I have been pondering lately how we, as young women, are to set a godly example before younger sisters in Christ - not through our own strivings, of course, but through the grace of God. If you are anything like me, you will have many young girls in your life whether it be your sisters, or at church, school, among family friends and so on. Some will already be saved, despite their young age, others may have extensive knowledge of the Bible but not know Christ personally as their Lord and Saviour, while still others may know next to nothing about Him. As more mature Christian young women whom they look up to, we have a huge responsibility to show them what it is to have the Lord as our Saviour.
Well, I've been convicted lately on my neglect of this important but often overlooked area of the Christian walk. How easy it is for us to become self-absorbed and not see how much the Lord has taught us that we can share with those around us! It scares me also how easily our example can be a stumbling block to younger women, how we can add to the peer pressure that they already get all around them from the world.
At church, I was on creche (something I normally avoid at all costs as I am not very gifted at all with interacting with the younger children, and don't particularly enjoy it). Well, to my surprise I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected, not least because I finally began to be able to get alongside a younger girl in the church. And it shocked me how much she already looked up to me as a "big" girl! It made me realise that we are being watched, whether we know it or not, and that the younger girls around us are taking in everything we do and say. How challenging this is, especially when I think to my shame of all the times I have sinned before them -whether it be an angry word, a wrong attitude... the list goes on. Praise the Lord that His blood covers us!
This is even more challenging for those of us who have younger sisters in our family - the home is where our sins are so often exposed for all to see, and the way we act there certianly doesn't go unnoticed by our younger sisters, and often they imitate our exmple. Let that example be one of a life fully surrendered to Christ! Oh help me in this Father!
I want those around me, particularly the younger women of my acquantience to say, "I want to be just like Violet when I'm older" - not for my sake, or because of anything spectacular I've done, but rather because they can see Christ in me and His Holy Spirit working in my life, conforming me more to His will and want that in their lives too.
I would really love to know your thoughts on all this. I find it especially hard, as quite often there are some younger girls who I just 'click' with: it may be that we have similar personalities and I can identify with them, while with other girls I just can't seem to get to know them beyond their name. This is particularly true of little girls who are rather disobedient and hard to get on with, but they need the Lord and a godly sister in Christ to look up to as much as the next little girl! So what should we be doing to reach out to younger girls like this? I realise as well that we can't possibly spend quality time getting to know every little girl in our acquantience, so how do we deal with that challenge as well? Maybe we need to be looking out for those little girls who don't have many or any godly Christian women in their lives or who are particularly struggling, especially if they are struggling with the same things we have in the past. I don't really know and I certianly don't have any answers!
A cursory look through scripture quickly shows that the Lord considers this to be an area of great importance, particularly in terms of the body of Christ (the Church). Again and again the emphasis is that we are not to lead our brothers (or, in this case, sisters) astray.
Some verses that address this:
- "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." ~ Titus 2:3-5
- "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." ~ Romans 14:13
- "But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak...Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ." ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9, 12
- “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
- "And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves!...." ~ Luke 17:1-6