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Pastoral 2016

Gethsemane Young Mothers (GYM)

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Last year, several of our married young couples became parents and began a new phase in life with all its joys and challenges. Some of the mothers with infants began meeting together on a regular basis to pray and encourage one another. It is also their desire that more young mothers would benefit from such a gathering. This is indeed an excellent effort – one which the Pastor and the Session are most delighted to support and guide so that it may be better organized and more effective.

In a meeting held last Tuesday, Pastor advised the young mothers to effectively function as a new ministry of our church, namely Gethsemane Young Mothers (GYM). The following sisters have come forward to serve in the committee of GYM: Low Hui Lyn (Secretary), Merisa Teong (Treasurer), Lynn Koh (Publicity I/C), Fidelia Mah (Programme Coordinator). While Pastor will provide supervision, being the ex-officio of all the fellowship groups and the ministries of the church, Sis Dorothy Ng and Sis Carolyn Koshy will work with the committee to provide counsel and support. The GYM committee will meet soon to plan for the meetings and various activities.

All the young mothers are encouraged to join the fellowship of GYM and grow in the Word, prayer and fellowship. Through GYM, you can also be a blessing to other sisters in the church.

Biblical Advice concerning the Ministry towards Young Mothers

For the biblical administration and progress of this ministry, as well as for the spiritual strengthening of every young mother in our midst, the counsel from God’s Word in Titus 2:3-5 must be diligently followed - “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Young mothers must be open and submissive to the godly advice of aged women in the church. To this end, the aged women are exhorted to be “in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women”.

Paul’s advice clearly indicates that young mothers are not to be left to themselves. They must be taught and guided. The “aged women” (matured in faith, knowledge and conduct) must play a very significant role in teaching “good things” of life to the younger women. Paul does not think that older women in the church should leave the younger women to themselves to figure out the way forward in life. Neither does he permit younger women to refuse the godly instructions and examples that the older women of matured faith, knowledge and holiness can provide.

Our younger mothers must be guided by older women in the church. This is the will of God. Though younger women receive the teachings of pastors, elders and their own husbands, they are also to be guided by the spiritually matured women in the church, who have been living careful, godly lives. Such training is meant to provide the younger married women with the encouragement that they need to work toward a godly family life.

Hence, Paul continues with the advice that “they may teach the young women to be sober”. The word “sober” translates the Greek word sōphronízō, which denotes the idea of “being trained to think and act soberly, discreetly, and in moderation”. Sober-mindedness is not something naturally inherited. It is a spiritual virtue that ought to be cultivated through following careful, spiritually edifying instructions and examples.

Through the instructions of the aged women in the church, younger women should learn “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands”. From those purposes mentioned by Paul, it is evident that younger women will face many serious struggles and hindrances to their calling to be wives and mothers. So, younger mothers must be instructed to give great attention to domestic duties that God has entrusted them with. Their duties to their husbands and children should neither be neglected nor be performed indifferently, hastily or superficially. In order to encourage and strengthen every young Christian woman to be a godly wife and mother, the Word of God points to the ministry of the older women among them.

Paul also wrote at the end of Titus 2:5, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Young Christian mothers’ failure at home will be detrimental to the glory of God’s Word. Their wrong conduct would cause others to speak slanderously about the truth of God’s Word which they claim to believe. If young mothers, professing to be Christians, manifest lack of love for their husbands and for their children because of their lack of self-control, purity, domesticity, kindness and submissiveness, they would cause the Word of God to be evil spoken of by unbelievers in the society. This warning was further reinforced when Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The converse is also true: biblical conduct of young mothers would result in God’s Word being honoured!

So, GLF (Gethsemane Ladies’ Fellowship) and GYM must work closely and fulfil their God-given mandate. We thank God that Sis Dorothy Ng (Eld Ng Poh Kok’s wife) and Sis Carolyn Koshy (Pastor’s wife) have offered their services to help GYM. We pray that this ministry will not only benefit the womenfolk in Gethsemane, but also their husbands and children, and thus the entire church.

 

 

Pastoral Exhortation