Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

A Titus 2 Woman

Titus 2:
1 As for yourself, you must say what is consistent with sound doctrine, namely,
that older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good,
so that they may train younger women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers, under the control of their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

I don't remember exactly when it hit me that I was now the "older woman" mentioned in Titus 2:3. It may have been when I realized all of my lovely god daughters were now young women themselves. It may have been when my Aunt Opal died, or maybe when my teacher Anita passed on. Something about the generations in front of you passing on to make it obvious that you're up!! It's up to you now!

The first part of the chapter exorts Titus to be consistent with sound doctrine. One must know, understand and have studied sound doctrine before one can speak consistently in it. In the second verse scripture advises the older men to exhibit certain virtues, such as dignity and self control, but again to be sound in faith and endurance. Again this speaks of a certain knowledge and understanding of the faith that can only come from study, and an endurance that comes from living in the faith and a life of prayer.

The third verse speaks to the older ladies and starts out with the word, "similarly." I believe this means that the ladies too must know, understand, study and live their faith so that they can speak and live consistently in that sound doctrine, but even more than that, they are required to pass on that knowledge, experience, study etc. to the younger woman! We ladies get the extra load!!

Now why would that example be placed on the older women? Why not young women? or the guys?

A couple of reasons come to mind. First of all, it is easier to take instruction and follow the example of someone who is not in your peer group. Within a group of young women it is very difficult for one to comeforward as a role model without spawning some resentment and maybe jealousy from the others. That just does't seem to be a problem in my experience, when one is following a mentor or an older role model.

Secondly, I believe the older woman has credibility. She's lived it! and she can speak to the pitfalls and the problems in a practical way, maybe even with humor and the wisdom of "This too shall pass!"

Lastly, I think if an older woman has been faithful to living "in sound doctrine" she has earned the wisdom that comes with the years. She has come closer to the perfection that Christ called us all too in this passage.

Matthew 5:48
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Certainly all of us still sin, but I believe that as we age, living in "sound doctrine" we conquer our old sins and recognize our new ones for what they are much sooner. This is what it means to be on a path for holiness. The ability via study, experience and wisdom to "discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Of course all of the teaching and good example in the world won't amount to much if the "students" aren't open with a teachable spirit. But I think even in those cases, we are called to persevere in our example and our words, (even our bloggings!)"so the word of God may not be discredited."

Special side note to Bonnie, the verse specifically notes the older women to teach the younger women "self control" and how to be "chaste" two very necessary traits if a couple needs to practice NFP. See, it wasn't just "my opinion." : )

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