Thoughts on Challenging us to be Titus 2 Women
By Bill Reeves
Recently I listened to one of the best and most challenging teachings I have ever heard on Titus 2.
This sermon was given in 2008. I was reminded of it as I’ve been writing on homemaking skills taught by older women. I decided to republish the series because I forget and need to be reminded of Biblical truths.
Since it was so special to me I asked for permission to share it here with all of you. It is over an hour long. Yes, we really do have teachings on Sunday morning at our church that are over an hour long.
For this reason I will be breaking it up into three posts. I will also have an MP3 file available for each section and the entire MP3 file available at the end of the three posts.
Here is part one:
Titus 2:3-5 (New International Version)
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
It’s important to point out that in Titus 2: 1- 10, Paul is not zeroing in on the teaching and preaching of sound doctrine as he does in 1:9; he is rather focusing on practical instruction about “the things which are fitting for,” that is, based on and appropriate to, the “sound doctrine,” that already has been taught.
We need to clearly understand that truth requires certain behaviors that reflect and are appropriate to it.
Our behavior should reflect what we believe and the opposite is also true, the way you behave reflects what you believe.
The Scriptures never divorce doctrine from duty, truth from behavior.
Last week John spoke about certain behaviors which befit sound doctrine for older men,
This morning I’m speaking about certain behaviors which befit sound doctrine for older women and young women.
Verses 1 and 15 let us know how important these behaviors are if a church purposes to have an evangelistic impact.
Some of these commands may not be popular but they are straightforward and clear. The women in this church are at different stages in life and these injunctions are going to look different in each person’s life.
Who are the older women? Child bearing commonly ends at about 40-45 years of age and as a result child rearing ends at about 60 to 65. 60 is the age Paul mentions in 1 Tim. 5 with respect to widows who qualified for being put on a list to receive financial support from the church. In context, it seems reasonable to think of older women as referring to women that are at least 60 years of age. I’ll expand on this later.
What are the qualities that should characterize godly older women?
1st Paul tells us “likewise” they are to be reverent in their behavior. “Likewise” links it to the previous instructions. Just like the older men, older women are to be reverent in their behavior
- Now, younger women, listen carefully, because this describes what older women are to be and what you are to pursue. The word reverent in its root meaning is related to priestly conduct. Older women are to be godly models of holiness. Older women’s lives are to be an expression of service to God. Women who are reverent in their behavior, as examples –“adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness, and they “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” (1 Tim. 2: 9-11)
- How are they supposed to be clothed? “By means of good works” They’re not to be known by their outward appearance but by their good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. Their actions are to be a manifestation of their inner character. Reverence speaks of the demeanor of a godly woman. A truly godly woman has an awareness of God in every single facet of her life – washing clothes, leading a Bible study, chairing a meeting, helping your husband, children, grandkids, etc.
Col. 3: 23-24 “Whatever…This is what it means to be reverent in their behavior. You’re aware of God in everything you do.
2nd, as mature believers, “older women” are not to be malicious gossips
- The word Paul uses here, slanderer or false accuser, is the Greek word for devil, diabolos.
It is a suitable word because we are behaving like Satan when we slander or falsely accuse. Satan is the “father of lies.”
- Prov. 10:19 – “Where there are many words, transgression (sin) is not avoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
- (How to respond: say something positive, change subject, of course, correct the person, you may have to walk away) Godly women refuse to listen to or spread slanderous or demeaning words about others.
A 3rd quality that should characterize “older women” is they should not be slaves to much wine. “She’s not given to drunkenness.”
- This must’ve been a big problem on the island of Crete. People sometimes turn to drink as a stimulant or as a means of escape from frustrations and loneliness of old age.
- “Enslaved” from the Greek douloo means to be held and controlled against one’s will.
That’s what alcohol does; it becomes more of a prison than an escape. The union of these two negatives, malicious gossip and drunkenness, suggests the close connection between a loose tongue and intoxicating drink. Both of these were real possibilities for women whose families were grown and who may have had too much idle time on their hands.
- 1Tim. 5: 13-14 admonishes against being idle, wandering around, gossips, busybodies.
Maybe drink is not a problem for you. From 1 Cor. 6, we learn the principle that we’re not to be enslaved by anything – shopping, exercising, food, coffee, TV, computer, etc.
We need to examine ourselves with respect to this and come alongside others who are enslaved.
© Bill Reeves 2008
Used with permission
My next post will move from the negatives to the positives. Sign up if you would like to be notified about Parts 2 and 3.
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