketplace.
Whatever that looks like for you, God has a purpose for it, and you may not see it yet, but God knows what it is. I’m going to encourage you to lean in and have a meeting with God about what it is you’re supposed to do. How are you supposed to serve? What does that look like in your world specifically so that when God presents you with a need, you can meet it?
I think we would all love to do that, right? We love to be the hands and feet here. And having a lucrative business is one of those ways that we can do that. This leads me to, the last woman I want to talk about is the Proverbs 31 woman. And so we know that this is a woman of noble character. She’s worth more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and she lacks nothing of value. She brings good.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:13. She is like the merchant ships. She gets up while it is still night. She provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it out of her earnings. She plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously. Her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlett.
She makes coverings for her bed. She’s clothed and fine linen and purple. We just talked about how expensive purple is. Her husband’s respected. She makes linen garments and sells them. She supplies the merchants with sashes.
Do you see how many businesses this woman runs? She’s buying a field. She’s planting a vineyard. She sees her trading as profitable. She makes linen garments and sells them. She provides sashes to the merchants. She has multiple streams of income all while she watches over the affairs of her household, and she does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:20. Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. The Proverb 31 woman, it was only like six months ago that I realized this woman had multiple businesses and was still providing for her home. So when I read Titus 2, it talks about being a keeper of your home, the Proverbs 31 woman was keeping her home.
She had a good relationship with her husband. She had a good relationship with her kids. Her house was cared for. She prepared for the winter for them, but she also had multiple businesses, and because she had multiple businesses, she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
This woman, just like we were talking about with Lydia, she has multiple streams of income. She cares for her household. Her children are taken care of, her husband is taken care of. She’s making sure that her female attendants are cared for. I’m reading the N I V, but then she also has multiple businesses, so she can care for everybody outside of her household because she is doing profitable trading.
She’s selling these linens, she’s providing to the merchants. She plants a vineyard after she bought a field.
Again, what would it look like to remove this notion that women only belong in our households caring for our children? What if we removed that and we stepped into the calling that God’s been nudging at you? I promise you, if you don’t take action, He will like hit you over the head with a two-by-four for this.
So what would it look like to step into this calling from God? What does it look like for you to step into your leadership? I want to encourage you to do that right now. Like I want you to take a business meeting with the Lord, figure out what it is that He has called you to do, and lean in, go all.
Practice radical obedience when it comes to whatever venture God has for you because I promise the blessing it’s going to be worth it. And it may not be just a blessing for you, but you could be a blessing to others. You could be the answer to prayers to somebody else because you took action and stepped into your calling.
I am just so excited to see what God does in and through you. In the next episode, we’re going talk about some women in leadership that we don’t normally discuss, and so you’re gonna want to hang out with me for that one. I cannot wait to connect with you further. Be sure to follow us on Instagram. Come hang out with us on Facebook on TikTok, and I will see you next time.