A new year sparks renewed interest in setting goals and discovering our individual purpose. It’s comforting to realize that God outlined for each of us what our purpose entails.
The Older Women
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women…” Titus 2: 3-4a
Two areas need our attention: our walk and our talk. Often we can talk about what God says we should do all day long. However, a hidden camera reveals our inability to walk according to those statutes.
Our behavior should reflect the Holy Spirit that indwells the heart of every believer. Our life can’t be characterized by the immorality of the world if we want to model Christ to others. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
Anytime we open our mouth, our tongue reveals what is really in our heart. If we speak malicious words, we erase every good deed done. All of us can hang our heads and recall a time when our mouth slaughtered our personal testimony. It’s amazing how one bad day can negate a month of good days.
Rather than using our mouth for evil, God instructs us to teach good things. In this passage, he specifically mentions the responsibility we have to teach other women. In this era, women are often caught balancing expectations for home, family and work. Where in this whirlwind of business is there time for ministering to other women?
Time for a priority check. If you can’t remember the last time you interacted with other women in a way that was edifying for both of you, a rearrangement of your “to do” list is in order.
The Younger Women
“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…” Titus 2:4-5
God gives the curriculum for all the teaching he expects from the older women. He doesn’t leave anything to chance and there isn’t much wiggle room for misinterpretation. Women have some responsibilities and they are to foster these required skills in each other.
- Love. Women have to be taught how to love their husbands and their children. This is one of those skills that takes much practice before it comes easily. It will never come “naturally.”
- Discretion. The word Paul uses here is interchangeable with wisdom. Women need to carefully consider each action and its possible fallout. If it seems questionable, take the high road and avoid that activity (1 Thess. 5:22).
- Chastity. Magazines, television ads and every media outlet flaunt the exterior of a woman that should remain hidden. Such indecency has led to a decline in purity. This is something God’s children need to beware.
- Homebodies. I love my home. There is no other place in the world I’d rather spend time. Every woman should diligently groom her own home to be a haven of welcome and comfort. In this way, it won’t be difficult to stay at home and keep the home fires burning for the rest of our family.
- Good. The writer in me thinks, “Okay, Lord, perhaps you needed a thesaurus when you wrote this one. Good? What does that even mean?” Since God is good, it’s safe to infer that we should be like Him if we want to achieve His standard of goodness.
- Submissive wives. Wives are not doormats. Wives help their husbands serve the Lord. If they are pulling for their own way or arguing against his every decision, they are hindering him. Submission means to willingly yield to another’s authority. Since God commands your husband to love you like he loves himself (Eph. 5: 25-28), women can safely yield to the will of their husbands.
God’s Good Reason
“That the word of god be not blasphemed” Titus 2:5f
God knows we will inevitably ask “Why?” In His goodness, he often adds the answer to this question when he gives us commands.
Such is the case in this letter from the Apostle Paul to Titus. Paul instructs Titus on how he is to mentor those in his flock. After he lists the qualities he expects women to learn, model and teach, he informs them of the reasoning for such behavior.
Our life is our testimony. When we act in a way that is contradictory to God’s principles, we are showing an inaccurate picture of our Lord to the world that watches us. As Paul says, “the word of God (is) blasphemed.”
Walking according to God’s principles is impossible for our flesh. We must rely on a higher power. Thankfully, God provides us with that power in the form of the Holy Ghost.
Remember, everyone is an older woman to someone and therefore should be teaching others with both word and deed. Every woman is younger than some other wise saint and should value the example set by those who have come before. God gently reminds us that even when we feel small and insignificant, someone looks to us for guidance.
Do you have any examples of times in your life when you mentored another woman? Maybe you remember when a godly woman came alongside you and helped you live a more godly life.
Up next week: The Season of Mothering