Author Interview: Susan Hunt

Susan Hunt

By Angie Brown – Susan Hunt is the former director of women’s ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America and holds a degree in Christian Education from Columbia Theological Seminary. She is the author of numerous books including Titus 2 ToolsThe True Woman, and By Design, and the co-author of The Legacy of Biblical WomanhoodLeadership for Women in the Church, and Women’s Ministry in the Local Church. Hunt is a mother, grandmother, and pastor’s wife who has been involved with women’s discipleship for decades.

Spiritual Mothering

Angie: Who is the primary audience of your book, Spiritual Mothering, and what are you hoping they will take away?

Susan: The primary audience is the male leadership and the women in the local church. The Titus 2 mandate for older women to disciple younger women is given to Titus, the pastor of the church. Women discipling women is one way the church obeys the Great Commission, so my prayer is that pastors and elders will see this book as a resource to help them encourage and equip women for this mission.

My prayer is that any woman, regardless of age or life-situation, will be inspired by the gospel to seek out women she can nurture in the faith, and women who will help her grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.

Angie: How have you benefited personally from applying the principles of the Titus 2 mandate?

Susan: I was in my forties when I was captivated by the possibilities of the Titus mandate. Shortly after I began wondering what it would look like if this concept were practiced in a church, my husband went on staff at a church with many godly older women. Their love for the younger women and their eagerness to encourage us continues to have a profound impact on my life thirty years later. I learned from their words and from their steady faith and faithfulness. This motivated me to begin investing in younger women. The gospel relationships are a sweet blessing, but even beyond that is the joy of knowing my Savior better.

Angie: What is the role of pastors / elders in implementing the principles presented in Spiritual Mothering?

Susan: The gospel imperative for women to disciple women does not stand alone. It is one part of Paul’s Pastoral Letters—1 and 2 Timothy and Titus—written to teach how to have strong, healthy churches. The ministry of women to women is one aspect of covenant community life. It is the responsibility of pastors/elders and is to take place under their oversight and in the context of sound doctrine.

Angie: What is the role of older women in implementing the principles presented in Spiritual Mothering?

Susan: Older women are called to teach what is good and to train young women. Teaching what is good means sharing the gospel. Training means to show, or to demonstrate. Older women are to share the gospel and their lives with young women—to show and tell them the truth and the power of the gospel.

Angie: What is the role of younger women in implementing the principles presented in Spiritual Mothering?

Susan: Younger women should acknowledge their need for older women and should approach the relationship with teachable hearts that are eager to learn how to apply gospel truth to every aspect of their lives.

Angie: Thank you for being a spiritual mother to so many and for taking the time to offer your wisdom!

On Being a Wife: 4 Things I Have Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

By Angie Brown –
The article was originally posted on the TGC Canada website here.

If there was a romantic comedy about my life leading up to marriage it would be called “Christmas by Candlelight.” It would begin when I see a handsome stranger, and we lock eyes across the room of an Old Testament seminary class. It feels like love at first sight, and a friendship develops. But confusion ensues over six months until he finally makes his intentions known.This is followed by him cooking me an incredible meal as we clear up all of the miscommunication and laugh into the evening! We then fall in love surrounded by Christmas lights, and he later proposes in the budding spring gardens of a castle courtyard. The montage of our exquisite December wedding is set to the music of the live Motown band from our candlelit reception.

The final scenes of our wedding day set up the sequel of our “picture perfect” future: we would launch both of our successful careers, buy our forever family home, fill it with beautiful, compliant children, and make memories travelling the world together.

Just as it is rare to find a sequel as good as the original, the scenes after our wedding day have yet to play out in the “picture perfect” way I had imagined.

Neither one of us found ourselves on our original career paths—my husband became a pastor and I became a stay-at-home mom. We found that life in a double-income world is expensive, and that circumstances have required us to move homes more than once. We found that infertility can be devastating, adoption is complicated, and parenting requires complete dependence on God. We found that memories are made through both joy and suffering, and that the expenses of life leave little room for Mediterranean cruises.

“Marriage is Hard.” Not exactly a catchy title for the next Hollywood blockbuster. Nevertheless, God has taught me many lessons on being a Christian wife. Here are 4 things I have learned in 10 years of marriage.

My Identity Is in Christ

Early in marriage, it was unsettling to experience the feeling of “losing myself” as I navigated how to be a wife. I had similar struggles when I became a pastor’s wife, a barren woman, and an adoptive mother.

As a wife, my primary identity is to be an image bearer of God and to bring him glory through all of the roles and responsibilities He entrusts to me (Gen. 1:27). Second, my identity is to be in loving relationship with my husband and to be his helper (Gen. 2:18). A third aspect of my identity is to love my children and to care for our home (Titus 2:3-5).

No matter how life circumstances change, my true identity is to reflect the enduring glory of Christ through the roles He has called me to.

Submission Is a High Calling

As a newlywed, I had very little understanding of the purpose of marriage, let alone a biblical understanding of submission. Scripture teaches that marriage is intended to reflect the profound mystery of Christ’s relationship to the church (Eph 5:32). Just as the church is to submit to Christ, I am to submit to my husband (Eph 5:24).

