to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.Titus 2:5(NASB)
Unlike the rest of Paul's writings, the two books of Timothy and the book of Titus were written to pastors, rather than an entire congregation. As well as offering encouragement to these younger men, the three epistles give instruction on how the Body of Christ should function and interact with one another, and also list the roles and responsibilities of Church leaders and those in their charge.
Having detailed the necessary characteristics and capabilities of Church elders and older men, Paul turns his attention to their wives and the qualities and attitudes that are becoming in older women. Like godly men, older women should be reverent in their behaviour toward the Lord and should not engage in malicious gossiping or become addicted to things like wine or wearing ostentatious apparel.
Paul lists the essential qualities older women should cultivate, such as teaching the younger, less experienced women about godly living and what is good and honouring to the Lord, knowing that they may be subject to fleshly temptation or exhibit shallow behaviour.
These older ladies who have greater life-experience, are directed in verses 3 and 4 to encourage younger women to love their husbands and also to love their children. And in this verse, they are further instructed: "To be sensible; pure; workers at home; kind-hearted and being subject to their own husbands so that the Word of God will not be dishonoured."
Older women are to be discreet and chaste in both their public and private lives and to encourage their daughters in the same path of purity. They are to be principled and virtuous and should exhibit qualities and attributes that honour the Lord and are well-pleasing in His sight, and they have a responsibility to teach the younger women to follow their example.
Godly virtue is not something that automatically happens as one grows older, but is a quality that is taught by example or acquired through gracious correction from older women who themselves set an example of godliness in their own lives and marriages.
The virtuous woman who honours the Lord should become a conscientious homemaker who is good to all and submissive to her husband. Many of the attributes of a woman after God's own heart are listed in Proverbs 31 which supplies a list of the characteristics that honour the Lord.
Biblical submission is not something that devalues or dehumanises women, nor regards them as an inferior or second-class citizens, as is so often taught. However, women are to recognise there is a divine order in the family unit, an order that God Himself ordained so that the Word of God may not be belittled or even blasphemed.
Although it is the responsibility of older women to teach the younger ones these important principles of godly living, it is equally the responsibility for the younger women and new wives to put these behaviours into practice and apply them in their own marriages and homes. It is not sufficient to simply know the truth, but to live it out in daily life and apply it in our homes and families.
No matter what role we have in our home or Church community, we all need to submit ourselves to God and live a godly life that engages in roles and responsibilities as laid out in God's Word. May each one of us seek to develop characteristics and attitudes that honour the Lord in every area of life.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have clearly laid out Your divinely instituted roles and responsibilities in our homes, marriages, churches, and the wider community. Help me to develop a godly attitude in my own home and marriage, my church fellowship and neighbourhood, and help me to apply the godly principles and biblical teachings You have given us on life and godliness, for Your praise and glory. May my life be a living testimony, both at home and abroad, to Your wisdom and grace. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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