The Bible explains that marriage is to intentionally demonstrate both the self-sacrificial loving headship of Christ and the self-giving respectful conduct of the church. The church is not to follow Scripture begrudgingly, but with all her heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:27). Likewise, I am to serve my husband enthusiastically, passionately, and intelligently.

Regardless of whether my husband consistently exhibits the perfect headship of Jesus, I am still called to display the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4). To be clear, since our primary act of submission is to the Lord, we are exempt from following our husbands into sin or subjecting ourselves to abuse.

There Is Grace in the Gospel

Some of my most difficult days in marriage have direct correlation to me thinking more highly of myself than I ought. The sin nature of fallen humanity makes every relationship a challenge, since our default demeanor is one of selfishness and pride.

Specifically, two consequences of the Fall are unique to women: difficulty in mothering, and a desire to control our husbands (Gen. 3:16). It did not take long in marriage to realize that building and raising a family is not easy, and that I have an inherent inclination to control.

Submission is far more than a biblical principle to affirm in theory. It is the daily application of it that really matters. This is impossible to do apart from the Gospel. Jesus humbled himself and became a servant to fulfill the will of God in His death and resurrection. He is my example, but I require His strength to follow in His footsteps.

In the power of the Holy Spirit, I must continually develop self-awareness of my shortcomings and temptations, so I can daily claim the truth that Jesus has crucified the desires of my flesh (Gal. 5:24-25). Christ is the ultimate example of submission and I am so thankful for His grace when I fall short.

Godly Older Women Are a Treasure

I continue to glean invaluable wisdom from godly older women. In Titus 2, the elders are to oversee older women in the training of younger women according to sound doctrine. There are seven key areas: To love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be working at home and kind, and to be submissive to their own husbands (Titus 2:4-5).

I am always looking for qualified older women to learn from. These women are clothed in humility,  are continually growing in holiness, and demonstrate a biblical understanding of each of these seven areas.

I seek their wisdom. I ask questions. I have learned to listen.

Here are some of best pieces of marriage wisdom I have tried to implement: Pray daily as a couple. Enjoy the Bible together. Respect your husband in word and action, especially when he is present. Never stop dating. Keep children and pets out of your bed!

Finally, I recognize that I am an “older woman in training,” responsible to teach the next generation to be image-bearers, wives, and mothers who adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.

Living out the sequel to our wedding day has been nothing like a predictable romantic comedy, though there has been much romance and comedy. As we have sought to center our marriage on Christ, we have enjoyed far more action, adventure, drama, and suspense than I ever could have expected. This sequel has it all. My prayer is that we will be faithful to fulfil the roles God has called us to for the glory of Christ for many decades to come.

Women Can – and Should – Teach the Bible

By Adam Brown –

Southshore has been blessed by God with many women who are passionate and capable of speaking, teaching, and writing. As a complementarian church that takes seriously God’s creative purposes for men and women, it is essential that we provide good and biblical contexts for our women to speak, teach, and write.

First, we affirm that God has called men to teach and to lead in the church. Women are not permitted to teach or to exercise authority over a man (see 1 Timothy 2:11-15). Does this mean that women are never to teach? Is there ever an appropriate context for women to teach? Of course, there is. The women who have been gifted by God to teach ought to teach if they are to be good stewards of the gift that the Holy Spirit has entrusted to them.

What is this context? Qualified women ought to teach and lead in any context so long as they are not intending to teach and exercise authority over men. Therefore, there is but one thing to consider: If I teach in this context, will I be putting myself over a man? Rather than drafting a never ending “thou shalt not” list that makes women teachers feel unwanted or unneeded, why not focus on thy many, many, contexts where robust biblical teaching by a woman is a blessing and a need?

Thus, to this end, we desire to disciple women to be effective Bible-teachers, workers who have no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). And, if we are going to do this, our women need to be trained just as men are trained, to exposit the Word of God. When we neglect rigorous biblical and hermeneutical training of our women teachers, then our women’s discipleship misses what it needs most, namely, the Word of God.

Nancy Guthrie has articulated a vision for women’s Bible teaching that is very much in line with Southshore’s vision for women’s Bible teaching. In this podcast (originally posted by The Gospel Coalition on October 26, 2017), Guthrie laments that in North America it is uncommon for women to be expected to be Bible teachers. Moreover, she is grieved by the fact that many women’s ministries are based on much less than the faithful presentation – by women for women – of God’s Word. I encourage you to listen to it as a way to get a better handle on what we are working toward at Southshore:

“Why Do the Hard Work of Exposition?” by Nancy Guthry

I am encouraged by God’s generosity toward us as a church. I pray that God would use us to demonstrate that women can – and should – teach the Bible, and teach it well. As complementarian Christians, may we demonstrate to the church and the world that God has given women tremendous gifts and, with these gifts, appropriate contexts within which they are to use these gifts. All of this is for the building up of the Body of Christ and to the exaltation of God our Father.